5/11/2019 Two Galaxies

It took me a week to successfully process these but here are two galaxies – M81 (Bode’s Galaxy) and M82 (the Cigar Galaxy) – I shot Friday the 5th up at the River Ridge Observatory. 11″ SCT at f/6.3 on CGEM-DX mount. Each is made from 30 30 second images auto-stacked in SharpCap. I had a lot of difficulty processing them, nothing that experience won’t fix I’m sure. Each is cropped. so the relative sizes here may not reflect how they are in real life. Especially visible in M81 are vignetting and some dust motes so I need to start taking flats I guess. Dark frames are easy of course, flat frames not as much but needed anyway.

5/5/2019 Skinning the Lid

I don’t think I’ve posted about the camper recently. Between bad weather and mainly lack of funding after a few rotten no good expensive weekends I haven’t done much. But I have been able to work on the lid. First picture shows the lid leaning against the camper, rigid foam glued to the ribs. This of course is the bottom. Next picture shows the lid sitting on saw horses over a drop cloth. Third picture shows the freshly applied gripper and canvas that will make the skin of the lid. I have to stop here because the paint has to dry. Unfortunately there’s not room for the lid like this and the camper at the same time so weather has to be nice.

4/26/2019 Globular Cluster M3

Here’s a picture of Messier 3 (M3) in the constellation of Canes Venatici. Taken last night with my 11″ SCT set at f/6.3 at the River Ridge Observatory. If you are familiar with the stars Arcturus (4th brightest in the sky) and Cor Caroli (Alpha Canes Venatici) this lies almost exactly halfway between them and is an easy target with binoculars. M3 is a globular cluster of about 500,000 stars about 34,000 light years from here.
Come to National Astronomy Day at Pinnacle Mountain State Park on May 11 and you might see it for yourself. Click on the image to see it full size.