A Gallery of Astronomical Images by RAS Members and Friends

M108 by Mearl Balmer

After my Comet ATLAS image the other night, I went over to the big bear, Ursa Major constellation (big dipper), and got a real clear image of M108 and M97 (lower right) nearby.   Messier 108 is a large edge-on galaxy over 45 million light years away, while the Owl nebula (left over gas remnants from a dying star) is only 3000 light years away.  Look…

M42, by Mearl Balmer

Took this from home last night. First time I could actually capture both the subtle nebulosity colors as well as the important Trapezium stars, a region where new young stars like our sun are developing (you can see the grouping of the four Trapezium stars if you zoom in to the bright white center of the image). This was a live stack of 80 each…

M31, by Mearl Balmer

Captured Thursday at SRSP by Mearl Balmer. After resetting my Gemini mount controller and PHD2 guiding.This is 32 images at 2 min each one shot color.  First time capturing with SharpCap Pro software. Works well. Live stacking is great to see images as they come in. This is my darker, more ominous, Halloween processed image of our encroaching neighbor galaxy.

M27, by Mearl Balmer

M27 Planetary Nebula, taken at James River State Park Star Party, November 2nd, by Mearl Balmer. Lots of visitors got to see this image come in. This was a live stack of 92 each of 30 second images in SharpCap Pro, further processed in PixInsight. Captured on my 8 inch Vixen Astrograph and ASI071 Pro cooled color camera. Hot, blue white dwarf appears in the center.

Sun Sketch, by Randy Tatum

In addition to some skilled imagers in our group, RAS also has some “astro-sketchers” as well. Randy Tatum created this sketch from film images of a total solar eclipse that he traveled to Bolivia to see in 1994.

M101, by Mearl Balmer

Image of Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, in Ursa Major by Mearl Balmer with assistance from his grandson, Grayson on July 8, 2018.  The image shows M101 in the upper right and another spiral galaxy,  NGC5474.  The Pinwheel Galaxy is much larger than our Milky Way Galaxy and over 25 million light years away. Mearl reports that Grayson was a big help aligning the computer-controlled…

Rocket Launch from Wallops, by Stuart Squier

After a number of scrubs due to weather and other issues, a sounding rocket was successfully launched at 4:25 AM on June 29 from NASA Wallops, near Chincoteague, Virginia.  Stuart Squier captured this image of the rocket’s vapor cloud deployment from Oregon Inlet Campground in Nags Head, North Carolina.A video of the launch and deployment posted by NASA Wallops is here.

Moon over Arizona, by Nikul Suthar

A view of our Moon captured in April 2017 along with the imaging apparatus used by Nikul Suthar in northern Arizona.  The imaging train consists of an Explore Scientific 127 ED APO Triplet Refractor, Celestron AVX mount and Canon EOS Rebel T3i.

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