The Sun in H-Alpha Light on 02-18-2024

By |February 22nd, 2024|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Finally not a cloud in the sky last Sunday, so I took a peek at the Sun!!!!

The Sun in Hydrogen-Alpha light with Active Sunspots, Prominence’s, and Filaments, basically a ton of fainter Prom activity today!

Sun is active and which means more spectacular Northern Lights for our Annual Aurora Photo Workshop in Alaska in a couple of weeks.
BTW, One spot left for 2024 (due to a last minute Medical Cancellation), any of you want to join us? Contact me ASAP
To see details for the March 12-18, 2024: (1 Space Left)

We have been teaching this workshop since 2014, this is our 10th year!!
And yes, we always see and capture the amazing Aurora every year.

Capture details:
Lunt 60mm/50F HA Solar Telescope, Bisque MyT Mount, BF12,
QHY5IIL Uncooled Cmos Camera, Fire-Capture Software, SER Video Capture, 15FPS, 700 frames Stacked in Autostakkert4, Registax6, Final in Adobe Raw CS 2024.
Seeing was boiling (bad) today, so it is not as good as I would have liked, but I still managed to pull out some details.
Captured from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio on 02-18-2024 at 17:37 UT (12:37pm LT)

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Boogeyman Dark Nebula – LDN 1622

By |February 22nd, 2024|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Boogeyman Dark Nebula – LDN 1622
This dark nebula shape looks like a mythical boogeyman.
Scientifically its known as Lynds’ Dark Nebula (LDN) 1622 appears against a faint background of glowing hydrogen gas only visible in long exposures of the region. It is located about 1500 light years from Earth toward the constellation Orion.

Immediately to the right of the boogeyman’s head is the bright reflection nebula VdB62, and Vdb63 is directly below the dark nebula,
The massive bright yellow/orange Star above the Boogeyman is 56-Orionis, a variable Star and close-double star.

You can also see part of Barnard’s Loop in the upper right corner of the frame in this image.

RASA 8 inch F2.2 Scope, ZWO 294MC Cooled Cmos Camera, AM5 Mount, L-Quad Filter, ASI Air Plus, via WiFi to I-Pad, 7 x 300 sec. subs, 35 minutes total on 02-04-2024. Captured from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

M31 The Great Andromeda Spiral Galaxy – Optolong L-Quad Filter

By |February 15th, 2024|

M31 The Great Andromeda Spiral Galaxy, and the two little galaxies(M32, M110) are gravitationally bound to M31.
M31 is a Sister Galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy, its the closest spiral to us, located at 2.5 million light years away.
In 6 billion years from now, the Andromeda Galaxy will collide with our Milky Way and create a new much more Massive Galaxy (Milkdromeda)!
Visible with the Unaided eye from a dark location, and looks great in binoculars too!
Capture details, another quick test with the L-quad filter.
RASA 8 inch F2.2 Telescope, ZWO AM5 Mount,ZWO 294MC cooled Cmos Camera, Optolong L-Quad 2″ Filter, EAF,
I only managed to get 25 minutes of use-able data due to high cirrus clouds, but it turned out okay for such a short exposure.
5 x 300sec, ASI Air Plus, via Wi-Fi to my I-Pad on 02-04-2024. Processed in DSS, Pixinsight, and Adobe Raw CC 2024.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

M45 The Pleiades Star Cluster or The Seven Sisters on 02-04-2024

By |February 10th, 2024|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Going Deep into The Seven Sisters Star Cluster in the constellation Taurus.

M45 The Pleiades Star Cluster or The Seven Sisters
Tested out a new OptoLong L-Quad 2″ Filter,
I’m impressed with this filter for capturing those dimmer broadband Blue reflection nebulae,
especially from my brighter city Bortle 7-8 skies.

I picked up some fainter HII and Galactic Cirrus around the outer edges of the FOV as well.
I also captured the 17.8 Mag. background Spiral Galaxy UGC 2838,
it can be seen in my image half way between the top edge of the frame and the bright sister star “Electra”.

