Messier 27 - The Dumbbell Nebula

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Always a favorite target, the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) is climbing high into the northeastern sky after dark. The Dumbbell Nebula is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1,360 light-years. This object was the first planetary nebula to be discovered; by Charles Messier in 1764. The nebula is 1,360 light years from Earth.

Image was acquired with an 8" Meade LX200 with a Canon 60D at prime focus (ISO 1600, 13x60sec subs). Stacked with Maxim DSLR.

Comet C/2015 01 PANSTARRS - Magnitude 14.87

Submitted by jimwcoleman

It never ceases to amaze me that I can walk out into my backyard and within five minutes, start taking a picture of a faint something that is more than half a BILLION kilometers away from me and is moving at 37.3 kilometers per second. This faint, fuzzy thing is comet C/2015 01 PANSTARRS. At its current magnitude, 14.87, it is about as faint at Pluto, but even more difficult to image. The comet is currently in the constellation Hercules, high overhead at sunset this time of year.

Getting ready for the August eclipse!

Submitted by jimwcoleman

It's time to start honing your skills and preparing your equipment for the August, 2017 total solar eclipse. Even though it won't be TOTAL where I live (Seattle area), a significant portion of the sun will be eclipsed by the moon. Here is a trial run I did today. Not a lot of sunspot activity, but I did see one. :) 

I am using the Thousand Oaks solar filter that arrived in the mail last week. Not a problem with it - highly recommended... And they are in Kingman, Arizona! Another plus for them, with me being an Arizona native. :)

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here is a quick shot of M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy. This is easy - you can do it, too...

This photo was taken using the smallest scope in my collection, the AT72ED AstroTech refractor. I love this little scope. Yes, it's little. But it's just perfect for this type of photographic adventure.

This is a stack of 19 x 1 min subs, ISO 1600, Canon 60D, AstroTech AT72ED. Stacked with MaximDL.

I'm sure I could do a lot better if I did this in the morning after sleep ... but you know how it goes ... :)

A few quick pics

Submitted by swingin

These pics are from my backyard in Gig Harbor WA. Not all that great but I'm working on that, for the rest of my life! :) First one is the Black Eye Galaxy, 2nd is the Cigar Galaxy, 3rd is the Ring Nebula in Lyra. These were all taken with my Nikon D5200 and Backyard Nikon at prime focus. I need to learn how to stack these pictures, these are all a single shot with different time lengths, ISO settings and so on.

C2015 V2 (Johnson) - Wide field view of comet

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here is a widefield view (positive and negative images) of comet C/2015 V2 (Johnson) in Bootes. Tonight, the comet was at magnitude 6.9, fainter than last night. This is a stack of 40x20sec subs. The images were acquired at prime focus using a modded Canon T3i at ISO 1600 with an AstroTech AT72ED refractor on a Celestron AVX mount.

C/2015 V2 Johnson - A spectacular comet

Submitted by jimwcoleman

While most people in my home town of Port Orchard, Washington slept, a couple of amazing comets crossed the sky overhead. One of them, comet C/2015 V2 Johnson, is pictured here in all its glory.

This was photographed with an 8" Meade LX200R with a Canon 60D at prime focus. No filters or reducers were used. 90x65 second subs, stacked with manual 1-star alignment using Maxim DL software.