The Iris Nebula Complex in Cepheus

By |June 17th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Iris Nebula or NGC 7023, Caldwell 4 is a bright reflection nebula in the constellation Cepheus. The designation NGC 7023 refers to the open cluster within the larger reflection nebula designated LBN 487.

The nebula, which shines at magnitude +6.8, is illuminated by a magnitude +7.4 star designated SAO 19158.
The Blue Reflection Nebula lies 1,300 light-years away and is six light-years across. It is surrounded by a dark dusty molecular clouds.

This was from combining my Data from 2019 Color Run from last year with this years 2020 Monochrome Data Run.
Taken with a QHY 183M(mono) & QHY 183C(color) Cooled Cmos Cameras, & C6 Newt. Scope, Bisque MyT Mount,
LRGB 4 hour and 27 minutes total exposure time from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio.

Best Regards,

John Chumack


The Strawberry Moon in June

By |June 8th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Strawberry Moon..
Its just a Full Moon like any other month,
but every year they called the June Full Moon the Strawberry Moon because of all the Strawberries ready for harvest this time of year.
We had High thick Cirrus Clouds, so I grab a shot the next night this past weekend, but sometimes when the Moon is low on the horizon. The Moon can appear a bit yellow or red/brown color cast as it rises due to the atmospheric haze & light scatter. C6 Newt. & QHY 183 Cmos camera, 30 ms exposure.
Here is my version of the Strawberry Moon…Enjoy!


Best Regards,

John Chumack


New Solar Cycle 25 and Sunspot AR2765

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

Well the Next Solar Cycle #25 & Sunspot groups are here finally ..AR2765 is Active and is definitely part of the New Cycle 25. It had a Nice filament attached that had been changing all day.. Here is my very close-up image of the region AR2765 Sunspot today from my backyard in Dayton, Ohio. Captured with my Lunt 60mm/50F Hydrogen Alpha scope & QHY5III290M Cmos Camera, Fire-capture, Ser video, 2500 frames stacked in Registax6.


Best Regards,

John Chumack


NGC-4565 Edge on Spiral Galaxy

By |June 5th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

NGC-4565A Edge on Spiral Galaxy in Coma Bernices
NGC-4565 aka the “Needle” Galaxy or Caldwell 38 is an edge-on spiral galaxy about 43 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices.
It lies close to the North Galactic Pole and has a visual magnitude of approximately 10. It is known as the Needle Galaxy for its narrow profile, and
that Central bulge has about 240 Globular clusters hovering around the core, more than our Milky Way galaxy. NGC4565 is a Barred Spiral and one of the brightest members of the Coma Cluster group of Galaxies.
You can see at least two satellite galaxies close by NGC-4565, as well as many fainter small background galaxies in my image.

I included a cropped close-up image as well.

NGC-4565 is one of my favorite Galaxies to look at and photograph..This image is a 180 minute or 3 hours exposure with my C6 F5 Newtonian telescope, & QHY 183M Cooled Cmos monochrome Camera(Lum), taken from my backyard Observatory in the city of Dayton, Ohio on 06-02-2020. And of course I was going to go for another galaxy after this one, but more clouds rolled in.

Best Regards,

John Chumack


M13 The Hercules Globular Star Cluster

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

Messier 13 or M13, aka NGC 6205 and is sometimes called the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules or the Hercules Globular Cluster.
M13 is a globular cluster with over 500,000 stars in a tight ball and is located 22, 180 light years from Earth in the constellation Hercules.
The sphere of stars is about 145 light years in diameter, it is estimated to be 11.66 billion years old.
It shines at magnitude 5.8….barely visible to the unaided eye as a fuzzy patch under dark skies. An easy target in Binoculars or small telescopes.

I often wonder if you were on a planet around a star inside that cluster, how many bright stars you would see in your night sky?

My Good Friend Ron Whitehead & another one of my Buddies from the UK David Ford turned me on to some new telescope/camera control software, so I thought i give it a whirl…
It took me about 30 minutes to figure it all out last night.
This was a quick test using that new automated capture software called “NINA” some of the Guys across the pond have been using it for a while…
its fairly straight forward and easy to use….and everything works seamlessly with PHD2 Guiding software via relays or Direct Guide and Plate Solves & works with many camera and Ascom drivers. My SKY X software does the same things on my MyT mount….but I Loved using “NINA”, it worked perfectly and on the first try, and will be great for some of my other mount setups I have. The Automated Flat Field Wizard was my favorite feature.

The Little Galaxy above the Hercules Cluster is IC-4617 shining at Magnitude 14.3.
I captured this image from my backyard observatory in Dayton on 05-31-2020.
C6 Newtonian telescope & QHY183M Cooled Cmos Camera, (Lum) for 51 minutes exposure on Bisque MyT Robotic EQ Tracking Mount.

