NGC4449


NGC 4449 is an irregular galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is located about 12 million light-years away, part of the M94 Group, a galaxy group relatively close to the Local Group.

NGC4449_LIGHT_30s_400iso_+31c_00273stdev_20160625-00h27m14s750ms -1

By Steve J Posted in Main

My main rig


Just showing off my rig. LXD75-sn10 with Crayford motorized focuser, using the Meade DSi imager as a guide scope (with Orion flip mirror), prime focus w/ Cannon T3 Rebel, ASCOM focuser, dew strip on the lens, all attached to my laptop which is remote accessed from my warm home office via RealVNC.

20160308_220053.jpg

By Steve J Posted in Main

Moon and Jupiter


Clear night. Moon and Jupiter on the meridian. For this session, I used APT to capture the images. I usually use two astro-photography applications: BackyardEOS and APT. I use APT when imaging the Moon and bright planets because APT provides short exposures down in the 1/100th range: and these short exposures are needed with these very bright objects. The magnified Lunar image was produced with eyepiece projection: a 9mm eyepiece with Canon T3 Rebel. That with a 10-inch aperture with f/4 would be about 113x magnification.

By Steve J Posted in Main

Listening for Jupiter


20160321_190142 (1)

Steve’s workstation including ham radio and software-defined radio (2016)

A first attempt at radio astronomy. Since I am a registered ham radio operator (FCC General class), I might as well put the radio to use on listening to the cosmos besides terrestrial communications. I have been reading up on radio noise from Jupiter within the 18-22Mhz frequency range, and my radio can access that range, as this is within the 17 and 15Meter amateur radio bands. No results yet, I have yet to find that noise… Anyhow, here is a link to the radio noises recorded from Jupiter by NASA.

So what do the signals sound like? There are two distinct types: L-bursts sound like
ocean waves breaking up on a beach, and S-bursts, which can occur at rates of tens of
bursts per second, sound like popcorn popping or a handful of gravel thrown onto a
tin roof.
Have you heard them? Late at night is the best time, when the ionosphere has become
transparent and most terrestrial signals have disappeared on the 15 meter band. The quiet
hiss in your headphones comes mostly from relativistic electrons spiraling in the galactic
magnetic field. L-bursts and S-bursts are heard above this background noise. A radio
noise storm of L- or S-bursts can last from a few minutes to a couple of hours (Figure 1).
Do you need a giant antenna spread out over several acres? Fortunately not — a ham
band Yagi will do very nicely. Even if Jupiter is 30º or 40º above your horizon, a lowmounted Yagi aimed toward the azimuth of Jupiter will probably have adequate gain. And you don’t need a cryogenically-cooled front end either; your favorite ham-band receiver is plenty sensitive. Just be sure to turn the AGC off, as AGC can severely distort the Jovian noise bursts. Probably the best frequency range is between 18 and 22 MHz, so if you are using a ham-band only receiver, try the 15 or 17 meter bands. Either AM or SSB
modes will work. Just tune for a quiet spot between the stations.
During a good storm, Jovian signals can be easily heard, often several dB above the
background noise. Of course, the bigger your antenna the stronger the signals. The
640-dipole, 26.3 MHz, phased array antenna at the University of Florida would yield signals well over 20 dB above the background (Wallace & Flagg 2010).

Here is a screenshot of Radio-Jupiter Pro: software that predicts Jupiter radio storms.

Jupiter1.PNG

A pic of the author


A recent picture of me setting up one evening. Because of a number of trees nearby, the part of sky I observe is usually >60deg North: circum-polar observation. Still planning that home observatory…

image

By Steve J Posted in Main

Comet P/2016 BA14


Read about it at Sky and Telescope

This map shows the comet's swift progress north starting from March 16th (lower right) through the 26th. Daily positions shown for 9 p.m. CDT. Chris Marriott's SkyMap

This map shows the comet’s swift progress north starting from March 16th (lower right) through the 26th. Daily positions shown for 9 p.m. CDT.
Chris Marriott’s SkyMap

 

By Steve J Posted in Main

Luna Winter


I retrieved the telescope from storage for the first time in two years. The Moon was a good object to practice on and test the equipment: waxing gibbous phase.

 

By Steve J Posted in Main

Edits Jan 12 2016


I have been looking through some older images and found these: they are from different times in 2014, and I simply increased contrast and adjusted brightness. The nebulousness is quite faint in these images, so click on them and get a close look…

Part of the Crescent Nebula: an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, about 5000 light-years away. This exposure captures part of it:

ngc6888

NGC6960: a faint view of part of the Veil nebula within a vast star field in Cygnus:

ngc6960.png

NGC663 In Cassiopeia:

NGC 663

 

By Steve J Posted in Main

July 4 2014


Clear night with the July 4th fireworks. I used a Zhumell skylight filter but it is not very effective. Soon purchasing an OIII filter… Here are a few grainy images.

