From August 10th I captured 30 good frames at 240 seconds each to get this image of M92. With an apparent magnitude of 6.3 it is one of the brightest globular clusters visible from the Northern Hemisphere at a distance of 26,700 light years away.

“Messier 92 is a globular cluster of stars in the northern constellation of Hercules. It was discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1777”

“Characteristic of other globulars, Messier 92 has a very low abundance of elements other than hydrogen and helium; what astronomers term its metallicity. Relative to the Sun, the abundance of iron in the cluster is given by [Fe/H] = –2.32 dex, which equates to only 0.5% of the solar abundance. This puts the estimated age range for the cluster at 11 ± 1.5 billion years.”

M92 Full Scale

Next is a crop of the lower right edge where several galaxies but in.

M92 Crop

 

Last year around this time I first captured this area centered between the Deer Lick Group on the left and the Stephan’s Quintet on the right. I came back to this location on a warm evening waiting for the first quarter moon to set and was able to stack 2 hours and 42 minutes of 360 second subs. The dominate galaxy is 40 to 50 million light years distant while the lesser  ones are perhaps ten times as far away.

Cropped image:

Full image captured:

This was an attempt to get some detail from a region between the prominent East Veil and West Veil filaments. I did not get a lot of results despite compiling over two hours of 300 second frames. The star field was unexpectedly dense and bright making the post processing push heavy handed to get these results. Near new moon and very warm still night were in my favor though.

Veil Nebula

I did this run last month and was not happy with the stacked image. I could not see obvious nebulosity so I knew it would need to be pushed a lot. Kinda made me want a new camera as in one that could pick up the Ha and less noise. This is designated as NGC6823 and it CAN have some cool detail but this image is not much to talk about. Here for history is 21 frames at 300 seconds for 1 hour 45 minutes of dense stars and faint nebula.

NGC6823

Last night was a great night under the stars. Warm summer air is not the best temperature for my stock DSLR imaging, but the air was clear, dry and stable with no moonlight. The North America Nebula was well positioned for a good run and the dark sky would help with my unfiltered equipment. I ran 240 second exposures with good tracking for a total integrated time of 2 hours and 16 minutes using only dithering for noise management. I was also keeping an eye on comet Neowise which was not as bright as I had hoped for but nice views with binoculars and our Orion 130ST telescope.

North America Nebula

A nice small group of galaxies each showing a very different type from April 20th.

I found these on Stellarium and know them just by the catalog numbers but I really like this group. A small scale target for my setup but a fine subject for a return visit when I have better gear perhaps.

       I had several dark nights with the telescope last month but only just got around to updating my astrophotography blog site. After submitting the image to the online service http://nova.astrometry.net/ I identified them as NGC5981, NGC5982 and NGC5985 top to bottom also known as the Draco Trio as they are located in the belly of the dragon constellation. The close grouping of an edge on, an elliptical and a spiral galaxy makes a nice portrait.

 

From April 17th.
The Splinter Galaxy. Conditions were about as good as it gets and this faint object (Magnitude: 11.1) is shown as the result of nearly three hours of exposures each six minutes long. Note the two adorable little galaxies in the lower right corner. Little of course is somewhat relative. For all I know they might be bigger than our galaxy!
I watched dozens of Starlink satellites (at least I THINK they were satellites) march in formation across the sky and by some chance they missed running over my target. Not too happy to think these will be the new normal in the early night sky.
From the internets: “NGC 5907 is a spiral galaxy located approximately 50 million light years from Earth. It has an anomalously low metallicity and few detectable giant stars, being apparently composed almost entirely of dwarf stars. It is a member of the NGC 5866 Group.”

From April 16th. The Covid-19 sort of took over life there for a while so just now getting caught up on some recent images.
The “Blowdryer Galaxy” also known as M100 was captured two nights ago as the main attraction but a dozen other galaxies can be found without much trouble in the larger frame which is essentially the full usable frame of my current setup.
Borrowed from Jim Gardepe is the following description:
“The galaxy Messier 100, a.k.a. the “Blowdryer Galaxy” (who thinks up these names?) is one of the largest and brightest members of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. It is located in the constellation Coma Berenices. Messier 100 is an example of a “grand design” intermediate spiral galaxy. It is approximately 55 million light-years] distant from Earth and has a diameter of 107,000 light years.
Messier 100 is considered a starburst galaxy, with the strongest star formation activity concentrated in its center – where intense star formation has been underway for about 500 million years.”

Taken a week ago on the 21st on a rather nice dark night is this grouping of galaxies appearing in the constellation Virgo. They form a smooth curve in the sky and seven of them seem to be moving together towards our galaxy. 

We had some light wind as evidenced while stacking the subs which varied in quality over a wide range . The slightest vibration will upset the tracking a bit and result in loss of clarity on a given single image. I tossed one that had a big satellite trail and around six of the lowest ranking ones. I hate loosing subs but some sacrifice is needed to generate the best results! 

Markarian's Chain

After a significant pause I was finally able to get out to the telescope the night before and capture this image of M106. After rebuilding the astroshed computer and reloading software this was the first actual run so there were a few bugs to work out. The same goes for my desk computer were I processed this image after reinstalling software and getting things set up again. It never fails to amaze me that while looking at one galaxy, there are several other galaxies photo-bombing! The night sky is a constant reminder of our place in the universe and how precious our existence is here on this pale blue dot.

“Despite carrying his name, Messier 106 was neither discovered nor catalogued by the renowned 18th century astronomer Charles Messier. Discovered by his assistant, Pierre Méchain, the galaxy was never added to the catalogue in his lifetime. Along with six other objects discovered but not logged by the pair, Messier 106 was posthumously added to the Messier catalogue in the 20th century.”

M106
Looks like several other galaxies photo bombed the main attraction!