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Friday, April 27, 2012

M13 - a globular cluster in Hercules

This is the most prominent globular cluster in the constellation of Hercules. M13 is about 25.000 light years away from our solar system.
 Image 1: The area around M13 (1,9° x 1,2°)


Two galaxies are in the same field of view; the bright NGC6207 (12.1 mag) and the faint IC4617 (16 mag). Both of them are in the upper left side of the photo below.
 Image 2: Messier 13 (crop)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Light from the other side of the Universe

Image 1: Two Quasars near Messier 106

Quasars are active galaxy cores. One can not differ them from "normal" stars except one checks their spectrum being literally shifted to the red. This is a doppler effect and we call it Redshift.

Two Quasars are visible in the photo above:
  • Quasar RX J121803.82+470854.6 with a magnitude of 21.04 mag and a redshift of z=1.743
  • Quasar SDSS J121732.69+465829.3 with magnitude of 18.4 mag and a redshift of z=1.99071
Our Universe expands and these redshift values indicate extreme distances. The photo above is taken from the city by using amateur equipment, i.e. five inches telescope and a color camera QHY8L with Sony ICX413 sensor in only 7x900 second exposures. An IDAS LPS P2 filter is used to block the light pollution of the nearby city lights. The photo can be downloaded here.

Image 2: Messier 106 and its neightbourhood

The photo above shows the original image where both Quasars are located. Both of them are in the same field of view with Messier 106 in the constellation of Canes Venatici.

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Monday, April 09, 2012

The Hercules Galaxy Cluster

The galaxies in the constellation of Hercules are distant worlds floating in the deep space approx. 250 times further than our neighbor galaxy; the Andromeda.

Image 1: The Hercules cluster of galaxies (zoom) 

The light you see in the photos attached has been sent 720'000'000 years ago, long before the Cambrian geological period of our planet.

Image 2: The Hercules cluster of galaxies (wide view)

Both photos above have been taken using an amateur telescope and color camera. The exposure time was 13 times x 15 minutes under the light polluted suburban sky. Special photo-processing techniques have been applied on the raw images in order to remove the disgusting dirt of the city lights (see description).

Finally, I have to state how disappointing is to realize that the darkness of our night sky is still not protected by law in most countries on the globe.

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Visit also these sites:
http://www.sternenpark-schwaebische-alb.de/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Dark-Sky_Association

Sunday, April 01, 2012

The red planet on March, 13th 2012

Yor are facing Chryse Planitia on Mars. The North pole (Planum Boreum) has snow. Tempe Terra is also visible. This image was captured on March, 15th 2012 at 20:32 MET at 6 meters focal length. It has been resized by the super resolution algorithm during stacking.