The Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula in the mildly northern constellation of Lyra. Such a nebula is formed when a star, during the last stages of its evolution before becoming a white dwarf, expels a vast luminous envelope of ionized gas into the surrounding interstellar space.
In honor of Halloween here’s a pun of a post. Reminiscent of the 80’s movie “Beetle Juice,” here’s its astronomical namesake, Betelgeuse. This star is a red supergiant of spectral type M1-2 and one of the largest stars visible to the naked eye. If Betelgeuse were at the center of our Solar System, its surface […]
M32, a.k.a. NGC 221, is a dwarf elliptical galaxy, which is a satellite of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31, NGC 224). It’s smaller, fainter but just as cool! Perhaps even a more rewarding find because it’s a bit more difficult to spot. In the first image above, M32 is the smaller smudge circled in yellow on […]
While poking around the Cassiopeia constellation the other night, I spotted a unique star arrangement. When I connected the dots it looked ET phoning home. Big ole bug eyes and all! Without knowing what it was, or if it was anything special, I took a picture just because it looked cool. While perusing the telescope […]
The night is still young (10:30 pm CDT) and I’m happy to report a couple of new Messier object sightings. This one is a globular cluster known simply as Messier 2, or M2. It is located at the northern end of the constellation Aquarius, just below the Great Pegasus Cluster (M15). It lies approximately 55,000 […]
Here’s another look at the Orion Nebula, Messier 42. Now that we’re getting deeper into Fall, we’ll start seeing the Orion constellation traverse our night sky earlier and at a higher declination, meaning it’ll become more and more conducive to optimal viewing and imaging conditions.
This is by no means a “showcase” of talents as I do not profess to be an astrophotographer. I do, however, claim to be an amateur astronomer who happens to enjoy creating visual documentation of my night sky finds. I’m also slowly working my way through the Messier Catalog of Deep Space Objects. Therefore, I […]
Also known as, Messier 15, this cluster can be found at the top of Pegasus’ head. At magnitude 6.6 it’s not as easy to find as the Andromeda Galaxy, but perhaps more rewarding. At an estimated 12.5±1.3 billion years old, it is one of the oldest known globular clusters!
In preparation of its upcoming opposition, I have begun imaging Mars. Mars’ opposition will occur on December 8, 2022, but it will be closest to Earth on December 1, 2022. During opposition, Mars will be found in the constellation Taurus.
Here’s a slightly better image I recently took of the Andromeda Galaxy. My “smudge” pics are improving! I believe it’s position overhead along with atmospheric conditions are to thank.