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This is an image of M31, The Great Andromeda Galaxy. The image consists of ten 5 minute exposures unbinned in Red, Green, Blue and Clear Luminance, a total of 3.33 hours of exposure. The telescope used was a Takahashi FSQ 106, (Baby Q) and an SBIG STF 8300. Processing was accomplished in CCDStack 2 and Photoshop 5.1.

The Andromeda Galaxy is said to contain 300 billion stars spread across 130,000 light years of space. It is moving toward earth at 666,000 miles per hour. M31 is one of the largest known galaxies and is by far the largest of our local group of galaxies, twice the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. M31 is 2.3 million light years distant and is one of the most distant objects we can see with the naked eye. The angular size of Andromeda is nearly 6 moon diameters on a clear dark night.

This image is comprised of 13 unbinned clear luminance image 6 minutes in length combined with 6 each R, G, B images 6 minutes in length taken with an STXL/ FW8 with guider in front of the filter wheel.  The telescope was an 11” Celestron Edge at F10.  Processing was accomplished in CCDStack2 and Photoshop CS 5.1.  The image is cropped to approximately 30% of the original frame size for aesthetic reasons as well as to eliminate image artifacts thought to be due to USB cable length combined with sub-freezing temperatures. Images were calibrated with Bias, Darks and Flats.

This image was taken with a Celestron 11” Edge (SCT) from a moderately light polluted suburban area.  The object is relatively large at 10.5’ X 9.5’ and is a beautiful open face spiral galaxy with dust lanes outlining its spiral arms much like our own galaxy.   It is 30 million light years distant composed of 100 million stars, located in the constellation Pisces.     –Jerry Zitterkopf

NGC 4725 otherwise known as Hidden Treasure 69 was imaged using an 11" Celestron Edge SCT at F7.  The image FOV is 63’ X 43’ with a pixel resolution of .95”/Pixel using an SBIG STL11000M and RGB, CL, and Ha Filter Wheel.  The clear luminance layer is comprised of 32 unbinned integrations 300 seconds in length for a total of 2.66 hours.  The Color layer is comprised of 5 integrations binned 2X2, 300 seconds each Red, Green and Blue, 1.25 hours (4 hours total). Maxim DL was utilized for guiding and for image capture.

The Galaxy is classified as a Peculiar Mixed Spiral Galaxy located in Coma Bernices. The object dimension is ~11’ X 8’.  The Galaxy is something of a transition galaxy between a normal spiral and a barred spiral Galaxy.  The ring structure is inclined 43o from face-on and is visually stunning for its high surface brightness spiral pattern that forms a nearly complete ring around the nucleus.  Just outside the bright central ring can be seen two additional spiral arms spiraling outward together one on the outside and one on the inside overlapping one another.  O’meara, based on Hubble Space Telescope measurements, places the Galaxy at 42 million light years distant with a linear diameter of 120,000 light years and a total mass of 300 billion Suns.   If my research is correct, the nicely detailed small galaxy in the lower left is NGC4712.           –J.L. Zitterkopf

Kingman, AZ   June 2013

Posted in Astro Photos

12/26/2013 - Bob’s Blobs

Four 1800 sec Ha, OIII and SII taken with the CDK 20 inch and the 8300 camera SGO
Nov 18-23 2013

About 7000 light years away
Taken with the Takahashi CCA250 and the Aspen 16803 Camera 2 HA by Apogee,SII and OIII all ten Min -60c
Dec 23,2013

Just another Blob with things swiming in it.
Posted in Astro Photos

Five minute luminance exposure

Celestron 925 Edge HD on CGEM mount 50mm Mini-Borg guidescope with Orion StarShoot Autoguider QSI 683-ws8

Imaged and calibrated in Maxim DL, finished in Photoshop Movie (slide-show): One-minute exposures taken over forty minutes

Click here to see

Posted in Astro Photos
Took these pictures last night October 7.
The elephant trunk is one hour and 40 minutes of H alpha.
M33 is one hour of H alpha and one hour of luminance and a hour and a half of our RGB. Total exposure 3 1/2 hours.
Telescope plane wave 17 camera app it G Aspen Mount AP 1200 filters Astrodome.
Processing Maxim DL Pro
Posted in Astro Photos
These pictures were taken in the month of August. At the Woodland Hills Observatory using a PlaneWave 17 and a Apogee camera with a 16803 chip mono, the mount is AP1200 and processing was done with Maxin DL Pro. All the pictures were about 3 hours of total exposure of LRGB with some H-alpha.
Posted in Astro Photos

Horsehead Nebula:

First pix with the Takahashi CCA 250 and the new 16m camera.

Using a 4" StellaView and a SBIG guider.

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Pelican Nebula
The Pelican is my favorite of this bunch! Total of 3 1/3 Hours, 40min, lum. 40 min. red, 40min. green, 40min. blue, and 40 min. Ha. 10 min sub frames.
Swan Nebula
The Swan was a total of 2 3/4 hours LRGB with Ha. I have been experimenting with the new Apogee Camera, it processes a little different than the STL.I used 7 min. sub frames in LRGB and about one hour of Ha.

More ...

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My husband and I arrived at the gate and we greeted by a guard.  A little up the street you can see a beautiful church, a coffee shop and a little restaurant as well as a self serve gas station. A few miles up the road, at the house we were greeted by a beautiful little 2 year old Pomeranian, named  Orbit , Craig and Tom Bash.


A Celestron 14” classic on a state of the art CGEPRO mount  was sitting right on the drive way with an  Ethos 17 in the diagonal.  The Observatory was tucked away to the right of the house. The weather was an absolute heavenly 78 degrees.
Right behind the garage there is an entry way to heaven. The breath taking view of the valley was all in front of you. To your east you can see the entire Southern Sierras and to your west, the view of the Tehachapi farms is out of this world .  Right across you have an emerald view of the green mountains beyond a little sleepy town. Bear Valley has very strict light rules. The lights are out at 10:00 O’clock at night and there are no city lights.


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I spent last weekend at my Tehachapi mountain house and was able to get some images in Friday and Saturday night. Seeing was pretty good both nights, but it took me awhile to get everything working as it should.  I guess I've been away from this too long.

None of these are very long exposures, and the two galaxies were imaged on both nights as they crossed the meridian. The first target was M5:


None of these are very long exposures, and the two galaxies were imaged on both nights as they crossed the meridian.  The first target was M5: I recently installed an H-alpha filter in my filter wheel, and this is the first image I took with it - 45 minutes total exposure through H-alpha combined with 10 seconds of Luminance:



For both these galaxies I had to move the target off center to use a bright AO guide star.  Fortunately the Celestron HD 11 has a well corrected field. M104 crossed the meridian first: Later, and further south in the sky, came M83:


Posted in Astro Photos


During the May new moon I got a Saturday night of imaging at my house in the Tehachapi's.  It took awhile to get everything up and going, and my first target, Centaurus A, was already setting when I started to shoot it, so this is one hour of RGB data shot at only 10 degrees altitude and well past the meridian - this target will have to wait for next year:


It was windy most of the evening, so for the main target, the Trifid nebula, I ended up having to through away half of the H-alpha images; so this image has 30 minutes H-alpha, 1 hour Luminance, and 1 hour total for the RGB binned 2x2:



Photos taken by Tom Bash

Posted in Astro Photos