NGC-3628 Edge on Spiral Galaxy with Asteroid 3906 Chao

By |February 24th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NGC-3628 Edge On Spiral Galaxy with 15.5 magnitude Asteroid 3906 Chao passing by on 02-20-2021 @ 08:46 U.T. to 10:15 U.T.
65 minutes total integration time.

NGC-3628, also known as the Hamburger Galaxy is an unbarred spiral galaxy about 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo.  Part of the Leo Triplet with M65 & M66.
It was discovered by William Herschel in 1784.
The Galaxy is way off in the background, but the Asteroid is much closer actually in our Solar system’s  main Asteroid belt between Mars & Jupiter.

The seeing was terrible and very strong moonlight combined with the high haze barely showed anything in the 300 sec subs, but since I had just cleaned off 3 weeks of Snow & Ice from the top of my domes…I had to try to capture something. I was surprised that it even came out OK considering the terrible conditions. I managed to capture the interloper 3906 Chao (asteroid) as it left it’s little trail with a gap due to
some clouds that floated in during the shot. I placed the red arrow to show you the asteroid’s trail.

Explore Scientific 102mm Triplet APO, Bisque ME Robotic Mount, QHY183C Cooled Cmos Camera, 65 minutes(13 x 300sec subs out of 18 subs stacked),
SkyX, Nebulosity, & Pixinsight, Adobe CC.


Best Regards,

John Chumack



The First Quarter Moon 02-19-2021

By |February 23rd, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The First Quarter Moon on 02-19-2021, Last Friday night it cleared long enough for me to get a shot off, It has been snowing and cloudy for the last 3 weeks…Saturday night cleared also, but seeing was terrible, atmospheric boiling with lots of haze,…so i am sending last Friday night’s First Quarter Moon since sky transparency was much better on Friday evening.

Captured with a C6 Newtonian Telescope & a QHY183M cooled Cmos Camera,

A single 60ms exposure, captured from my backyard in Dayton, Ohio.


Best Regards,

John Chumack

M93 Open Star Cluster

By |February 19th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Messier 93 or M93, also known as NGC 2447, is an open star cluster in the southern constellation Puppis.
It was discovered by Charles Messier then added to his catalogue of comet-like objects in 1781.
Caroline Herschel, the younger sister of William Herschel, independently discovered it in 1783,
thinking it had not yet been catalogued by Messier. M93 shines at Magnitude 6.2 is about 3,380 light years away,
and the cluster spans 20 light years across.
It is a brighter star cluster & easily visible in binoculars or a small telescope.

An Interesting find…
While doing some research on M93, my Jaw dropped when I read that
54 variable stars have been found in M93, including one slowly pulsating B-type star, one rotating ellipsoidal variable,
seven Delta Scuti variables, six Gamma Doradus variables, and one hybrid δ Sct/γ Dor pulsator.
Four spectroscopic binary systems within include a yellow straggler component.

Captured with an Explore Scientific 102mm Triplet APO Refractor Telescope, Bisque ME Robotic tracking Mount,
QHY183C Cooled Color Cmos Camera, and a 30 minute exposure on 01-10-2021 from my observatories at JBSPO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

NGC-1300 An Elegant Barred Spiral in Eridanus

By |February 14th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Something Elegant from the Universe for you all on Valentine’s Day!
NGC 1300 is a barred spiral galaxy located about 61 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus.
The galaxy is about 110,000 light-years across. It is a member of the Eridanus Cluster, a cluster of 200 galaxies.
NGC1300 has two notable features, one it has a very Red/Orange central bar, mostly made up of old Red Giant stars,
and the galaxy has two distinct thin but elegant spiral arms. It shines at 11.4 mag. and was discovered by John Herschel in 1835.
The bright round 11.8 mag. elliptical galaxy near the top is NGC1297, there are about a dozen or so small background galaxies visible as well.
It sits rather low in the Southern sky for me, I usually don’t get a chance to image that far south , due to trees & atmospheric muck on the horizon. But with my new taller telescope pier in place I had a about a two hour window just above the top of trees to nab it now.
I captured this image in a two hour exposure. (24 x 300sec subs). Captured with my Explore Scientific 102mm F7, Triplet APO Refractor, Bisque ME mount, QHY183C cooled Cmos Color Camera, bin 1×1, on 01-09-2021.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

