Archive for the Globular cluster Category

Messier 101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Galaxy, Globular cluster, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Technorati, Uncategorized, weather on April 17, 2015 by Andrew

I took this image about a week ago. The sky never ceases to amaze me. I have captured more galaxies in the last two weeks ,than I ever have since I bought my scope. At the rate my Winter was traveling,I didn’t think I would ever get a chance to observe again. However, the voices in my head kept saying “patience big fellow”. The time arrived ,and I am having a blast!. Cranking some music in the observatory and loving the fact that I no longer need to keep the wireless remote pointed at the DSLR while taking a image. Now, while I take a long exposure,I can just walk away,and ponder the thought of buying new rings and a dovetail for my other mount. Best of both worlds!. Let the main imaging scope do it’s thing,while I do some visual scanning of the heavens on my other scope.
Holy crap?. Am I making any sense or just randomly babbling incoherently?. Lack of coffee or too much coffee?. You be the judge…LMAO
This is a 6 minute exposure unguided of Messier 101. Shot with a unmodded Canon T3i. The seeing was pretty good for the most part.
The Pinwheel galaxy was discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 27, 1781.The visual mag of this galaxy is +7.9 mag. under dark skies. It might be tougher to see in light polluted areas. The distance is 27 million light years away,as in,it took the light we see today 27 million years to reach our retinas. Actually, I like to Google search what the Earth was like 27 million years ago or whatever distance light left a particular object.
Image credit:Andrew Dumont

Messier 15

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Globular cluster, Photo, photography, Planetary nebula, Space, Star on August 6, 2008 by Andrew

One of the first globular clusters that I  ever saw through my big scope was Messier 15,which is located in the constellation Pegasus.I Had seen similar objects like this through my other scope but,the resolution through the smaller scope is quite bad so, at the time I didn’t know what I was actually looking at!.All I could see was a tiny, faint fuzzy blob of light.How do I know it was M15 that I was looking at?.I don’t 😛 !.I just remember that it was in about the same area of sky during mid summer.I guess my little scope is better suited for objects in our solar system rather than deep space!.

At about 33,600 light years distant,Globular cluster M15 can be found in the constellation Pegasus and has a visual mag of +6.2 under dark skies.M15 was dicovered in 1746 by Jean-Dominique Maraldi while comet hunting,had described it as a “nebulous star made up of many stars” and was cataloged in1764 by Charles Messier who had described it as “nebula without stars”.It wasn’t until amost 20 years later in 1783 that William Herschel was able to resolve the many stars in this cluster.M15 is only one of four known globular clusters in the Milkyway to have a planetary nebula.

 Information credit: SEDS

Image credit: Me

M92 (Globular cluster)

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Globular cluster, Photo, photography, Space, Star on November 6, 2007 by Andrew

Like I wrote in the previous post.One of the objects that I imaged the other night was M93.Well,my bad…..that wasn’t correct!.For some unexplained reason my mind was hell bent on calling it M93,which is a open cluster that doesn’t rise until late morning……..*me tapping myself on the head* 🙂 .Ok,enough of me beating myself up!.

The real object was M92 which is high in the sky at 9Pm and yes…pretty much on the other side of the sky!.When I first looked at it,one of the thoughts that came to mind was how closely it resembled Globular M13.So close in fact that I almost hit delete because I have already taken 1,001 images of M13 this year!.Luckily I didn’t though!.I compared the two cluster and decided that it just didn’t quite match up with any of my M13 images.Whew,I didn’t waste my time after all!.

Located in the constellation Hercules,M92 is a bright Globular cluster that closely resembles M13.Shining at a visual mag of +6.4 and about 26,000 light years distant,it is only slightly dimmer and farther than M13.I suspect that if you compared them at the same distance,they would almost be identical in brightness?!.

Below is a stack of 100 images at 11.4 seconds per image.Processed with Registax4 and PS Elements.

Information Credit: SEDS

Image credit:Andrew


Messier 15

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Globular cluster, Photo on October 10, 2007 by Andrew

It has been quite apparent that fall has finally arrived.A few days ago the temps were warm and sunny with highs in the upper 70’s.But unfortunately,all good things must come to a end.The weather has taken a turn for the worst so,any thoughts of observing/imaging are just that….thoughts!.Oh well,perhaps the skies will be clear for the weekend?!.

Below is a shot of Globular cluster M15 that I imaged with the new laptop and Meade DSI.Like the Dumbbell neb,it isn’t of real high quality but,considering the quality of previous images taken with my Pentax ist DS,I am rather pleased with how little post processing I had to do,aside from a bit of sharpening,noise reduction and a boost in contrast.The image is a stack of 20 images at 15 second exposures.

Globular cluster Messier 15 (M15, NGC 7078) is among the more conspicuous of these great stellar swarms. At a distance of about 33,600 light years, its diameter of 18.0 arc min corresponds to a linear extension of about 175 light-years, and its total visual brightness of 6.2 magnitudes corresponds to an absolute magnitude of -9.17, or roughly 360,000 times that of our sun. Its brightest stars are about of apparent magnitude 12.6 or absolute magnitude -2.8 or a luminosity of 1,000 times that of our Sun, and its horizontal branch giants are about of magnitude 15.6. Its overall spectral type has been determined as F3 or F4. The globular cluster is approaching us at 107 km/sec.

Information courtesy of :SEDS

Image courtesy: ME!

