Comet C/2001 Q4 Neat was discovered on August 4, 2001 by the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking Team (NEAT). This comet spent most of its time in the southern hemisphere until May 2004 when it went North and brightened.
Comet C/2001 Q4 NEAT, came within 0.34 astronomical units (au) of earth. It reached perihelion (closest approach in it’s orbit) on May 15, 2004 . This hyperbolic comet will be flung out of our solar system, never to be seen again.
AU or Astronomical Unit (roughly earth’s distance from the sun) 93,000,000 miles.
I was lucky to have a clear May night in Oregon to image Comet C/2001 Q4 Neat May 24, 2004.
NGC 891 is a great Edge on Galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda. NGC 891 is 30 million light years from earth at apparent magnitude 10.8 and 120 thousand light years across. At 13.5′ x 2.5 arcminutes, it shows up nicely in medium to large amateur telescopes.
This Edge on Spiral galaxy’s dust lanes are prominent and show nice detail in long exposures. The dust lanes are similar to out own Milky Way if observed from the same distance edge on. On a clear summer night, the dark rift from Cygnus down to Sagittarius is now given a different perspective. William Herschel discovered NGC 891 on October 6, 1784, this galaxy is a member of the NGC 1023 group of galaxies
25 miles SE of Cottage Grove, Oregon; 122° 52.595′ W 43° 31′ N
4568′ magnitude 6 Skies; Clear & 5-7 m.p.h. wind
NGC 7331 (Deer Lick Group of Galaxies ) & NGC 7320 Stephens Quintet
The upper left is Stephens Quintet and the lower right is the Deer Lick group in the constellation of Pegasus. NGC 7331 the largest Galaxy in the Deer Lock group is 9° Northwest of ß Pegasi. The lower right edge of NGC7331 is pointed North and the companion galaxies are to the East. Galaxy NGC 7331 resembles what our own Milky Way galaxy would look like some 50 million light years away. This galaxy has an overall brightness of magnitude 10.3 . This group is a nice visual treat in medium to large amateur scope (10″ and up) NGC 7331 is 10.6′ x 3.8′ (the moon is 28′)
Stephens Quintet (upper left) is a small group of interacting galaxies 300 million light years away. You can see the lower two galaxies are interacting and a long arm extents from the one to the right. This detail is readily evident in the full resolution image. NGC7318A & NGC 7318B (magnitude 14) are colliding and nearby NGC 7319 (magnitude 14.4) may also be involved since it has an arm that stretches out. NGC 7320 (Mag. 13.3) is the top oblong one and NGC 7317 (14.8) is out to the left. Out further to the upper right of the main group is NGC 7320C at magnitude 16.6.
Galaxy NGC 7331 “Caldwell 30” 40 million light years. 12.1′ x 1.0′ magnitude 10.4. The other lenticular unbarred spirals NGC 7335, 7336 & barred spiral galaxy NGC 7340, elliptical galaxy NGC 7340. They are 332, 365, 348 and 294 million light years distant, respectively.
Discovered by William Hershel in 1784,
Stephan’s Quintet is a grouping of 5 galaxies, forming a compact group of galaxies. In the constellation of Pegasus, discovered in 1877 by Edouard Stephan, also known as Hickson Compact Group 92. NGC 7318B collides with the group and a shock wave larger than our own Milky Way galaxy spread between the galaxies. NGC 7320 is only a foreground galaxy at 39 million light years. The other five form a group 220-330 million light years away.
Abell 2151 Hercules Galaxy Cluster is a cluster of approximately 100 galaxies 500 to 650 million light years away within the constellation of Hercules. The brightest galaxy NGC 6050 and is interacting spiral galaxy 24″ x 18″ magnitude 15.4 , also known as NGC 6050A and NGC5060B. Data on this group continues to change as more is learned. Most current information list a general distance of 509 million light years and 300 member galaxies.
I am amazed what a 5.5″ APO Refractor can do and coupled with an SBIG ST10XME CCD (KAF3200 CCD Chip) can really go deep. The camera is one of the most sensitive front illuminated CCD chips available. The quantum efficiency is around 85-86% at peak.
So I attempted my own Deep Field, while setting up remotely here in Oregon for one night. I wanted to go as deep as I could and took over 4 hours of CCD images to capture as many galaxies as possible. My Luminous frames were 5, 10 and 20 minutes. I have counted over 200 plus galaxies in this image. The are so many tiny specs that, when compared to a Hubble Telescope image, they are in fact galaxies. I am confident some of these galaxies are over a billion light years away. In perspective, that would mean a medium sized amateur telescope and CCD went back one twelfth the age of the Universe…
You can see several interacting galaxies that are within the Hercules Cluster. While this is no-where near what larger instruments can resolve with long exposures I am pleased with what a small telescope can accomplish in one night.
Eagles Ridge; 25 Miles South of Dexter, Oregon 122° 42′ 45″ W, 43° 48′ 17″N Observing site used by Eugene Astronomical Society (http://www.eugeneastro.org/)
3411′ elevation, magnitude 6 Skies; Clear
This trio of galaxies located in the rear leg area of the Constellation LEO, the lion. They are situated halfway between the stars Chertan (3.3 magnitude) on top and 78-Iota Leonis magnitude 4.46, on the bottom. This is a small group of galaxies 35 million light years away. Shinning at magnitude 10.3, 9.7 and 9.4 respectfully, they are visible through a good pair of binoculars or small 4-6″ telescope. Wide field eyepieces with larger aperture instruments of 12-16″ really show them well.
NGC 3628 is an edge on galaxy discovered by William Herschel in 1784. Estimated at 300,000 light years across and 35 million light years away. Apparent magnitude of 10.2 and 15′ x 3.6′ (arcminutes) in size. (Lower Right)
M 65 Galaxy NGC 3623 (Upper Right) Apparent magnitude 10.25 and 8.7′ x 2.45′
M 66 Galaxy NGC 3627 (Lower Right) 95,000 light years across, 8.9 mag. 9.1′ x 4.2′