Tag Archives: star

Jupiter and Spica – April 26, 2017

Beautiful Jupiter and Spica rising over my backyard trees which are still struggling to push out spring leaves. Captured last evening while I was imaging Jupiter with my Meade telescope.

Tech Specs: Canon 6D, Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens, ISO 3200, 8 seconds, f/2.8, 70mm, tripod mounted. Date: April 26, 2017. Location: Weatherly, Pennsylvania.

…Tom

A Visitor in the Morning Skies – Sirius

I snapped this image on the morning of August 31, 2016 showing a new visitor in the Southeastern morning skies in Pennsylvania, the star Sirius. The winter constellations are all edging closer to our evening skies – in about three months you will start seeing these stars in the evening skies (in Northern latitudes).

You can learn more about this star at http://www.leisurelyscientist.com/?p=204

Sirius over the trees.

Sirius over the trees.

Tech Specs: Canon 6D, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, ISO 2500, 10 second exposure, f/4, 17mm, star filter added the diffraction spikes.

Other sources of information:

EarthSky.org (http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/sirius-the-brightest-star)

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius)

Space.com (http://www.space.com/21702-sirius-brightest-star.html)

Clear skies!

…Tom

The Pleiades Star Cluster (M45) in Taurus

I have always associated the rising of the Pleiades Star Cluster (or Messier 45) with the coming winter weather, at least here in Pennsylvania. It always meant early darkness, a great time for astrophotography and time to check my reserves of coal.

I thought I would include a single 60-second frame to show what one of the building blocks of the final image looks like. The only processing I have done is to reduce the size of the file.

Messier 45 - single 60-second frame right from the Canon 6D (only reduced size by 50% to lower the size of the JPG file).

Messier 45 – single 60-second frame right from the Canon 6D (only reduced size by 50% to lower the size of the JPG file). This is just one of the building block to reach the final image.

My updated image of the Pleiades is a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes of collected data from 2014 and 2015.

The Pleiades Star Cluster (Messier 45, M45) in the constellation Taurus. 1 Hour 45 Minutes exposure time from images taken on 11/10/2014 and 11/16/2015.

The Pleiades Star Cluster (Messier 45, M45) in the constellation Taurus. 1 Hour 45 Minutes exposure time from images taken on 11/10/2014 and 11/16/2015.

Imaging equipment: Canon 6D and Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM mounted on an iOptron ZEQ25 mount.

The sub-frames used in this image include the following:

From November 16, 2015 I used 56 x 60-seconds, 30 x 10-seconds and 26 x 30 seconds. All images were taken at ISO 3200 and f/6.3. From an imaging session on November 10, 2014 I used 14 x 60-seconds at f/6.3 and 19 x 60 seconds at f/8. Five dark frames were used with each exposure listed.

Typically I shoot at f/5.6 using the 400mm lens and get no diffraction spikes, shooting at f/6.3 and f/8 produced the star diffraction spikes in this image (much to the wrath of some astrophotographers).

Online resources about the Pleiades Star Cluster:

Clear skies!

…Tom

Star Shots – Altair (α Aquilae, α Aql) in Aquila

Welcome to another edition of Star Shots.

Altair (α Aquilae, α Aql) is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila and the 12th brightest star in the night sky. Altair is an A-type main sequence star with an apparent visual magnitude of 0.77 and is one of the vertices of the Summer Triangle (the other two vertices are marked by Deneb and Vega). It is 16.7 light-years (5.13 parsecs) from Earth and is one of the closest stars visible to the naked eye.

Altair is about 1.5 times the size of our sun.

By IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) ([1]) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

In Northern Hemispheres, Altair will be high in the Southwest skies after sunset in November.

  • Apparent magnitude: 0.77
  • Constellation: Aquila
  • Distance from Earth: 16.7 light years
  • Right ascension: 19h 50m 46.99855s
  • Declination: +08° 52′ 05.9563″

This image of Altair is composed of six 30-second exposures. I used a Canon 6D and 400mm lens attached to an iOptron ZEQ mount. Diffraction spikes added using fishing line on the front of the lens. Stacked in DeepSkyStacker, stretched in ImagesPlus and final image edit done in Corel Paintshop Pro. Links to the software and hardware used can be found here.

Altair (α Aquilae, α Aql)

Altair (α Aquilae, α Aql)

Additional resources:

Until next time, clear skies.

…Tom

Star Shots – Antares

Antares – a red supergiant star in the constellation Scorpius. This is a 5-minute stacked image of Antares and the surrounding region including the globular cluster Messier 4 (M4). Antares is now slowly heading toward the southwestern horizon after sunset, catch it soon before it is gone until next year. DETAILS: Canon 6D, 400mm lens, iOptron ZEQ25 mount.

Antares - a red giant star in the constellation Scorpius.

Antares – a red giant star in the constellation Scorpius.

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