Andromeda & Triangulum Spirals & Constellations

By |November 30th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Andromeda & Triangulum Constellations with Spirals!  We are looking through all those Milky Way Stars to see our nearby sister Galaxies in the background.The Milky Way’s Sister Galaxies M31 Andromeda Spiral Galaxy & M33 Spiral Galaxy in Triangulum, also visible are NGC752 Open Cluster, & M34 Open Cluster, on The far left edge in Cassiopeia are the Double Clusters & NGC-281 Pacman Nebula in Cassiopeia. Included is my Illustrated version to help you identify what is in the FOV.

Canon 6D DSLR & 47mm lens,F4.5, 20 minute exposure, Star Adventurer Tracking Mount.
Kenton, Oklahoma at the Okie-Tex Star Party on 09-26-2016.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Planetary Nebula M57, The Ring Nebula in Lyra

By |September 21st, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

M57 The Ring Nebula in Lyra.

The nebula disk has an angular size of 1.5 × 1 arc-minutes, making it too small to be resolved with 10×50 binoculars, so it is best
viewed with a telescope and under some magnification. I find that 100x works well..

M57 is an example of the class of planetary nebulae known as bipolar nebulae.  The star at the Center is Blowing off its Outer atmosphere!

This will be the fate of our Sun in a few billion more years.

I processed this image to show structure in the nebula…
Taken from my backyard in Dayton, Ohio with my old C8 telescope & ZWO 174mm Monochrome Camera shot through RGB filters + Luminance channel,
16 minutes exposure total.

Best Regards,
John Chumack


NGC-7293 The Helix Planetary Nebula in Aquarius

By |September 15th, 2016|Tags: , |

The “Eye of God” a wide field shot!The Helix Nebula, aka ” The Eye of God” also known as The Helix, or NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation Aquarius.
Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, likely before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae.
This is a dying star blowing off its outer atmosphere!
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.
Baader Modified Canon Rebel Xsi & 5.5 inch Newtonian Reflector, ISO 1600, for a 180 minute(3 hour)exposure, 45 x 4 minute subs.
Calibrated & Stacked in “Nebulosity”, Processed in Maxim DL & PS Camera Raw 2015..
it’s not too bad for a 5.5″ scope and sitting so low on the Horizon for us in Ohio.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Sagittarius Teapot & Spoon near the Galactic Center

By |June 15th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The Constellation of Sagittarius, The Teapot & Spoon near the Galactic Center of our Milky Way Galaxy…also visible above the Teapot is M22, M25, M8, M20, & M7 on the Right edge. i kept the exposure short, so I wouldn’t blur the house too much while tracking.  The Teapot Pattern is to the right of the Beach House, and the Spoon is Above the House.

The dotted line at the bottom is an aircraft flying over the ocean.
Captured above the beach house on Cape Cod, MA.
Canon 6D DSLR, 50mm lens, ISO3200, 60 second exposure, Star Adventurer tracking mount, with wedge.

Best Regards,
John Chumack

Mars & Saturn, Antares, Rho Ophiuci & Dark Horse

By |June 8th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Looking over the Top of Our Galactic Center, in this star studded field The Planets Mars & Saturn visit Antares & M4 Globular Cluster. Also Rho Ophiuchi Nebula region, & The Dark Galactic Horse, The Pipe Dark Nebula, M6, & M7 Open clusters, M19, M62 are in there too..just tiny…and many others DSO’s are barely visible too.
Canon 6D DSLR, 47 mm lens, ISO 3200, 2 x 2 minutes, only got 4 minutes total due to windy conditions on the beach,…but it show what I wanted and that was the Planets near Antares & Dark Horse. This was taken with my 24mm to105mm lens set at 47mm. Captured over Cape Cod, Ma. on 06-02-2016.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

Markarian Chain – The heart of the Virgo ClusterI converted my image to B&W & included a negative for ease of seeing the fainter galaxies, with ID’s. Some are as faint as 18th magnitude, and I did not have time to label them all…but The Virgo Clust

By |May 26th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Markarian Chain – The Virgo Cluster
I converted my image to B&W & included a negative for ease of seeing the fainter galaxies, with ID’s.

