The 4 day Thanksgiving holiday has given me an opportunity to catch up on some unprocessed data. This was a 2 hour exposure of our neighbor Andromeda! M31 in the Messier catalog list. 2,000,000 light years distant, it is expected to merge with us in 3-4 billion years. I was happy with the result for only 2 hours of imaging time. The equipment used for this was the William optics GT102 refractor with flattener and Canon EOS 600D. I am able to use the SBIG camera’s guider during the 5 minute subexposures.
You can click on the thumbnail under “My astro images” for larger scale examples.
M31- Andromeda. Of note there are the galaxies M32 above and M110 at the bottom of the image
We visited the Mayhill site where much has happened since we last checked! Trees have been cleared and the slab for the double wide house has been poured. We also graded the hill for observatory access from the house to the observatory. A schematic layout is pictured here looking up from the house level toward the observatory to the north.
View from house level to the north. This is the same view as shown in the schematic above. You can see the access road in the foreground
Slab for the double wide dwelling. This is about half way to the top of the property
This is the view currently from the observatory location toward the south. Compare to before trees were cleared below!
Same view to the south before trees were cleared
Northern view from the observatory location at top of property. The property is bordered by the Sacramento forest
House installation Jan 2016
Observatory construction Spring 2016
First light -end of 2017!
I took a break from the “intensity” of deep space imaging to have a relaxing Moon gaze! It’s been a while since I did any solar system observing but thought I would try my newly acquired Takahashi FS102 refractor and Skyris 132M mono camera on the Moon. Seeing was pretty good. The Moon tonight was a waxing gibbous but provided great views of the northwest limb. I don’t spend a lot of time on the Moon but after tonight I might! The views visually were spectacular. The Tak optics are second to none. Copernicus is a pretty popular target with its dramatic multifaceted terraced wall and 3 distinct peaks each over 1 km in height. The diameter is 93 km and the depth is almost 4. The first image is at prime focus which provided the best resolution. The higher mag image is taken with a 2x barlow. You can see we lose some resolution at 2x but it’s still pretty good.
Copernicus at center. Eratosthenes is the crater to the upper right. View at prime focus
Copernicus with 2x barlow. West is to the right I believe. North is therefore toward the bottom