A Gallery of Astronomical Images by RAS Members and Friends

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 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.

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.

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 scope to several stars, as he struggled to look through the finder Telrad on a night with much glare from the Hopewell factories.  They also identified a star in that galaxy that was the remnant of a supernova explosion long ago.

The image is a composite of 22 five minute exposures.  Mearl uses a remote WiFi system to control his system after initial manual setup.

Three of the Jupiter’s Galilean moons captured by Colin Grace in February 2018.

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.

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.

Image of Jupiter and its moon Europa captured by Chris Conley captured at James River State Park on video and processed to create a single stacked image.

Messier Galaxies 65 and 66 by Mearl Balmer.  This is a composite of one 10 minute exposure and seven 5 min exposures with a Canon 550 on a Meade LX8 scope with a wedge; no dark or flat images, processed with PixInsight software.

The Cigar Galaxy (Messier 82) by Madhup Rathi. Evidence indicates that this reddish hydrogen area of ionized hydrogen near the center is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds of many stars, together creating a galactic superwind. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light years. The 12-million light-year distant Cigar Galaxy is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared light, and can be seen in visible light with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major).  This image is a composite of 15 luminance images at 30 minutes each with color RGB data of 6 images at 20 minutes each and with 9 images using a hydrogen alpha filter at 30 minutes each.