Some are as faint as 18th magnitude, and I did not have time to label them all…but The Virgo Cluster is a cluster of galaxies whose center is 53.8 Million Light years away (16.5 Mpc) away in the constellation Virgo.

Comprising approximately 1300 (and possibly up to 2000) member galaxies, the cluster forms the heart of the larger Virgo Supercluster, of which the Local Group is an outlying member.

Markarian’s Chain is a stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. It is called a chain because, when viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. It was named after the Armenian astrophysicist, B. E. Markarian, who discovered their common motion in the early 1960s.

Member galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435 and many other PGC & IC Galaxies. Sorry but I did not have time to label them all.

It is located at RA 12h 27m and Dec +13° 10′.

At least seven galaxies in the chain appear to move coherently, although others appear to be superposed by chance.

What does M, NGC, IC, & PGC refer to you ask??

M – Messier Object Number
The Messier objects are a set of 110 astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1771. Messier was a comet hunter, and was frustrated by objects which resembled but were not comets, so he compiled a list of them.

NGC- New General Catalog
The New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (abbreviated as NGC) is a well-known catalogue of deep-sky
objects compiled by John Louis Emil Dreyer in 1888 as a new version of John Herschel’s General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars.
The NGC contains 7,840 objects, known as the NGC objects. It is one of the largest comprehensive catalogues, as it includes all types of deep space objects and is not confined to, for example, galaxies.

IC – Index Catalog
Dreyer also published two supplements to the NGC in 1895 and 1908,
known as the Index Catalogues, describing a further 5,386 astronomical objects.

PGC – Principal Galaxies
The Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC) is an astronomical catalog published in 1989 that lists B1950 and J2000
equatorial coordinates and cross-identifications for 73,197 galaxies.

back in April..
While waiting for the Comet to Rise…
I captured this 72 minute exposure(4 min subs x 18) using a Baader Modified Canon Rebel Xsi, & 5.5 inch F5 Newt. Reflector at my Observatories in Yellow Springs, Ohio on 04-12-2016. The Line in the image is a satellite trail as it passed through the Field of View, this happens a lot in long exposures!

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Planet Mars on 05-23-2016

By |May 24th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Mars at Opposition for 2016!The Planet Mars on 05-23-2016. I captured it near Midnight on 05-23-2016 from my backyard Observatory in Dayton. We had
slightly above average seeing.

Every 26 Months Mars gets close to Earth and provides Awesome views of its surface through small telescopes.
Mars Reached Opposition on Sunday May 22, 2016 at 07:10 EDT, or 11:10 UTC, and it will be at its largest (18.4”) across for this Opposition.

The View of Mars last night Centered around Elysium Planitia & Elysium Fosse, & Phlegra Dorsa region.
North a south polar caps & blue limb clouds are visible. Elysium Mons is a Massive Volcanoe on Mars, although not the Largest,
that title goes to Olympus Mons, but still impressive in size.

Look for the two little dark patches near the upper center of the globe,
Elysium Mons Volcano is the lighter beige Patch just below the longer dark patch on the left.

Elysium Mons is a volcano on Mars located in the volcanic province Elysium, at 25.02°N 147.21°E, in the Martian eastern hemisphere.
It stands about 13.9 km (46,000 ft) above the surrounding lava plains, and about 16 km (52,000 ft) above the Martian datum.
Its diameter is about 240 km (150 mi), with a summit caldera about 14 km (8.7 mi) across. It is flanked by the smaller volcanoes Hecates
Tholus to the northeast, and Albor Tholus to the southeast.

Elysium Mons was discovered in 1972 in images returned by the Mariner 9 orbiter.
Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Planet Mercury & Bird of PreyTransit of 05-09-2016

By |May 11th, 2016|

Mercury Transit Video & Pic, A pleasant Surprise while imaging Mercury – check out what I found on one of my videos the Bird of Prey Transits the Sun with Mercury!
The Planet Mercury & Bird of Prey Transit the Sun 05-09-2016, captured at Presque Isle State Park, Erie, PA.  Captured using my Lunt 60mm/50F Hydrogen Alpha Solar scope & QHY5IIL CCD Camera, on my portable AVX tracking Mount.  Shooting through high cirrus clouds, you can see The Planet Mercury as a tiny black dot at the Lower left edge of the Sun. the first part of the video clip shows the original 15 fps that I captured at(buzzes by fast), then I slowed the video down to 2fps, and looped it so you can catch the bird of Prey flapping its wings as it Transits the Sun.

