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                         Recent Images -- Last Updated 11/19/2013

     The images below will not show up on the other pages until they are replaced on this one.  You won't see any repeats when you go to one of the links on the left.  Basic information about the telescopes and cameras is at the bottom of this page.
 

   NGC 2998

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 60:20:20:20

   NGC 2998 is fairly small and faint but is the dominant galaxy in a group of smaller companions.  The group is somewhat unusual because all members are spirals; most groups contain at least one elliptical, often the dominant member.
NGC 3005 is at the top, closest to the bright star.  A little below and left is NGC 3008.  Still lower, closest to 2998, is 3002.  It is very asymmetrical.  Lower and left from 3002 is 3006.  Finally, due south from 3006 is CGCG 210-38.

Two of the "missing" NGC objects have listed positions which would place them in the group.  These are NGC 3000 and 3004.

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   NGC 3169 Group

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 60:20:20:20

   Starting from the left, the most interesting and unusual galaxy is NGC 3169.  It is classified as SA(s)a pec.  It has an asymmetrical spiral arm and, to me, looks like a whirlpool.  It also has a very dense dust lane.  It has been the home of a couple of recent supernova.  NGC 3166, a spiral with tightly wound arms, is in the center.  NGC 3166 and 69 are described as being in a death spiral.  They will eventually merge and are being pulled apart as they approach each other.  The smallest galaxy, NGC 3165 , is on the right.

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   NGC 5466

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 24:8:8:8

   In an article by James Cuffey, Astronomical Journal, Vol. 66, NGC 5466 was described as an "unusually interesting high-latitude globular cluster with an extremely open, well resolved structure."  That shows clearly in this image, as there is very little concentration toward the core and individual stars are easily seen right to the center.  It appears less colorful than the typical globular.  This image has much more background noise than normal because it was taken on a very damp, hazy night.

There are several galaxies seen in the field, with the brightest, up against the right edge, being CGCG 162-58.

 

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   NGC 5985 Group

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 84:28:28:28

   This attractive group is also known as the Draco Trio.  NGC 5985 is the large, almost face-on spiral on the left.  The elliptical in the center is NGC 5982.  The edge-on spiral on the right is NGC 5981.  It shows a dust lane which is slightly off center from our viewing position.  These are fairly bright galaxies and the contrast in shapes makes it an attractive target for visual observers as well as imagers.

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   M19 (NGC 6273)

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 24:8:8:8

   M19 is fairly rich and dense but is resolvable to the core.  It is the most oblate (elliptical) globular known.  Theories about the reason for this are diverse.  One is that it is being distorted by its proximity to the core of our galaxy; another is that it is simply appearance from extinction by dust and gas along the east side.  The extinction is seen in my image as the much yellower color along the east, and especially SE, side.

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   NGC 5921

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 60:20:20:20

   NGC 5921 is a barred spiral in the constellation Serpens.  One supernova has been found within its boundaries.  The bar is very prominent and the arms start at the ends.  The northern arm is especially knotty.

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   NGC 6819

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 24:10:10:10

   NGC 6819 is a compact and distant open cluster.  Megastar, using Lynga as the reference, lists it as containing 929 members.  Other sources list the membership between 150 and 2500 stars.  The magnitude cut-offs for the surveys seem to produce the differences.  Numbers at the high end of the range are more likely.  My image is not very deep, and was taken under marginal conditions, so it does not come close to showing the entire membership.  It would be well worth investing several hours of exposure on this cluster.  Regardless, it is a rich and attractive object, one of the best open clusters available.

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   M80 (NGC 6093)

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30:12:12:12

   M80 is a very dense globular located about 4.4 degrees north and west of Antares.  It is much smaller than nearby M4 and very concentrated toward the core.  It is one of the few globular clusters to have produced a nova, and that was in 1860.  It is believed to be one of the oldest globulars.

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   M10 (NGC 6254)

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30:10:10:10

   M10 is much larger and less concentrated than M80 above.  It is easily resolvable right to the core.  The stars show a wide range of color.

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   NGC 6544

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 21:7:7:7

   NGC 6544 is the third globular in a row and, looking at the three together, it is clear how different they can be.  6544 is moderately concentrated but is resolvable to the core.  It is in a rich star field and it lies right at the edge of a strongly obscuring dust cloud.  The upper right quarter of the field is heavily obscured and there are numerous patches of dust obscuring other parts of the field.  Additionally, the dust yellows the cluster stars; there are really no blue or white stars in the cluster itself.  The blue stars nearby are almost certainly foreground stars.

