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Heavenly Wonders at GPAG

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NGC 7023

From July 12 to August 12 the Gibsons Public Art Gallery will be presenting a collection of photos, Heavenly Wonders- Astrophotography by Erwin Diener. We invite you to be moved and challenged by the profound beauty and vastness of cosmic space while reflecting on the human experience. The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday July 14, 2pm – 4pm. Members of the Sunshine Coast Centre will be present to interpret the photos and show the public views of the sky with telescopes.

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M45 Pleiades Cluster

Pleiades – M45, WO Megrez 120, Canon 60Da, 120 mins.

The M45 Pleiades Clusteris thought to contain around 500 stars spread across a sphere 14 light-years wide at a distance of 400 light-years. The cluster was called the “Seven Sisters” in mythology, and at least seven of the stars can be seen with the naked eye. At this time of year it well placed overhead for observing or imaging. I took advantage a very clear evening on Feb.11th to capture this image from Roberts Creek with a 120mm refractor and a modified DSLR. Combined exposure time was 120 mins.  Mike

Solar Prominences

Attached is another  image I took yesterday, it shows a nice wispy prominence extending two or three earth diameters above the “surface”. Like the image earlier today this was taken in monochrome with a H alpha scope and then coloured as a last step.

 

MikeSun_Gain=1782_ColPasteCrop3

Solar Filaments

Sun_Gain=257_ColShEven though the sun cycle approaches solar minimum, there is still plenty to look and wonder at.

I took the attached image yesterday, it shows a huge solar filament meandering across the solar disc. I estimate that this must be 700,000 km or so in length. Solar filaments are regions of dense, cool gas held in place by magnetic fields, this one has been visible for several days now.

 

Mike

Messier 5

This image of Messier 5 was imaged from Roberts Creek on June 28/29, 2016 with a Megrez 120mm, Canon 60Da, and a x1.6 Barlow lens. Guided exposures were taken at 10, 30, 60 and 120 seconds for a total exposure time of 30 mins. at 1600 ISO. Stacking was with Deep Sky Stacker, processing in Photoshop CS2 and PixInsight. The sky quality was good the moon had not risen, unfortunately I forgot to take an SQM reading.
Globular Cluster M5 is 24,500-light years away in the constellation Serpens. At about 13 billion, it is one of the most ancient globular clusters known, having formed only a few billion years after the Big Bang. M5 is one of the 160 globular clusters known to reside in a spherical halo around the Milky Way’s galactic center. M5 is one of the larger globular clusters, containing about 100,000 stars within a diameter of 165 light-years.
M5 is located in the constellation Serpens Caput, just north of Zubeneschamali. It is barely detectable to the unaided eye as a faint star but in binoculars, it appears as a faint, fuzzy star. The image here was taken through a 120mm Megrez refractor. Some amateur observers think that M5 is the finest globular cluster north of the celestial equator for small telescopes – even better than the celebrated M13, the Great Hercules cluster.

Mike BradleyMessier5_2

Planet Viewing Star Party

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Mike Bradley and Deborah McWilliams checking out the image of Mars on the laptop as Mike takes photos for processing

Last night (4 June) 24 people of all ages attended our club’s “Last Call for Jupiter” Star Party for members at the SCC Observatory. It was a beautiful night, with just a trace of high cloud. There were 10 telescopes set up including the observatory’s 14 inch Celestron Edge HD. Later in the session our VP, Mike Bradley, hooked up his camera to the observatory’s telescope to capture images of the planets.

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People of all ages watch Mike take photos of Saturn

Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn were all prominent in the sky, with Mars making a close approach to Earth and Saturn at opposition.

We look forward to seeing the results of the photography session.

Charles Ennis, President

Messier 82, the Cigar Galaxy (aka NGC 3034)

Messier82_CigarWebThis image of Messier 82 was imaged from Roberts Creek on May 29/30 2016 with a Megrez 120mm, Canon 60Da, and a x1.6 Barlow lens. Guided exposures were taken at 30, 120, 300 and 600 seconds for a total exposure time of 68 mins. at 1600 ISO. Stacking was with Deep Sky Stacker, processing in Photoshop CS2 and PixInsight. The sky quality (SQM) reading was an excellent 21.9, the best I’ve ever recorded from this location, all my neighbour’s lights were off and the moon had not risen!
Messier 82 is a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major in which stars are forming at very high rates. It is a member of the M81 Group, this group is circumpolar, we can see it from our latitude all year round. Finding M82 is not particularly difficult as the “Plough” asterism of Ursa Major can be used as the starting point. The M81 / M82 pair is located 10 degrees northwest of Dubhe, the northwest corner star of the bowl of the Plough.
M82 is about five times more luminous than the whole Milky Way and has a center one hundred times more luminous than our galaxy’s center. The starburst activity is thought to have been triggered by interaction with neighbouring galaxy M81. As the closest starburst galaxy to our own, M82 is the prototypical example of this galaxy type, the Seyfert galaxies. In 2014, in studying M82, scientists discovered the brightest pulsar yet known, designated M82 X-2, it lies at the centre of the galaxy.

Mike Bradley