RASA 8 inch F2.2 , ZWO 294MC cooled Cmos Camera, Opto-Long L-Quad Filter, ZWO AM5 Harmonic Mount,
12 x 300sec., ASI Air Plus, via Wi-Fi to Ipad, 60 minutes total integration time.
Captured from my Observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio on 02-04-2024.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Comet 62P/Tsuchinshan with galaxies in Virgo

By |February 9th, 2024|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Comet 62P/Tsuchinshan passing through the background galaxies in Virgo
02-04-2024 (08:24 UT) 03:24 am LT(yes, I pulled an all night run after a month of cloudy weather)
Shining at about 9.2 magnitude and dropping,
you can see the comet with a bright Nucleus, nice green Coma(~8.00′ arc min) and sporting a small dust tail(~12′ arc min) as it passed between The Siamese Twins Spiral Galaxies NGC-4567/NGC-4568 (left edge) and a Lenticular galaxy NGC-4578 on the right.
The background Galaxies are about 55 million light years away, but the comet is relatively close by, actually in our solar system at a distance of 74,850,088 kilometers from Earth.
RASA 8 inch F2 Scope, ZWO 294MC cooled Cmos Camera, AM5 Mount, ZWO L-Quad Band, Filter, EAF, ASI Air Plus,
via Wi-Fi to Ipad, 4 x 300sec subs, 20 minutes total integration time, Stacked DSS, Pixinsight, and Adobe Raw CC 2024.
Captured from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Planet Jupiter with moons Europa and Io on 10-03-2023

By |February 8th, 2024|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Still processing some of my Planet shots from last fall…here is
Jupiter with moons Europa(top) and Io on 10-03-2023 at 08:43 UT
C-11 SCT telescope, F22, Bisque MyT Mount, ADC, 2x barlow, QHY462 un-cooled Cmos camera,
Fire-Capture SER file, stacked 6,750 frames in AS4.

Captured from my Backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio USA.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Sword Of Orion – M42, and M43 The Great Orion Nebula Complex

By |October 27th, 2023|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Sword of Orion
M42 & M43 The Great Orion Nebula Complex
with NGC 1973-75-77 The Running Man Nebula.
I captured some faint background nebulosity and structures as well. This bright nebula is one of the most spectacular views through amateur telescopes! This massive Stellar Nursery is located about 1,350 light-years from Earth.
I finally got around to processing my data from September, and it was a fun challenge to process, due it it high dynamic range, especially at F2, but using layers masking in Adobe CC and carefully combining 3 different exposure lengths, helped me to control the amount of light each layer contributed to the final image.
8″ F2 RASA scope, ZWO AM5 Harmonic Mount, ZWO 294MC cooled Color Cmos camera, Starizona NBZ UHC Filter,
ASI Air Plus via Ethernet to Ipad.
7 x 300 sec., 16 x 30sec, 1 x 10sec sub exposures, 43 minutes and 10 sec. Total integration time.
Stacked in DSS, Processed in Pixinsight and Adobe CC.
Captured from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio on 09-16-2023.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Barnard 312 Dark Nebula, V450 Scuti & Gamma Scuti Region

By |October 23rd, 2023|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Barnard 312 Dark Nebula (LDN 379) & V450 Scuti & Gamma Scuti Region

Sitting within this incredibly dense sea of stars located in the constellation Scutum,
you can easily see B 312 or Barnard’s Dark nebula in this image, it is so dense it blocks out the light from the background stars.
There are faint wisps of Red Nebulosity located throughout the region as well.
The overall image with the dark nebula looks like a profile of someone looking towards the sky!
Do you see it?

To the upper right is the very luminous Super-giant (Orange/Red) Star known as V450 Scuti. Shining at magnitude 5.47,
V450 Scuti is a naked eye star and can be seen on a clear night without binoculars or a telescope.
It is also a Semi-Regular pulsating variable Star, a W type variable star. (5.42mag to 5.49mag)
Variable stars are stars whose size and/or brightness changes over time. V450 Scuti is located about 2,886.40 light-years (884.96 parsecs) away from Earth.

Gamma Scuti the brightest star in the lower right of my image, has a very interesting future…..
Gamma Scuti, Latin from γ Scuti, is a single, white-hued star.
The apparent visual magnitude of 4.67 indicates this is a dim star but visible to the naked eye.
Based upon an annual parallax shift as seen from Earth, this star is located about 319 light years from the Sun.
Currently it is moving towards our Solar System at 41 km/s, which means in 2.35 million years it will pass at just 20 light-years (5.519 parsecs) distance,
probably becoming the brightest star in the night sky, at magnitude −2.1, for a period.

