Look Up & Enjoy the Night Sky – Visit Local Astronomy Clubs – Go to Star Parties, Observatories

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Sharing the Wonders of the Night Skies, an Amateur Astronomers endeavors to capture and share the Night Skies on Film and Digital Media.

Astronomy Clubs

Temecula Valley Astronomers (TVA)

Orange County Astronomers (OCA)    

Riverside Astronomical Society (RAS)

The Astronomical League   (Search for Clubs)

Mount Palomar Observatory – A private facility owned and operated by California Institute of Technology (Caltech).  The Facility has a great Visitors Center, and amenities.  It is one of the only Working Observatories  to offer Guided Tours .  If you live in or visit Southern California you must see The 200″ Hale Telescope .

Heart Nebula IC 1805

IC 1805 Heart Nebula 9/11/2018
9/11/2018 9:21 PM Latitude: 33° 29′ 01.48″ North Longitude: 116° 43′ 19.24″ West Elevation: 4321 ft. Jupiter Ridge #4 Observatory, OCA site, near Anza, CA. Seeing: E Transparency: 6 SQM: 20.85 Telescopes / Optics: TMB f/4.8 fl/384mm Mount: AP1200 Camera: SBIG ST10xme CFW10 Total exposure 4 hours 5 minutes FOV: 133.4′ x 89.5′ Filter: Astrodon LRGB series E Gen. 2 FWHM: 2.1 Information: Captured with CCDSoft; RGB= 5 minute x5 subs= 75 min., L (Ha 9nm) 10 min. X 17= 170 min. 15 min -20°c. Processed with CCDStack, Photoshop CS6

M104/NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy

2/17/2018 M104/NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo Taken with TEC 140mm Telescope

M104/NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy; 2/17/2018 9:53 UT or 1:53 AM PST Latitude: 33° 29′ 01.48″ North Longitude: 116° 43′ 19.24″ West Elevation: 4321 ft. Jupiter Ridge #4 Observatory; OCA site, near Anza, CA. Seeing: E Transparency: 6 SQM: 20.85 Telescopes / Optics: TEC 140mm f/7 Mount: AP1200 Camera: SBIG ST10xme CCD & CFW10. FOV: 48’ x 32’ FWHM: 2.42 Filter: Astrodon LRGB series E Gen. 2 Information: M104 NGC 4594 Captured with CCDSoft; RGB= 3 x 5 minute; L= 13x x 5 minute -20°c. Total LRGB= 110 minutes (2 hours) Processed with CCDStack, Photoshop CS6 & Pixel Insight.

M104/NGC 4594 Galaxy,  is a peculiar galaxy of unclear classification. M104’s diameter is 50,000 Ly about 1/3 the size of our own Milky Way.  This Galaxy is 31.1 Mly from earth, shinning at magnitude 8. It reside in the constellation of Virgo, near Corvus. M104 has many globular clusters, estimated to be nearly 2,000 in number — 10 times more than the number of globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy.        

M 1o4’s core is very illuminated, where a one-billion-solar-mass black hole resides. This galaxy has an estimated mass of 800 billion stars similar to our own sun. M104 is one of the most massive objects in the Virgo galaxy cluster.

M104/NGC 4594 Galaxy was discovered on May 11, 1781 by Pierre Méchain,

Charles Messier made a hand-written note about this and five other objects (now collectively recognized as M104 – M109) to his personal list of objects now known as the Messier Catalogue. It was not included until 1921  about the 10 years after Mt. Wilson’s 100” telescope was up and running (1917)

M104/NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy 50% Crop

M104 Crop
M104/NGC 4594 Sombrero Galaxy Crop

Above is a zoomed in view of the original image M104/NGC 4594 Taken with 5.5″ refractor (TEC-140)

M109 /NGC 3992 Barred Spiral Galaxy

M109 / NGC 3992 a Barred Spiral Galaxy 83 MLY; Taken with TEC 140mm f/7 Refractor
Telescope / LensTEC 140mm f/7 Refractor
Mount TypeAstro-Physics 1200
CameraSBIG ST10xme CFW10
 Filters LRGB Astrodon G-2
 Exposure95 minutes LRGB; 5 min. subs
 ProcessingCCDStack-2, Photoshop CS6
 DateImages taken 02/17/2018
 Location  Jupiter Ridge # 4,  (OCA- Anza Site)
Conditions4321 ′ magnitude 5.8  20.78 SQM

M109 /NGC 3992 Barred Spiral Galaxy approximately 83 million light years from Earth located in the Constellation URSA Major (Big Dipper). (location is 11:57.6 (R.A.) and +53:23 (Dec.). This barred spiral galaxy is readily visible through telescopes of 6″ aperture or better. Really looks good in 10″ telescopes at a Dark Sky site. When looking at the M109 /NGC 3992 Barred Spiral Galaxy, remember it is approximately 175,853.82 light years in diameter. (Milky Way is 100,000). M 109’s apparent Magnitude of 10.6 and size 7.6′ x 4.7′ (arc-minute)

The Messier objects were M 1-M 103 discovered and named by Charles Messier (see )until after the fifties when M 104-M 110 were added. M 109 is listed in The New General Catalog it is listed as NGC 3992.

This image was capture through a 5.5″ f/7 TEC refractor using a CCD with KAF 3200me chip cooled to -20c, each exposure was 5 min long 3 for each color channel (RGB) the rest were luminous.

1st Quarter Moon Video

1st Quarter Moon video, View from Binoculars (7x) zoomed in to

1st Quarter Moon video, using different cameras and telescopes. Staring from view of entire 1st quarter as seen through binoculars (7x) and ending in a zoomed in view of craters Theophilus (Top) Cyrillus (Middle) Catharina (Bottom). Theophilus is the most prominent and youngest crater,62.14 miles in diameter and 2 miles deep with a central peak of 2.74 miles. The other two craters are much older and more worn, Catharina is 62 miles in diameter and 1.92 miles deep; Cyrillus is 98 km in diameter and only 1.92 miles deep.