Tuesday, 20 November 2012


I managed to get out to a nice clear sky on Saturday night (17/11/12). Set everything up and although I had a few minor issues which were mainly my fault, I did manage to get some imaging done.

I decided to concentrate on Clusters of stars but did do a few other subjects.

below is a slection of images that are all ISO800 and range from single subs of 120 seconds upto 300 seconds.

The first image is of an open cluster designated as Messier 103 (M103) or NGC581 which can be found in the constellation of Cassiopeia. M103 is about 10,000 light years away and is estimated to be 25 million year old. In astronomical terms it is very young. you can see the cluster on the lower left hand side of the image.

click to enlarge

The next image is the same as the one above but with an area in the upper right corner expanded to show another small cluster of stars called Trumpler 1 (TR1). I find it interesting how the 4 lower stars seem perfectly aligned.

click to enlarge

Next we have one of this years Moore Marathon targets.......The Double Cluster or NGC884 & NGC869 also known as Caldwell 14 can be found in the constellation of Perseus. These clusters are also very young and each cluster contains over 300 blue-white super giant stars. The clusters are also Blueshifted, with NGC869 approaching Earth at a speed of 21 Km/s. At a distance of between 6800 - 7600 light years away I suspect it will be a good few years before we clash....if ever.

click to enlarge

Next up is M52 or NGC7654 which is also an open cluster in Cassiopeia. Apparently, due to interstellar absorption of  light the distance to M52 is uncertain but estimates put it at between 3000 and 7000 Light years away ( quite a considerable estimate).

click to enlarge


A Mono image of Messier 1 (M1), also known as the Crab Nebula, NGC1952 or Taurus A. This is a Supernova Remnant found in the constellation of Taurus. At the centre of the Nebula lies the Crab Pulsar which is a rotating neutron star. The supernova remnant is bounded by an expanding shock wave and consists of material that has been ejected from the Star that went Nova and interstellar material that got swept up along the way.
Being mono removes all the RGB colour but still shows a lot of the structure. 

click to enlarge

This next image is a NASA Hubble image of the Crab to show you the really close detail and colour in M1.

As you can clearly see, the difference between my setup and NASA's is immense but then I don't have the USA funding my hobby. Even so....you can clearly see structure in my image and to be fair, this is probably closer to what you would actually see in a 10 or 12 inch home telescope, remembering that our eyes will not show us much if any colour in the dark. 

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