Thursday, February 26, 2009

Observing the comet Lulin

The partial cloudy night sky didn't prevent me to observe the new comet "C/2007 N3 Lulin" in the constellation of Leo tonight (20:35 GMT). I used my 21cm (f/11.5) DK-Cassegrain telescope at a magnification of 100x. I saw the comet as an oval black and white nebula. There was no hint of its poisonous ;-) green color and its small tail. Since the Earth is between the comet and the Sun at the moment the comet's faint tail is not so long as you could expect, unless you use a very sensitive 2x2/3x3 binned astrocamera on a fast scope. Lulin is at the moment 61 million kilometers far away from the earth. Its magnitude is 6.1 mag.

More stuff:
Two hour later, I observed the globular cluster M5 and I finally checked the polar alignment of my telescope mount using the software WCS. See the screenshot below:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Star fields near Hints nebula

Hundrends of stars are visible just 1° below the Hints nebula in the Taurus constellation by using a big amateur telescope under perfect sky conditions. The photo below reflects this visual experience:
Declination (DEC): 19,42 - Rectazension (RA): 4,26

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sombrero Galaxy

This is the Sobrero galaxy M104 in Virgo as observed from my roof observatory in Germany in January 2009.
If you look at the bottom of the negative photo below you will notice two very faint objects, i.e. two galaxies called USNOA2-0750-07913859 and USNOA2-0750-07913885, categorized as stars in the USNO-A2.0 catalogue. They weren't recognised as galaxies before Hubble took a high resolution picture of M104's neighbourhood. Both galaxies are quite small (~14 arcseconds together) and faint (18th magnitude).
More infos at:

A high resolution photo of M104 is available at:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Autoguider settings in CCDSoft (tm)

This is an autoguided 15 minutes exposure of M104's neighbourhood. Please, note the perfect round stars as a result of the autoguider parameters shown below. Correction: The exposure time of the autoguider was 10 seconds. The delay between the exposures was 30 seconds (3x times the autoguider exposure).

That's my autoguider settings during the integration of the galaxy M104. The results are quite promising but not perfect yet. They are coming soon.