Messier 15

The DSI’s first light and review

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Globular cluster on August 19, 2007 by Andrew

The wait is over for the new camera’s first light and I must say that I am impressed.After a few tense days of wondering if the camera was going to function correctly.I set the scope up and gave it a trial run.The camera ran pretty well although,their seems to be some software glitches that I am unsure how to fix.The first problem is;the imaging program keeps locking up which is simply irritating.The second is that I keep getting something like a stack over flow error.Ummm…ok.So I click ok and it runs smooth for a while and third is,it seems to take entirely too long for the live images to refresh.I wonder if having 60ft of cable running from my scope to my desktop might have something to do with it?.Oh well,at least I was able to get a idea of how well it can perform.One of the nice things about the new toy is that I can image and stack 30+ second exposures without the worry of star trails due to slight errors in the drive.Another question that was bugging me was whether or not I was going to have to keep running up and down the stairs every few minutes trying to keep the object centered in the eyepiece hence the monitor.The answer is yes but,only after 30-40 minutes had gone by!!!.If I can get past the software errors,I should/hope to be able to take some wonderful detailed images never before captured with my scope.

Below is a shot of M13 that I took with the new camera.It is a stack of 10/20 seconds exposures .I used PS Elements for processing inwhich I resized and sharpened,with a slight tweak in contrast. Given the poor sky conditions I am quite happy with the result!.

Oh and on a side note.I saw the old lady in the Hovaround chair again.I didn’t speak with her as she was in the parking lot next to my house, driving around in circles and yelling “WHEEEE”!. HAHAHAHAHA!!!I think the doctors upped her meds?!. 

DSI first light


Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Globular cluster, Photo on August 10, 2007 by Andrew

Did I miss something???…..I thought the rule was,you get one nice weekend of clear skies per month and the rest of the time the skies were suppose to be crappy?!.Well whoever changed the rules,I LIKE IT!!!.Thats right,for the second weekend in a row,we have been  forecasted to have clear skies and low humidity,which means with a new moon, observing should be at it’s best for this time of year and yes…..the batteries are fully charged for my camera this time!!.I will however,buy a fresh set just in case,even though they are rather expensive.Also,I have placed a order for a Meade DSI (deep sky imager).Meade authorized dealers are having a blowout sale and are selling them for $99.US dollars.I couldn’t let the good deal pass me by!.Heh,I’ve said it once and will say it again “astronomy is a money pit”but,in a good way!.

On a side note*We will be treated with the Perseids meteor shower which peaks on Sunday night after 9pm.Last year, I was treated to a brilliant fireball that streaked across the sky from east to west.The one neat thing about that particular fireball was the fact that my brother,who lives about 150 miles due west of me saw the same fireball!.Pretty small world we live on eh?.

The image below is one of the shots I took with my Pentax ist DS DSLR before the quick charged batteries died.I say quick charge because,they were only in the charger for an hour.The image was taken in A-focal projection,which is a change of pace for me because,I like the wide FOV of prime focus.It is a 45 second exposure and the ISO 1600.Typically,I don’t normally have my ISO set so high due to the extra noise but,since I was shooting with a 26mm eyepiece I felt that I could reduce my exposure time and possibly counteract the PE in my drive which would result in unwanted star trails.

Located in the constellation Pegasus,M15 is among some of the brightest globs in the Milkyway at +6.2 mag and is approaching us at 107 km/sec.

M15 is about at the limit of visibility for the naked eye under very good conditions. The slightest optical aid, opera glass or small binoculars, reveals it as a round nebulous object. It appears as a round mottled nebula in 4-inch telescopes, with at best the very brightest stars visible, but otherwise unresolved in a fine star field. In larger telescopes more and more stars become visible the outer parts are resolved, with a more irregular, non-circular outline. The compact core, however, stays unresolved even in large amateur telescopes, but the brightest stars can be glimpsed even there. Chains and streams of stars seem to radiate out of this core in all directions, but less concentrated toward the West.

M15 can be found extremely easily: Find the 2nd mag star Epsilon Pegasi, and Theta Pegasi SE of it. Follow the line from Theta over Epsilon and find M15 3 1/2 deg W and 2 1/4 deg N of Epsilon. A 6th mag star is about 20′ away to the East, another one of mag 7.5 about 5′ to the NNE.

Information courtesy of :

Image credit:Andrew


M3 Globular cluster

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Globular cluster, Photo on July 25, 2007 by Andrew

Last Friday night while out with the scope trying to get a glimpse of Comet C/2006 VZ13,came across M03.This was quite unexpected even though I knew that I was in the right vicinity to view and image it.Since the comet isn’t in the library of my Meade autostar,I ended up slewing manually using the coordinates provided by   Heavensabove and even downloaded a star map to help with the visual.I have had really good luck with Heavens Above in the past but,at no fault of theirs I was still unable to locate it.I lay the complete blame on the murky skies.One moment the sky would be quite clear and the next moment seemed as if I were trying to observe through a dirty fish tank.The current local forcast is calling for Hazy but clear skies in the next 2 days and rain for the weekend.This type of weather pattern is very frustrating for me because,I have to be up before sunrise to ready myself for work which makes it tough to grab any residual ambition to observe and 4am comes early!.

The image below was shot using a Pentax ist DS dslr.It was actually a much shorter exposure of 40 seconds rather than the normal 60seconds+ due to the fact that high clouds were almost obscuring the glob and I didn’t think I would get a worth while shot.Post processing with PS elements was used to enhance the image.I normally like to crop and resize my images just to get as much detail as I can.Lately,I have been trying to stay away from that practice.I want people to see what I see as if they were looking through the lens on my scope.

Located in the constellation Canes venatici at a distance of about 33,900 light years, M3 is further away than the center of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, but still shines at magnitude 6.2, as its absolute magnitude is about -8.93, corresponding to a luminosity of about 300,000 times that of our sun. M3 is thus visible to the naked eye under very good conditions – and a superb object with the slightest optical aid.

Information courtesy of SEDS

Images credit:Andrew

%d bloggers like this: