May 112012

This is a photograph of Messier 82, the “Cigar Galaxy”, the irregular galaxy in Ursa Major or “The Big Bear”, also the “Big Dipper” taken with the Swanson 21 inch by Jeff Delmas who did the video and Doug Horacek did the post processing. The video was obtained with the Stellacam II with 8 seconds per frame. Taken on the evening of 28 April 2012 at 22:00 CDT or 3:00 U.T. on 29 April 2012.

Apr 302012

Here is Copeland’s Septet from 11 March 2011, faint galaxies, the field of view showed 9 of 11 faint galaxies, some as dim as 13 or 14 magnitude. This group of galaxies is 480 million light years away. It is located near star 92 in the constellation Leo above the tail of the lion, Zosma and Chertan, and Denebola.

Apr 212012

These three galaxies were used to determine the field of view of our camera, the dimensions of the field of view are 6 arcminutes in the vertical direction and 10 arc minutes in the horizontal direction. These three galaxies were captured by Mimmo Demartino and Doug Horacek on the evening of 12 April 2012 about 22:00 CDT or 3:00 UT on 13 April 2012. These three galaxies are in the constellation Leo near the heart of the Lion, Regulus.

Feb 252012

The Leo Triplet

The Leo Triplet is generally easy to find with a small short focal length telescope, often one can capture all three galaxies in the same field of view. The Leo Triplet consists of NGC 3628, Messier 65, and Messier 66, all roughly 35 million Light Years away. The Leo Triplet is located on the back leg of Leo the Lion, about half way between Chertan and iota Leonis, M65 is right on the line connecting the two stars. NGC 3628 is the dimmest object at Magnitude 9.4, but has reasonable surface brightness, M66 is 9.7 and M65 is 10.3. Most small scopes can get M65 and M67 in the same field of view, all three are in the same field of view with a short focal length small scope. Now that spring is approaching, it is a good time to go out and find the Leo Triplet in the east, in the same part of the sky as is Mars!