The following images were obtained with an SBIG ST-7E CCD and a Meade 10-inch LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The observing location is LONG = 110d 56' 30", LAT = +32d 26' 00" (Tucson, AZ USA). Images were acquired and processed using MaxIm DL/CCD V2.11. Deep sky images employed an f/6.3 focal reducer yielding an effective focal length of 60 inches. Eyepiece projection with an effective focal length of 480 inches was utilized for planetary images and the CCD was binned 2x2.
M27 (NGC 5034) The "Dumbbell" Nebula. RA = 18h 30m 00s; Dec = +22d 45' 00". One of the most famous planetary nebulae in the sky. The object lies in the constellation of Vulpecula (the vulture) and is estimated to be 500 pc (1500 ly) from the earth. Ultraviolet radiation from the central star of the nebula excites hydrogen and oxygen atoms producing the nebula. This material was part of the star at one time, but was ejected into space during the dramatic changes that take place after the central star evolved off of the main sequence. The Sun will likely lose material in this manner after it depletes its hydrogen fuel supply in its core in about 4 billion years. The LRGB image was obtained on 10/14/2001 UT.
M1 (NGC 1043) The "Crab" Nebula. RA = 05h 30m 00s; Dec = +22d 45' 00". This object is estimated to be 500 pc (1500 ly) from earth. The nebula is about 5 ly across and is excited into emission by the the stellar remnant of a supernove that was observed and recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD. This stellar remnant is a neutron star near the nebula's center and is only about 10 km in diameter with a mass greater than the Sun. The star, known as a "pulsar", spins on its axis 30 times a second and each time a pulse of light can be detected by telescopes. The object lies in the constellation of Taurus (the bull). The LRGB image was obtained on 10/14/2001 UT.
NGC 891. RA = 02h 30m 15s; Dec = +42d 00' 00". This edge-on spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda is similar to our own Milky Way galaxy. Our Galaxy would look like this if viewed along its disk. The Sun would be located somewhere in the outskirts of the dusty disk 2/3 of the way from the central bulge of the galaxy. The prominent dark lane in NGC 891, as in our Galaxy, is caused by dust in the disk blocking the light stars in galaxy. This galaxy is believed to be about 7 Mpc (20 Mly) and contains over 200 billion stars. The LRGB image was obtained on 10/14/2001 UT. of the way
NGC 7479. RA = 22h 30m 14s; Dec = +12d 00' 00". A face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pisces (the fish). The galaxy is around 20 Mpc (60 Mly) distant. This LRGB images was obtained on 10/14/2001 UT.
Mars on June 16, 2001 at 06:00:00 UT. The central meridian is 210 degrees and the planet's distance was 72 million kilometers. Angular size of Mars on this night was 19". The picture is a composite of red, green, and blue-filtered images.
The 61" cognizant observer is Paul Smith --firstname.lastname@example.org