Clavius – Lunar Impact Crater – an extreme close-up 09-09-2020

By |September 25th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Clavius – Lunar Impact Crater – an extreme close-up view.


Clavius is one of the largest crater formations on the Moon, and it is the second largest crater on the visible near side.

Clavius crater is 144.4 miles(231km) across, and 2.18 miles(3.5km) deep.

The floor of the crater forms a convex plain that is marked by some interesting crater impacts.

The most notable of these is a curving chain of craters that begin with Rutherfurd in the south,

then arc across the floor in a counterclockwise direction forming a sequence of ever diminishing diameters.

From largest to smallest, these craters are designated Clavius D, C, N, J, and JA.


I captured this extreme close-up from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio on 09-09-2020

C-11 SCT telescope, 3x barlow,(F29), QHY290M Cmos camera, 700 frames stacked.

Best Regards,

John Chumack



The Moon, Venus, & M44 The Beehive Cluster

By |September 23rd, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Sometimes Simplicity is Truly Beautiful!
The Moon, Venus, & M44.
I captured this wonderful gathering the morning of 14 September 2020 at 05:55am,
no telescope this time, just a Camera/lens on a Tripod. A lesson in “Depth of Field”: They may look close together, but remember space is very deep!!!
Current Distances in my photo = 150 feet to the Neighborhood Pine Tree, The Waning Crescent Moon sitting at 238,900 miles, The Planet Venus at 89.12 million miles, and M44 (Praesepe) The Beehive Star Cluster in Cancer is 577 light years away from Earth! (1 light year = 5.8 trillion miles)
I captured this with my Canon 6D DSLR & Canon 24-105mm lens Set to 105mm, F5.6, ISO 1250, 4 second exp., Camera on a Bogen tripod from my front yard in East Dayton.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

Mars on 09-10-2020 Martian Surface details abound

By |September 13th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Mars on 09-10-2020 Here is another one of my shots of Mars with lots of wonderful regional details visible.
Syrtis Major, Isidis Planitia, Tyrrhena Terra, Hellas Planitia, Hesperia Planum, Promethei Terra, Elysium Planitia, Herschel Crater, South Polar Ice Cap, blue Limb haze.
Capture Details:
Mars, Date: 10-09-2020, Time: 10:09:00 UT, Mag: -2.04,
Diameter: 20.28, Res: 0.08 arcsec, Phase: 0.94%, CM: CM=263.1°,
Camera: QHY5III290M, Scope: C-11 SCT Telescope & 3x barlow, FL: 7900mm, F-ratio: 28, LRGB, ME Mount, Observer: John Chumack, Location: Chumack Observatory, Dayton, Ohio.
Captured with Fire-Capture, LRGB Stacked & processed in Autostakkert, Registax6, Maxim_DL, Adobe CC.

Best Regards,

John Chumack



Saturn’s subtle changes July – Sept. 2020

By |September 11th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Saturn’s subtle changes..
Saturn back on July 19th, 2020 and now Saturn in Sept. 09, 2020,
I love the Subtle changes in Saturn in two months from Near Opposition(July) to Post Opposition(sept.)
Saturn’s shadow is now visible laying across the rings, also now that the planet is tilted a little more as seen from Earth,
the North Polar Hexagon is now a bit more visible, and the nothern polar region also has subtle feature changes.
As the rings tilt further down in its 14 year Ring plane cycle, it covers the Southern polar region of the planet.
Saturn is at 868 million miles away during this last photo. I capture these LRGB color images with my backyard Observatory telescope, C-11 SCT, MYT Mount, 3x barlow, QHY290M Cmos Camera.


Best Regards,

John Chumack

Mars and Martian Surface features on 09-06-2020

By |September 7th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Mars was looking Fantastic early this morning on 09-06-2020, so far one of my best shots of it this year.
After watching the Moon and Mars close approach, I decided to grab some close-up shots of Mars, a lot of nice Martian surface details are visible in this image, The Arabia Terra, Syrtis Major Planum, The Arabia Peninsula(Terra Meridiani & Terra Sabaea), Hellas Planitia, The Southern Ice Polar Cap, and The Northern Polar Blue Haze. Thankfully no Martian Global Dust Storms to blur out the details.
Mars was 44.697 million miles from Earth and is still growing closer as we approach opposition in October.
Mars Diameter = 19.70″
Magnitude = -1.94
I noticed the seeing was decent, but the seeing still came and went every 20 to 40 minutes initially, but I patiently waited and it finally gave me the last hour or so of decent above average seeing, enough for me to use my 3x Barlow on my C-11 SCT telescope(8150mm (F/29), Resolution=0.07″ with the QHY5III290M Cmos Camera,
Bisque ME Mount. I used Fire-capture running at 70fps, save as SER video file, Autostakkert,Registax6, Maxim DL, Adobe CC.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

Mars on 08-30-2020

By |September 3rd, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Here comes Mars, and its getting closer and brighter every day,

Opposition will occur at 2320 UT on October 13, 2020 with an apparent planetary disk diameter of 22.4 arc-sec at closest approach for the year.


Here is my shot of the planet Mars Last Saturday Night 08-30-2020..I just love it when Mars gets close to the Earth every two years!


When Mars gets closer, it gets  larger in size in a telescope allowing you to see the many wonderful surface features. Luckily no Martian dust storm yet, ..sometimes Mars gets a global dust storm and thus preventing us from making out any surface details, but fortunately so far this year’s approach it is looking good.


