Archive for December, 2007

Rosette Nebula

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Nebula, Open cluster, Photo, photography, Space, Star on December 28, 2007 by Andrew

It seems that many of us that were lucky enough to receive some new astronomy toys are now dealing with….you guessed it…cloudy skies.I know I have!.I haven’t had a chance to try out the new H-alpha filter due to clouds,rain and snow since last weekend.I am patiently waiting for my chance to give the new filter it’s real first light.We did have one night that was clear enough to allow the moon to shine through but,the transparency and seeing were really bad,which caused me to not bother with a scope set up.I am a bit sceptical about the filters performance however and only say this because,I cheated and brought the bino’s out and put the filter up to the eye piece.The view was very dark red and the only real bright object I could see was the menacing street light 20 yards away.This is obviously not a fair judgment for the filter and will need to put the filter on the scope for a better evaluation.If all works out,I will be posting what I hope to be some awesome images from both my DSLR and DSI.

Below is another image that I shot last year at about this same time of year.Again,I am really bad at documenting my settings on the DSLR so,I don’t have any exposure times.I do know that the seeing and transparency were really good and the temps were unusually warm.The ISO was set at 200 to reduce unwanted noise and no filter was used.The image was processed with PS Elements and astronomy tools for PS Elements.

The Rosette nebula is a huge diffuse nebula located 5,500 LY’rs distant in the constellation Monoceros.Because the neb is so faint,a +magnitude value hasn’t been established according to SEDS.Which doesn’t mean their is no mag value.It just means that SEDS haven’t updated their imformation on this object since 1998 and I am too darn lazy to check other sites  😉 !.

Image credit:Andrew

Imfo credit: SEDS

The Rose!


NGC 2264 (Christmas tree cluster)

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Nebula, Open cluster, Photo, photography, Space, Star on December 24, 2007 by Andrew

Merry Christmas!!!!

I am hoping everyone are having a happy and safe holiday season.Do to work scheduling ,I was able to celebrate this special holiday a few days early.I traveled 2 hours to my brothers house in central Vermont and enjoyed a spectacular meal.After our meal,we tore into our goodies under the tree,at which point I was temporarily employed to be the acting Santa.While handing out presents,we all exchanged funny stories from the past and the current.I must say,I guess Santa decided that I was extra good this year and he brought me some REALLY nice things/toys  😉 .One of the toys I am eager to use is a Orion Hydrogen Alpha filter for imaging….*WOOT* !. I will be writing a post about that later!.Another present I received is  Starry night software to help me plan my observing sessions!.I have already loaded it onto my Pc but,am unable to register it due to the fact that somebody with too much time on his/her hands, have hacked into the Starry night web site and completely disabled it….hope they get it fixed!!.

The Christmas tree cluster or NGC 2264 is a open cluster located in the constellation Monoceros.It is fairly easy cluster to see and also has some nebulosity that reminds me of a galactic Christmas present.This cluster is actually quite close at 2,600 light years distance with a visual mag of +3.9.

Since I took this image last year,I am not sure of my camera settings.My bad I know!.I should document every image setting for reasons such as this  😦  .

So Merry Christmas to all and to all a clear night!.

Image credit : Andrew Claus

Sunspot 978 one week later…..

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Sun on December 14, 2007 by Andrew

I want to start this post by asking; Does anyone know the phone number to Mother natures complaint department?.We have had clouds,cold temps and snow/flurries for almost 3 weeks with only a couple sunny breaks in between.Perhaps this is a good thing?.Maybe we will all get a break and have a clear and dry second half to winter?!.

Sunspot #978 has made amazing progress as it makes it’s way across the sun’s face.Even with thick clouds I have been keeping a close eye it’s ever changing structure through the SOHO website.We were hit with another mild snowstorm last night and it was questionable whether or not the skies would clear enough to get some more images of this wonderful sunspot.As my good fortune (for a change) would have it,the clouds parted for a little more than a hour this morning and I just couldn’t pass on the chance to get some quality eye piece time in.After shoveling and salting my sidewalk observing site I raced up the stairs ,grabbed my scope,performed a quick setup and alignment, and was observing the sunspot within 20 minutes.Typically,I like to let the scope cool down to the outside temps before attempting any observing or imaging but,due to the constantly changing sky conditions I didn’t want to wait,which was a smart move because,45 minutes after setup the clouds rolled back in and we received a  snow squall that lasted for almost a hour.The images below are the result of my quick observing session.

Image credit: Me!

 Sunspot 978 one week later

A cropped version of 978

Sunspot 978 imaged with a 26mm eyepiece

Sunspot 978???

Posted in astrophotography, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Sun on December 6, 2007 by Andrew

It appears that some sunspots have become visible on Sols eastern limb. SOHOa.k.a Solar and Heliospheric observatory has yet to designate a number,so I am going to take the opportunity to give it a number,which should be sunspot number 978.I have been watching the activity as it began to make it’s way around the limb.One of the signs that something was happening was by watching the glowing bulge from the EIT image on Soho’s home page.The bulge has steadily been growing for the past few days and I knew their was a increase in activity.Since the sun is unofficially in solar minimum right now,I have found that any sunspot activity lately as exciting.

In other news,I am finding quite tough adjusting to my new job.Don’t get me wrong,the work isn’t bad and the fast pace is something I like (time seems to go by really fast).The only tough part of the new job is that I have to wake up at 1:30am!!!.This really puts a wet blanket on any observing that I want to do because, I have to go to sleep by 7-7:30pm and THAT is when all the really interesting DSO’s come into full view 😦 .I just hope that we have some clear skies on the weekends!.

I took these images of the sun at noontime today.The skies were absolutely clear.Unfortunately,it was quite breezy and the temps were in the upper teens F.Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!.

The first image was taken at prime focus and the second was taken with a 25mm lens and 2x barlow.Both images are a bit out of focus due to the breeze causing the OTA to vibrate and for the fact that I was standing on the tips of my feet just to look through the DSLR viewfinder.


Sunspot 978

25mm and 2x barlow

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