B33 – Barnard 33 & IC-434 – A Narrow Band-Pass Portrait

By |February 9th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

B33 – Barnard 33 is the Dark silhouette of The Famous Horse head Nebula and IC-434 is the background red nebula. The Horse head is located in the constellation Orion, 1,375 light years away and is difficult to see visually, unless you have a large scope in a dark location.
The first time I actually had seen it visually was with a 24 inch Ritchie Scope at Star Hill Inn in New Mexico during our club trip in 1998.
But it is relatively easy to image with today’s sensitive cameras and telescopes, even a telephoto lens can capture it fairly well these days.
C6 F5 Newtonian Telescope, Bisque MyT mount, a QHY183M Cooled Cmos Camera & EFW with 7nm band-pass Hydrogen Alpha & Oxygen III filters
Using Narrow band filters with slightly different color palettes will also help reveal more subtle details.
These were captured from my backyard in the city of Dayton, Ohio on 02-03-2021
HA monochrome was 180 minutes(36 x 300sec subs)
OIII was 105 minutes(21 x 300sec subs)
285 minutes total integration, 4.75 hours
Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Flame Nebula Complex & Alnitak – NB

By |February 5th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

NGC-2024 The Flame Nebula Complex, my Canadian friends call it the Maple Leaf Nebula in Orion. The bright star is Alnitak the eastern most star in Orion’s Belt, also known as Zeta Orionis which is also a double star.
The Flame Nebula, designated as NGC 2024 and Sh2-277, is an emission nebula in the constellation Orion. It is about 900 to 1,500 light-years away.
The bright star Alnitak (ζ Ori), shines energetic ultraviolet light into the Flame and this knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there. Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. Additional dark gas and dust lies in front of the bright part of the nebula and this is what causes the dark network that appears in the center of the glowing gas , there is a larger mound of dark dust near the bottom with some nice features reaching up toward the Flame. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.
I processed this image to show the dark dusty details in the Flame Nebula Complex.
This Narrow band image consists of Hydrogen Alpha and OIII emission lines. HA & OIII mapped to a Bi-color image.
5 hours of exposure time total with a C6 Newt. Scope, Bisque MyT mount, & QHY183M cooled Cmos Camera, HA= 24 x300sec subs & OIII 36 x 300 sec subs, Bi-color captured on 02-02-2021 from my backyard in Dayton, Ohio.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

M81 Bode’s Spiral Galaxy from the city

By |February 2nd, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode’s Galaxy) is a grand design spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away, with a diameter of 90,000 light years, and is located in the constellation Ursa Major(The Big Dipper Area). Due to its proximity to Earth, large size, and a very active galactic nucleus (which harbors a 70 million mass supermassive black hole), the orange core is filled with the oldest red giant stars swirling around the central Super massive black hole. Most of the new young hot blue stars are in the outer spiral arms…and you can even see some pink nebulae (HII regions) dotting the spiral arms of the galaxy. There is a small cloud like Dwarf irregular satellite galaxy off to the left known as Holmberg IX. There are also lots of smaller galaxies in the background of my image as well as faint Galactic Cirrus.
Messier 81 has been studied extensively by professional astronomers. The galaxy’s large size and relatively high brightness also makes it a popular target for amateur astronomers, and you can see it visually with a pair of binoculars or small telescope from a dark site. And with the right Astro equipment and lots of practice you can actually get a decent photograph of M81 right from the city like I did from my backyard in Dayton, Ohio.
This is a 7 hour LRGB exposure (180sec subs, bin 1×1) with a QHY183M cooled monochrome camera(Lum) & QHY 183 C Cooled color Cmos camera(RGB 300sec subs, bin 1×1) & C6 Newtonian telescope, Baader coma corrector, and Bisque MyT mount. An L-Pro Filter was used to combat local light pollution. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Aligned in Maxim DL, Processed Pixinsight & Adobe CC2020. it turned out better than I expected considering the last few nights I capture these there were lots of high thin clouds passing through…but the auto-guider never lost the star, …but unfortunately i did have to toss away about a dozen 3 minute subs exposures due too much light from passing clouds fogging some of the images. Data from 04-19-2020 & 01-10-2021.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