M102_25sec_800iso_skylight_a

M102. Galaxy, type S0-a, in Draco Right Ascension (2000.0): 15:06:29.4 (h:m:s) Declination (2000.0): +55:45:49 (deg:m:s) m_b: 10.8 (mag) , m_v: 9.9 (mag) , SB: 13.0 (mag per square arcmin) Dimension: 6.50 x 3.1 (arcmin) , PA: 128 Cross Identifications: M 102, UGC 9723, MCG 9-25-17, PGC 53933, ZWG 274.16, IRAS15051+5557 (http://spider.seds.org)

M29_LIGHT_15s_800iso_SKYLIGHT

M29. Right Ascension: 20 : 23.9 (hours : minutes) Declination: +38 : 32 (degrees : minutes) M29 Distance: 4.0 (* 1,000 light years) Apparent Magnitude: 6.6 Apparent Diameter: 7. (arc minutes)

Galaxy, type SBbc, in Canes Venatici Right Ascension (2000.0): 13:10:56.1 (h:m:s) Declination (2000.0): +37:03:31 (deg:m:s) m_b: 10.6 (mag) , m_v: 9.8 (mag) , SB: 12.7 (mag per square arcmin) Dimension: 5.80 x 2.9 (arcmin) , PA: 65 Cross Identifications: UGC 8256, MCG 6-29-52, ZWG 189.35, PGC 45749, IRAS13086+3719

NGC5005. Galaxy, type SBbc, in Canes Venatici
Right Ascension (2000.0): 13:10:56.1 (h:m:s)
Declination (2000.0): +37:03:31 (deg:m:s)
m_b: 10.6 (mag) , m_v: 9.8 (mag) , SB: 12.7 (mag per square arcmin)
Dimension: 5.80 x 2.9 (arcmin) , PA: 65
Cross Identifications: UGC 8256, MCG 6-29-52, ZWG 189.35, PGC 45749, IRAS13086+3719

Globular Cluster, type VI, in Canes Venatici Right Ascension (2000.0): 13:42:11.2 (h:m:s) Declination (2000.0): +28:22:34 (deg:m:s) m_v: 6.3 (mag) Dimension: 18.00 (arcmin) Cross Identifications: M 3, GCL 25

M3. Globular Cluster, type VI, in Canes Venatici
Right Ascension (2000.0): 13:42:11.2 (h:m:s)
Declination (2000.0): +28:22:34 (deg:m:s)
m_v: 6.3 (mag)
Dimension: 18.00 (arcmin)
Cross Identifications: M 3, GCL 25

Coma Berenicis objects


Study of Coma Berenicis. The night sky was mostly clear with thin clouds intermittent. High light pollution: not at my dark site tonight. This night I was using a skylight filter from Zhumell: it did cut down somewhat on stray light and gave a colorful tinge to images. Each image is 10 exposures at 15-25 seconds with an ISO of 800. In order, we have M64, binary system Cor Caroli, cluster M53, and a favorite edge-on spiral galaxy NGC4565.

m64b

M64. (NGC4826) Galaxy, type Sab, in Coma Berenicis Right Ascension (2000.0): 12:56:43.8 (h:m:s) Declination (2000.0): +21:40:59 (deg:m:s) m_b: 9.3 (mag) , m_v: 8.5 (mag) , SB: 12.7 (mag per square arcmin) Dimension: 10.00 x 5.4 (arcmin) , PA: 115 Cross Identifications: M 64, UGC 8062, MCG 4-31-1, PGC 44182, Black Eye galaxy, ZWG 130.1, KARA 559, IRAS12542+2157

 

COR COROLI_LIGHT_10s_800iso_b

Cor Caroli (α CVn, α Canum Venaticorum, Alpha Canum Venaticorum) is the brightest star in the northern constellation Canes Venatici. It is a binary star consisting of two distantly separated components. The name Cor Caroli means “Charles’ Heart”, and was named in the 17th century to honour the King Charles I of England who was beheaded in 1649. Cor Caroli is a binary star with a combined apparent magnitude of 2.81. The two stars are 19.6 arcseconds apart in the sky and are easily resolved in small telescopes. The system lies approximately 110 light years from Earth. The brighter of the two stars is designated α² Canum Venaticorum, the fainter α¹ Canum Venaticorum. Reference: Cor Caroli. 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cor_Caroli

 

M53b

M53. Globular Cluster, type V, in Coma Berenicis Right Ascension (2000.0): 13:12:55.3 (h:m:s) Declination (2000.0): +18:10:11 (deg:m:s) m_v: 7.7 (mag) Dimension: 13.00 (arcmin) Cross Identifications: M 53, GCL 22

 

ngc4565a

NGC4565. Galaxy, type Sb, in Coma Berenicis Right Ascension (2000.0): 12:36:20.5 (h:m:s) Declination (2000.0): +25:59:16 (deg:m:s) m_b: 10.3 (mag) , m_v: 9.5 (mag) , SB: 13.2 (mag per square arcmin) Dimension: 15.80 x 2.1 (arcmin) , PA: 136 Cross Identifications: UGC 7772, MCG 4-30-6, ZWG 129.10, PGC 42038, FGC 1471, KUG 1233+262

 

canes venatici