Celestron 8 inch F2 RASA Telescope, ZWO AM5 Mount, ZWO 294MC Cooled Cmos Camera, Starizona NBZ UHC filter,
ASI Air Plus, via Ethernet to IPAD, 5 x 300sec. subs, 25 minute total integration time.
Capture at my observatories in JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio on 08-19-2023.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Partial Solar Eclipse 10-14-2023 Dayton, Ohio

By |October 15th, 2023|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Partial Solar Eclipse from Dayton, despite the clouds and rain.
My Patience & Perseverance paid off!!!
Due to other commitments I did not travel to center-line for this Annular Eclipse…but it didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try to get the partial from home.
I started prepping for the Partial eclipse in my backyard in Dayton about 9:00am this morning, despite the dismal forecast.
I took down my C-11 scope and put my Lunt H-Alpha scope on the MyT mount in the backyard.

I noticed that my neighbor’s tree was blocking the Sun, but I figured in about an hour the Sun would rise high enough to clear the tree.
Luckily by then I managed to get the camera focused on the Sun through some of these large 4 minute gaps in the clouds, I finally got the camera focused and solar tracking locked in by about 10:30am.

Now the waiting game!!! waiting for a sucker hole…Knowing that I will start to see first contact around 11:45am …but only if the gaps in the clouds stayed large
…well go figure…
unfortunately the gaps started getting smaller and far and few between, so I sat with patience and focused on the mission to click that capture button the moment I see the Sun peaking through the thinner clouds. After sitting there and capturing diligently I managed to get 11 good SER captures varying from 3 seconds to 1 minute during the event.
I had to stop at 1:40pm when the rain started and I had to close the dome.
Most of the time I could not even see the Sun’s disk on the PC monitor, until the clouds thinned occasionally, I would raise the camera gain up to help me see it on the monitor better.

A really interesting thing that I noticed while imaging this eclipse during heavy cloud cover was…
I have Solar Panels on my backyard Observatory, and they run fans to cool the observatory, the fans would get louder and faster as the panels get more sunlight,
so as we got small breaks or thinner clouds, I would hear the fans get faster and louder, which cued me to click the capture button as the sun was starting to appear through thinner clouds, and the image would appear on the Computer Screen.

Initially I had trouble stacking the SER video images in Registax6, and Autostakkert3 due to the clouds moving so fast across the frames,
So I switched over to Astrosurface for processing so I could lock in on the Sun’s disk for global stacking, regardless of what the fast moving clouds were doing.
It locked it in and stacked it nice enough for me to post the image. I used 83 good frames from the original 236 SER images file.
It was a little noisy but that was to be expected with such a low amount of frames and shooting through clouds.
I’m so glad I stuck with it despite the conditions, I just kept telling the clouds….you %$#^&*# Resistance is Futile!
I’m happy with the capture!

Capture details:
Lunt 60mm/50F Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope, QHY5IIL Cmos Camera, Fire-Capture Software, Sun HA, 1.0ms exposure, Gain 8, 16.5 sec SER file,
Captured from my backyard Observatory on 10-14-2023 16:18 UTC(12:18 Local time).

Best Regards,
John Chumack

NGC 7293 The Helix Nebula(PN) Close-up _The “Eye of God” Nebula

By |September 30th, 2023|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A nice close-up shot of NGC 7293 The Helix Nebula, also known as the “Eye of God”.
This is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation Aquarius.
This is a dying star blowing off its outer atmosphere!

Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, likely before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae.

Based on recent measured expansion rates this Planetary Nebula is about 10,600 years old.
The central star is destined to become a white dwarf.

The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs (700 light-years). It is similar in appearance to the Cat’s Eye Nebula and the Ring Nebula, whose size, age, and physical characteristics are similar to the Dumbbell Nebula, varying only in its relative proximity and the appearance from the equatorial viewing angle.

This will be the fate of our Sun in about 6 billion years from now!!!

Capture Details:
Celestron RASA 8 inch diameter F2.2 Telescope, ZWO AM5 Harmonic Tracking Mount, ZWO 294MC Cooled Cmos Camera, Starizona NBZ UHS Filter, ASI Air Plus, via Ethernet to I-Pad,
12 x 300 second sub exposures, 60 minute total integration time from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
The first image is a 70% Crop Close-up from my original wide field shot. One of my best shots of the Helix to date.

Best Regards,
John Chumack


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