Monday, April 12, 2021

The Edge-On View Of Galaxy NGC 891

 Recently, Al Ernst was kind enough to send me his work on the "Silver Sliver Galaxy", a.k.a. NGC 891. It's an unbarred spiral galaxy about 30 million light-years from Earth with a diameter of about 60,000 light-years.  Compared to our closest galactic neighbor, the "Andromeda Galaxy" which is about 2.5 million light-years away and about 220,000 light-years in diameter, the Silver Sliver is much harder to see from his back yard observatory.

NGC 891's apparent magnitude is +10.8 is best seen through a medium-sized amateur telescope of about 8" in diameter or more, making Al's Celestron C14 main telescope ideal for working out its details as seen in his photo below. The dark dust lane surrounding the galaxy's disk is easily seen.

The image was recorded earlier this winter from his home observatory in Bridgewater, NJ using his C14 f8 and QSI 583 Camera with Green, Blue, and Ha filters on 5 and 10-minute subs and processed in Nebulosity and Photoshop. Thanks Al.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Dumbell Nebula M27 In All It's Glory; As Seen Through Clear New Jersey Skies


This image of the planetary nebula M27 (a.k.a. the Dumbell Nebula) taken by Ron Gattie,is about 1360 light years from Earth and at apparent magnitude +7.5 isn't quite bright enough to see by eye ~ even in the darkest skies. 

But the C14 scope at St. Joseph High School shows not problem getting these rich colors even in a Bortle 6 sky. At that distance, the Dumbell appears to be 3 light-years in diameter, or just a light-year short of the distance between Earth and our nearest star Proxima Centauri.

Nice shot Ron.


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Al Ernst's image of NGC 1491, located in Perseus

NGC-1491 is a faint emission nebula approximately 11,000 ly from Earth. This image was taken in late November from Al's Bridgewater, NJ observatory, using a C-14/f7.7 telescope, a QSI-583 camera and narrowband Ha and Oiii filters, with one hour of 5-minute subs in each band.  Processing was in Nebulosity and Photoshop.

Thanks for the submission Al,


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Al Ernst is getting great results during the winter's cold, clear sky

I love the faint tendrils visible in this great shot of the Horsehead Nebula taken in Al's backyard using a QSI-583 camera, C-14 scope. It consists of twelve five minute subs through each of Oiii and Ha filters,   



Thursday, January 7, 2021

 I haven't heard from anyone lately so I'll just add a few of my Moon shots that I took before Christmas.  I was rushing to set up the scope in my driveway by the road to get the Jupiter / Saturn Conjunction as the clouds were coming in fast. Low in the sky by the western horizon where the event was taking place was a small hole in the clouds that lasted about 15 minutes. But just as I got it centered in my scope, a few neighbor families and their kids came to see what I was doing. For the next ten minutes I showed everyone the conjunction, to "Wow! I can see Saturn's ring and Jupiter's moons too".

Then it disappeared!

The clouds covered most of the sky, but I spent about fifteen minutes getting these shots of the moon before it too disappeared for the night. Since then only one or two nights were cloudless, with another night that was clear but with a lot of haze.