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   Palomar 10

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 48:20:20:20

   Yet another globular, very different from the others.  The Palomar globular clusters were discovered in the 1950's on survey plates from the first Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS).  They cover a wide range of size and brightness, but most are small and faint, and several are heavily obscured.  This is one of the heavily obscured group, and would be a fairly typical globular if not for the intervening dust.  They are often used as "challenge objects" for visual observers using large telescopes.

Palomar 10 is magnitude 13.2 with a diameter of 4.0'.  Compare that with NGC 6544 above, with a magnitude of 7.5 and a diameter of 9.2'.  NGC 6544 is 189 times brighter. 

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   NGC 6791

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30:10:10:10

   NGC 6791 is a very rich open cluster.  Megastar lists the membership as 255 stars but that is obviously too low, and a 2011 study determined a membership of 4800.  This cluster is unusual in a number of ways.  It appears to be very old and yet very metal rich; these two characteristics don't go together.  It also has two groups of white dwarfs whose ages do not seem consistent with the age of the cluster.  As a result of all this, it is one of the most studied open clusters.

It is a beautiful cluster for imagers and visual observers with a wide range of telescopes.  There are also a number of small galaxies in the field.  See how many you can find in the full size image.

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   UGC 12342 and 12350

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 90:30:30:30

   These galaxies were more of a processing challenge than a imaging challenge.  Just 2' outside the bottom of the field is a 6.44 magnitude star.  You can see two of the diffraction spikes but, more importantly, the blooming trail even with my anti-blooming camera.  Reflections from the star filled the field with light streaks.  I had to work hard to minimize them and use very mild scaling to keep them from dominating the image.  As a result, much of the fainter data can't be seen.

The larger galaxy near the top of the field is UGC 12350.  To its left, near the edge, is CGCG 453-69.  The most interesting galaxy is UGC 12342 near the bottom.  It looks very birdlike to me, and I've named it the Seagull Galaxy.  My image is not as clear as I would like but it looks like this object is actually two galaxies in merger, like a tiny Antennae.  It is listed by Vorontsov-Velyaminov in their catalog of possibly interacting galaxies as VV 738.

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   NGC 7013

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 60:20:20:20

   NGC 7013 is frequently cataloged as a ring galaxy but this seems to be somewhat uncertain.  A quick scan of the references in NED indicates that it has been given a variety of classifications.  An inspection of the full size image certainly makes the ring classification seem reasonable.  The inner region is very Saturn-like in appearance.

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   NGC 6760

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30:10:10:10

   Other than being well resolved and in a rich star field, NGC 6760 has little to distinguish it.  It is referenced in a large number of articles but few, if any, focus on this cluster.

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     This site presents color CCD images of astronomical objects taken by the author.  Most have been taken with an SBIG ST2000XM camera and either a homebuilt 10-inch Newtonian, Astro-Tech AT66ED, or Meade 2045D telescope  There are a few other possible camera/telescope combinations described on the Equipment page but rarely used.  Images taken with the 10-inch will always be from my observatory at West Point, TX.  Those taken with the AT66ED will frequently be from my home in The Woodlands, TX, but it is portable and I take it to dark sky sites when possible.  The same applies to the Meade 2045D.  Except for images with the 10-inch, the location will be identified.  The most recent dozen or so images will be shown on this page and others can be found by selecting an object type from the buttons on the left.  All the images will be displayed as large thumbnails, accompanied by descriptions of the object, equipment used, exposure times, etc.  Under each thumbnail, you will generally have the option of linking to a full size or half size image.  Use your browser's Back button to return.  Experiment with each size a few times to see which you prefer.  The half-size images are usually more attractive but the full-size images obviously show more detail.  Occasionally, I might include a few monochrome images but not many.

     I began my color imaging in September, 2008  -- not counting a couple of years of CMY imaging with my Cookbook camera back in the previous century.  For those of you interested in the technical details of the images, the lengths of the luminosity, red, green, and blue exposures are listed as L:R:G:B minutes.  If the field size is something other than 21.7' x 28.9' (or 28.9' x 21.7'), the size will be listed.  Also, unless otherwise noted, the images are oriented North up and East to the left.  Details about the telescopes, cameras, filters, software, etc. can be found on the Equipment page.  In late 2009, I acquired a set of narrowband filters and am starting to take some NB images.  When those images are moved off this page, they will be collected on a new Narrowband page.  On that page, there is a short description of the palettes used to convert the exposure sets to color images

     Prior to September, 2008, I spent several years accumulating monochrome images of all 338 Arp Peculiar Galaxies.  These can be seen at my other web site, www.338arps.com.  This challenging project sharpened my general imaging skills but color is a new challenge.  The Arp Galaxies that I have imaged in color will appear on both sites.

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