Tag Archives: December

Messier 36 Open Cluster in the Constellation Auriga

Messier 36 (M36 or NGC 1960) lies at a distance of about 4,100 light years away from Earth and is about 14 light years across. There are at least sixty members in the cluster. The cluster is very similar to the Pleiades cluster (M45), and if it were the same distance from Earth it would be of similar magnitude.

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, Antares Focal Reducer, ISO 3200, 13 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS with darks and bias frames, guided using an Orion 60mm guide scope with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: December 14, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

…Tom

Walther Crater – December 26, 2017

Walther Crater, on Earth’s Moon, measures about 85 miles across and was named after the 15th century German astronomer Bernhard Walther. I found a reference that stated Walther had a printing press that produced some of the earliest astronomical works.

Walther Crater, on Earth’s Moon

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, ZWO ASI290MC camera, Antares Focal Reducer, best 3,500 frames out of 10,000 captured with Sharpcap v3.0 and processed in AutoStakkert! V3.0.14 (x64). Image Date: December 26, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

…Tom

Montes Apenninus – December 26, 2017

The cold, crisp evenings has made for some really good nights of lunar imaging. The temperature in the observatory hovered around 10F during both sessions. I took advantage of the last two nights to capture some wide field views using a combination of my Canon 6D and ASI290MC with an Antares Focal Reducer.  Here is a view of the Apenninus Mountains, best viewed just after the first quarter moon when they are draped in some shadows. The capture area was 1936 x 1096 and then slightly clipped.

Montes Apenninus – December 26, 2017

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, ZWO ASI290MC camera, Antares Focal Reducer, best 5,000 frames out of 10,000 captured with Sharpcap v3.0 and processed in AutoStakkert! V3.0.14 (x64). Image Date: December 26, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

…Tom

The Straight Wall on the Moon – December 26, 2017

Rupes Recta, a linear fault line, or rille, casts this interesting shadow during the first quarter phase of the moon giving the nickname the Straight Wall. This fault has a length of about 68 miles (110 kilometers). The small (11 miles wide) crater Birt lies just to the west.

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, ZWO ASI290MC camera, best 3,300 frames out of 10,000 captured with SharpCap v3.0. Image Date: December 26, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

…Tom

Kepler-90 Solar System – December 19, 2017

Kepler-90 Solar System – December 19, 2017

The inconspicuous dot in the top image shows the star known as Kepler-90 (2,545 light-years away) which now boasts eight planets (that are currently known) and ties with our solar system for the largest number of planets. In my image, the brightest star shown is magnitude 7.43, Kepler-90 is magnitude 14.05 and can be found in the constellation Draco. The image size is roughly 23 x 15 arcminutes.

The bottom photo is credited to NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel and is an artists representation of how Kepler-90 compares to our solar system.

Tech Specs: Meade 12” LX90, Celestron CGEM-DX mount, Canon 6D stock camera, Antares focal reducer, ISO 3200, 3 x 60 seconds using Backyard EOS, guided using an Orion 60mm scope with an attached ZWO ASI290MC camera. Image Date: December 19, 2017. Location: The Dark Side Observatory in Weatherly, PA.

…Tom

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