Best Regards,

John Chumack


M106 Spiral Galaxy – Water Maser

By |May 27th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Messier 106 or NGC 4258 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici.
M106 is about 135,000 light years in diameter. The core of this 8.4 magnitude galaxy is fairly bright, but capturing the faint outer halo is a challenge from the city.
M106 is at a distance of about 22 to 25 million light-years away from Earth. M106 contains an active nucleus classified as a Type 2 Seyfert, and the presence of a central supermassive black hole has been demonstrated from radio-wavelength observations of the rotation of a disk of molecular gas orbiting within the inner light-year around the black hole.
M106 also has a water vapor mega-maser (the equivalent of a laser operating in microwave instead of visible light and on a galactic scale). NGC4248 is the little edge on Galaxy closest to M106. Many little background galaxies are visible as well.

I’ve been working on this one for at least the last 3 months, 10 nights for 16.4 hours of data, but had to toss out about half (8 hours) of the data, due to high passing clouds ruining many shots, from each of the nights data captures. I used my QHY183M Cooled Monochrome(Lum = 3 hours) & QHY183C Cooled Color(RGB = 5.4 hours) and Celestron C6 Newtonian reflector telescope, Baader Coma Corrector, Auto-guided with 60mm Guide scope/QHY5IIL mono camera, on a Bisque MyT Robotic Mount from my backyard in Dayton.
After going through all the images, I managed to assemble 8.4 hours of keepers, Captured & Calibration with the SKY X Camera Software, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker,
Aligned the separate nights images in Maxim DL, processed in Pixinsight, & Adobe CC2020.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

A Nice Solar Prominence on 05-25-2020

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

A Nice Solar Prominence today!….on 05-25-2020 @15:59 U.T.
Wow!…Enough energy to power New York City for two years!!
A Solar prominence is a large, bright, gaseous feature extending outward from the Sun’s surface, often in a loop shape. Prominences are anchored to the Sun’s surface in the photosphere, and extend outwards into the solar corona.
Lunt 60mm/50F Hydrogen Alpha Solar Scope & QHY5III290MM Cmos Camera, Fire-Capture Ser video file, RIO 640×480, 73 FPS, gain 175, shutter 9.366ms, 1275 frames captured, and stacked 1054 frames out of 1275, in Registax 6. Captured this Morning from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio.
Processing in Registax6, Adobe_CC2020.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

A Bight Supernova in Lenticular Galaxy NGC-3643

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

NGC-3643 Lenticular Galaxy with Supernova 2020 hvf, is a type Ia Supernova. Put this up full screen…its dead center.
Imagine the amount of energy that is being released by a star that went Supernova and now it outshines it’s parent galaxy that typically has a combined glow of 100 billion to 400 billion suns!

The star that went Supernova(12.8 mag.), actually out-shined the entire galaxy(14.8 mag.)…and has for the last two weeks now. The parent galaxy NGC-3643 is located 95 million light years away from Earth in the Southern part of the constellation Leo.

What I love about Supernova is, being able to see and capture these energetic events across the universe,.. Supernova are amazing, and without them exploding & seeding the Universe, we would have no heavy elements, no planets, no people or animals, no life as we know it!!!

I was lucky enough to have transparent skies in between sucker holes in the clouds last night…a lot of passing clouds, but got off enough shots for stacking. In the entire FOV there are over 60+ small faint PGC galaxies in the background…an entire cluster of galaxies much further away. Blow it up full screen to see them.

This is an 18 minute (Lum) exposure, with a QHY183M monochrome cooled Cmos Camera, bin 2×2, & C6 F5 Newtonian telescope, tracking on a Bisque MyT Robotic mount, from my backyard observatory in Dayton Ohio on 05/22/2020.

Best Regards,

John Chumack

IC-5146 The Cocoon Nebula

By |May 22nd, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Cocoon Nebula, (my nickname is the Brains)
IC 5146 is a reflection/emission nebula and Caldwell object that is 3200 light years away in the constellation Cygnus.
The Cocoon Nebula span about 30 light years across.

This is a 5 hour exposure with my C6 F5 Newtonian Telescope & QHY183M cooled Monochrome Cmos Camera, A bi-color Narrow Band Image HA + OIII image,
tracking on a Bisque MyT Robotic Mount. Captured on 10-02-2019 from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio.

Best Regards,

John Chumack


M100 Spiral Galaxy and Friends

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

M100, Messier 100 (aka NGC 4321) is a grand design intermediate spiral galaxy located within the southern part of constellation Coma Berenices.
It is over 107,000 light years in diameter, and is located at 55 million light years from Earth.

As you can see M100 spiral has lots of galaxy friends nearby, and if you scan the background carefully you will see many more tiny galaxies as faint as 18th magnitude in this FOV.  I have marked the brighter 15th- 16th mag.ones.

This is a 180 minute exposure with my C6 F5 Newtonian Telescope, coma Corrector, & QHY183M cooled Monochrome(LUM) & QHY183C Cooled Color(RGB) Cmos Cameras, tracking on a Bisque MyT robotic Mount, captured from my backyard in Dayton on 03-04-2020.

Best Regards,

John Chumack