M41 Open Star Cluster in Canis Major

By |January 28th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , |

M41 Open Star Cluster in Canis Major.
This large bright Open Star Cluster can be found about 4 degrees South of “Sirius”- Alpha Canis Majoris (The brightest star in the sky).
M41 looks fantastic in binoculars or any small telescope, as is definitely worth the view!
This one covers 1/2 a degree of Sky!
The cluster in our night sky fits into the size of the full moon on the sky. It contains about 100 stars, including several red giants(orange) the brightest of which has spectral type K3, apparent magnitude 6.3 and is near the center, and some white dwarfs. Some Blue Giants can be seen as well. The cluster is estimated to be moving
away from us at 23.3 km/s. The diameter of the cluster is 25–26 light-years (7.7–8.0 pc). It is estimated to be 190 million years old.
I captured this with my Explore Scientific 102mm Triplet APO telescope, Bisque ME Mount, and QHY183C Cooled Color Cmos Camera,
30 minutes total integration time(6 x 300sec sub exposures) on 01-13-2021.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

Jones-Emberson 1, or PK164+31.1, The Headphone Nebula

By |January 23rd, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Headphones was a tough faint one, a dying star blowing off its outer atmosphere!!!!
Jones-Emberson 1, or PK164+31.1,
also known as the Headphone Nebula, is a 14th magnitude planetary nebula in the constellation Lynx
at a distance of 1600 light years.

It is a larger planetary nebula with a very low surface brightness, making it tougher to see or capture.
In my long exposure you can easily see that the 16.8-magnitude central star is a very blue white dwarf, also visible are many other faint tiny background galaxies, including two faint ones behind the central opening in the planetary nebula.

This was a tough faint one for the little 4inch and 6 inch scopes!!!!…but after 8 hours and 15 minutes of exposure integration over 4 nights, I got a decent shot of it.
I captured 5 hours 15 minutes(63 x 300sec subs) of QHY183C Cooled (OSC) RGB Camera Data with
the 102mm Refractor Scope and combined it with 3 hours(36 x 300sec subs) of H-Alpha data with the 6 inch Newt. Scope, QHY183Mono Camera as the Luminance Channel. Stacked in DSS and aligned the data from separate scopes/nights in Maxim DL,
and then final in Pixinsight & Adobe CS 2021.
Some Historical stuff…
Discovered in 1939 by Rebecca Jones and Richard M. Emberson, its “PK” designation comes from the names of Czechoslovakian astronomers Luboš Perek and Luboš Kohoutek, who in 1967 created an extensive catalog of all of the planetary nebulae known in the Milky Way as of 1964. The numbers indicate the position of the object on the sky. “PK 164+31.1” basically represents the planetary nebula that when using the galactic coordinate system has a galactic longitude of 164 degrees, a galactic latitude of +31 degrees, and is the first such object in the Perek-Kohoutek catalog to occupy that particular one square degree area of sky.

Best Regards,

John Chumack



The Waning Crescent Moon with Earthshine on 01-10-2021

By |January 16th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Waning Crescent Moon with Earthshine on 01-10-2021 at 07:02 am EST. After pulling an all night deep space imaging run, i was about to close my dome up, when I seen this beautiful crescent with Earthshine rising above the tree line that morning, with thin clouds passing over it, so I had to take a quick shot before closing up that morning. Explore Scientific 102mm F7 (750mm) Triplet APO refractor & QHY183C Cooled color Cmos Camera, a single 2 second exposure to show the Earthshine.

Best Regards,

John Chumack