If you look up in the night sky for Mars with the unaided eye you will notice that Mars is super bright and orange, look in the East South-East around 2:00am   you can’t miss it, it’s the super Bright orange, is Midnight to 2:00am too late or early for you?,  Then look straight up over head at 5:00am to 6:00am, and you will see Mars, but now since you’re up and looking at Mars, you may as well take look at another planet, the brightest thing in the sky, The planet Venus  if you look due East something even brighter will be the Planet Venus at 5: 00am to 6:00am  the two bright stars next to Venus are the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux.


The Planet Mars on 08-30-2020 @ 06:54 U.T., The Martian Surface features: Arabia Terra top half orange region, The long dark feature running from center to the east(left) is the Arabia Peninsula (Terra Meridiani), the large dark feature on the western Limb(right) is the largest Martian feature known as Syrtis Major. Just below Syrtis Major is a lighter color region known as Hellas Planitia, go a little more south of Hellas and you see the Bright white Martian Southern Polar Ice Cap.  This was captured under good transparency, but just average seeing conditions in my backyard in Dayton, Ohio.


Captured with my C-11 telescope, Paramount ME robotic Mount,  & ZWO 224MC color Cmos camera, 2x barlow & ADC, running at 120FPS, 2500 frames SER video Fire-capture, Autostakkert, & Registax6 , Adobe CC.


Best Regards,

John Chumack

Maginus Crater and “The Arrow Head”

By |September 2nd, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Maginus Crater and the Arrow head /spear head shadow feature
Maginus Crater can you spot the “Arrow Head” shadow feature?
When Maginus crater is on the Terminator line, right at lunar sunrise on the crater can see the crater floor partially sunlit creating the Arrow Head shape. Timing is everything when trying to see these rarely observed or captured shadow features.
Maginus is an ancient lunar impact crater located in the southern highlands to the southeast of the prominent crater Tycho. It is a large formation almost three quarters the diameter of Clavius,
194Km(121 miles) in diameter and 4.3km (2.7 miles)deep.
Capture on 08-27-2020 with my C-11 Telescope, & QHY5III290M mono Cmos camera, about 1000 frame stacked. Captured on 08-27-2020 from Dayton, Ohio.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

NGC869 & NGC884 The Double Cluster in Perseus

By |August 24th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Double Cluster in Perseus…NGC869 & NGC884 they are visible to the naked eye from any dark location, I can barely see it as a fuzzy patch with my unaided eyes from my backyard in the City of Dayton due to strong city light Pollution. They look great in Binoculars. The clusters are about 7,600 light years away!

h and χ Persei, are one the most delightful Open Star Clusters to view in Binoculars or a small telescope!  I really like how the red giants really stand out so nicely in this photo.

NGC 884 (also known as χ Persei) is an open cluster located 7600 light years away in the constellation of Perseus. It is the easternmost of the Double Cluster with NGC 869. NGC 869 and 884 are often designated h and χ Persei, respectively. I pulled one of my older travel scopes out of its case, it hadn’t seen light since the 2017 Solar Eclipse…decided to shoot through it with my Canon 6D DSLR. The Explore Scientific Carbon Fiber 102mm (FCD100) F7 Triplet APO Refractor with Field Flattener, Bisque MyT robotic Mount, my old Canon 6D worked out great wide field, nearly a 2 x 3 degree field. This was a 12 minute exposure, ISO 1250, taken on 08-19-2020 from my backyard in the city of Dayton, Ohio.


Best Regards,

John Chumack

“The Sunglasses” or Number “99”, Inside the shadow of Clavius crater

By |August 18th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“The Sunglasses” or Number “99”, Inside the shadow of Clavius crater – extreme close-up.

When Clavius crater is in Shadow, but just at Lunar Sunrise the western rim of the crater gets lit up, but two of the smaller impact crater rims (Clavius C & D) within Clavius get lit up as well, their rims sit high enough above the main crater floor, and with the lighting just right, you can see the “Sunglasses” or the number “99”. You have to catch it while its on the terminator, just before lunar Sunrise, so timing is key to glimpse it. You can always find really cool things depending on the time of observation. I captured this one on 07-29-2020

Clavius is one of the largest crater formations on the Moon, and it is the third largest crater on the visible near side. It is located in the rugged southern highlands of the Moon.
The crater is one of the older formations on the lunar surface and was likely formed during the Nectarian period about 4 billion years ago.
Captured from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio with a C11 SCT telescope, MyT Mount, & QHY5III290M mono camera. 07-29-2020 02:23 U.T.

M57 The Ring Nebula – Extreme Close-up

By |August 11th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Here is my Extreme Close-up of M57 with a ZWO ASI224MC un-cooled Color Cmos Camera using short exposures stacked.

The Ring Nebula, also known as M57 or NGC 6720, A dying Star, blowing off its outer atmosphere. M57 is found in the constellation Lyra. A spherical shell of glowing gas surrounds a central hot star. The nebula was formed when the central star ejected some of its mass. Initially slow mass loss creates a surrounding shell of material which is later ionized by hotter, faster ejecta, which can result in quite complex structures. The Ring Nebula was the first planetary nebula discovered, so called because of its visual spherical appearance through early telescopes . M57 has a diameter a little under one light-year and is some 3000 light-years from Earth (angular size 1.2 arc minutes). Taken with my old orange tube C-11 Telescope & Software Bisque MyT Robotic Tracking Mount, ZWO ASI 224MC un-cooled Cmos Camera & short exposure stacking imaging technique, from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio on 08-09-2020.  

I visually examined & filtered through over 220 frames, to choose the best frames, ended up with 161 good frames to work with. 161 x 10 sec. exp.= 26.83 minutes total, Subtracted Master Dark frame = 63 x 10 sec Dark frames, using Fire-capture Software, Registax6, Nebulosity, and Adobe CS.

Best Regards,

John Chumack