Check out my short Video clip

Best Regards,

John Chumack

Jupiter on 04-18-2016

By |April 26th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Jove the Gas Giant Planet!
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System.
It is a giant planet with a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun, but two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined.
Basically you can fit all the planets into Jupiter at the same time with lots of room to spare.

Jupiter rotates every 9 hours &  56 minutes, that is roughly a 10 hours day compared to our 24 hour day here on Earth.
It takes Jupiter 11.86 years to orbit the Sun once, compared to 365 days it takes Earth to orbit our Sun once.
Currently it is 442.8 million miles from Earth…this changes constantly as both Earth and Jupiter orbit the Sun.

Jupiter’s Atmosphere is the largest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System.
It is mostly made up of molecular hydrogen and helium in roughly solar proportions; other chemical compounds are present only in small amounts and include methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and water.

You can find Jupiter with just your eyes nearly straight over head around 10:00pm, it will be the brightest thing straight over head, so go out and take a look tonight, you can even see its clouds bands & 4 Galilean moons with a pair of Binoculars or small telescope held steady or placed on a tripod.

I captured this image of Jupiter on 04-18-2016 centered on (17th 10:26pm EST)  02:26 U.T., We finally got a good night of stable seeing 7/10 from my backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio. I was able to crank the magnification up a bit, by using the 3x barlow.  I used my 8 inch diameter(old Orange tube C8) SCT telescope, 3x Cemax Barlow & and a QHY5IIL Mono CCD camera, Astronomik RGB Filters, IFW Filter wheel, Registax6 2400 RGB frames stacked & wavelets, MaximDL for RGB Alignment, Adobe CS 2015 final processing.

I’m happy with the cloud top details…considering we don’t get the greatest seeing here in the Midwest!
I did notice that the Great Red Spot is not so Red anymore, more like Salmon colored Spot…but it still was cool to see some detail within the GRS & cloud top details!

To learn more about Jupiter’s Atmosphere take a read about here…

Best Regards,
John Chumack

The Planet Mars on 04-18-2016

By |April 22nd, 2016|Tags: , , , , , |

30 Days from Now Mars Reaches Opposition on Sunday May 22, 2016 at 07:10 EDT, or 11:10 UTC, and it will be at its largest (18.4”) across for this Opposition.

Here is my best Mars shot so far this opposition,

I captured it on the Early Morning of 04-18-2016 from my backyard Observatory in Dayton. We finally had above average seeing.

Every 26 Months Mars gets close to Earth and provides Awesome views of its surface through small telescopes.

This is why I love to view and image Mars, it is the only planet that you can see the surface details in a telescope.

All other planets you would be looking at cloud tops,
except Mercury, no clouds, but is a real challenge as it never gets far from the Sun or high enough above the horizon to get decent surface details from small telescopes on Earth.

At the top or North end you see a large darker area this is Utopia Planitia, and the Little dark island just south of it is Utopia Rupes.

Mars current Axis tilt in relationship to Earth is barely showing the Martian Northern Ice Cap as I little white spot at the top.

To the far right is a small patch of clouds over Elysium Mons, one of the Martian Volcanoes. Clouds tend to gather around these high volcanoes.

Near Center are Libya Montes & Nepenthes Mensea.

On the South end Syrtis Major Planum is clearly visible and as the largest dark feature on the bottom left.

Bottom middle & right are Tyrrhena Terra, & Hesperia Planum.

The Southern Pole & Ice cap at the bottom is shrouded in clouds as well.

Captured on 04-18-2016 @ 08:34 U.T. or 04:34am EST from my Backyard Observatory in Dayton, Ohio.
C8 (2000mm) Telescope & QHY5IIL CCD camera, 3x Barlow, 900 frames RGB, Stacked in Astrostackert, Registax6, Maxim DL, & Adobe CS2015.

Best Regards,
John Chumack