Aug 202014
 

A group of stars that, from our line of sight here on Earth, forms a familiar pattern or other recognizable pattern is called an asterism.  These groups of stars are not necessarily bound to one another as members of an open cluster or globular cluster are.  It can just be happenstance that the stars line up “just right”.  In this case, the Coat Hanger asterism in the constellation Vulpecula.  This is a great target to check out with binoculars.  It’s near the bright, colorful double-star Albireo in Cygnus.

This image shows the coat hanger with the open cluster NGC 6802 just off the end of the hanger’s rod.  In the lower left are IC 1299 (a small open cluster) and a number of planetary nebula that show as fuzzy red dots.

This asterism is cataloged as Collinder 399 and is also known as Bracchi’s cluster or Al Sufi’s cluster (being recorded by him over 1000 years ago).

FSQ106EDXIII @ f/5
Canon 500d (Astrodon)
50×360 @ISO800

(Click to enlarge)

Coat-HangerS3_full

 

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Aug 172014
 

Here’s a first-light image from my new “Q” (Takhashi FSQ-106EDXIII).  Shown below is the Elephant Trunk nebula (IC1396) in Cepehus.  It’s a concentration of dust an gas about 2400 light years away from us… and a part of it looks like a monster to some.  I think the Elephant’s trunk seems pretty accurate, too.

This image was taken with a modified Canon 500d (Astrodon filter). Total integration time is 5 hours — 3 hours in H-alpha with 2 hours through a CLS filter. The h-alpha subs were taken through an Astronomik 12nm EOS clip under a 74% illuminated moon.

Click to enlarge.

IC1396_HaRGB_v1_2mb

 

Here’s the new Tak with an AT72 (used as a guide scope for imaging).  The “official” first light for the FSQ106 was, of course, through a 16mm Nagler T2 eyepiece.  This scope certainly deserves its legendary reputation (as do the people that support it at Texas Nautical Repair).

Q_1L

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More from Cygnus — the Crescent Nebula (C27)

I’m progressing on tuning-up the new scope.  Unfortunately, just when I got things right the clouds came and will be here for a few days (although with the full moon this weekend, it’s not a particularly inconvenient time for clouds).  Below is an HaRGB version of the Crescent Nebula taken with the new 152mm f/4.8 [...]

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