Popular Astronomy

November 2017

The total number of observations received from four deep sky section members during November was eighteen;  sixteen digital images and two sketches.

David Davies, imaging from Cambridge, used an APM 107mm f 6.5 refractor and a QSI 583 mono camera plus red, green and blue filters to capture M33, the Pinwheel spiral galaxy in the constellation of Triangulum (below left).  Using the same camera and an 8" Richey Chretien telescope, David imaged M103, an open cluster in Cassiopeia (below right)  M103 is considered to be about 10,000 light years from the Earth, and at magnitude 7.4 will elude naked eye observers but is easy to spot using binoculars.                                   

                                                                              Michael Kinns of Eastry observed and sketched open cluster  NGC1528 in the constellation of Perseus (below left) and M74 spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pisces (below right).

                                                                                                      M74 is about 32 million light years from the Earth, and is face - on to us.  It has a low surface brightness, so is not easy to see in the eyepiece;  Michael reported that he needed to fully dark adapt and use averted vision to produce this drawing.  The telescope employed was an Orion Optics UK Newtonian reflector at 67x for both.  

Paul Brierley of Macclesfield used an Altair Astro  115mm EDT f7 APO refractor and an Atik 428 EX camera to take an image of the Pisces chain of galaxies.  Paul sent in an "inverted" negative version of the chain, also known as Arp 331, shown here on the right.  The Pisces chain is part of the Perseus - Pices Supercluster of galaxies, and in Paul's original high definition image many distant, faint galaxies can be seen also.   



Steve Norrie of Fife submitted images of thirteen deep sky objects, using an ES 127mm f5 APO refractor and a StarlightXpress Trius 694  mono camera and red, green, blue and narrow band filters.  Steve used the narrow band data to render many of the images below in the Hubble palette, which uses SII H alpha and OIII in place of red, green and blue when constructing a colour image.

The four images below, in a clockwise direction from the left, are all emission nebulae:  IC1394, the Elephant's Trunk nebula in the constellation of Cepheus, NGC2174, the Monkey Head nebula in Orion, NGC2264 (the mono, unfinished version of this was featured in the October report), the Cone nebula in Monoceros and SH2-101 the Tulip nebula in Orion.





                                                                                The next four images below are also emission nebulae;  M42 and NGC2024 the Flame nebula, both in Orion, IC405 the Flaming Star nebula in Auriga and NGC2244 the Rosette nebula in Monoceros.






Steve's next four images are, from below left, planetary nebula M27 the Dumbbell in the constellation of Vulpecula, M31 spiral galaxy in Andromeda, M52 open cluster in Cassiopeia and M78 reflection nebula in Orion.  The M52 image also features NGC7635, the Bubble emission nebula at top left.


Steve also imaged galaxies M81 and M82 in Ursa major.  You may recall that M82 , called the Cigar galaxy, lower left in the image, hosted a supernova in January 2014.  M82 is also home to the brightest known pulsar, M82-X-2, also discovered in 2014.  This emits about 100 times more X-ray radiation than theory predicts, in the form of continuous broad X-ray radiation plus a beam of X-rays.



Dave Finnigan

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