Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Bode you Good Night!

I've had these shots sitting neglected on my hard drive for nearly a month, don't know how they slipped my mind.  It was May 17th, and it was a fantastic night of brilliantly clear dark skies, many scopes, and good company out at the Observatory at Bisbee Hill.  Tonight looks like another one of those nights and I'm trying my best to not run out the door as I'm sure a good crew is out there right now (I have to drive to Philadelphia in the morning or I definitely would be out there!)  Hopefully the skies will hold this weekend.

This is a couple really long exposures showing the astronomers (and the stars) in action.
one 15 min exposure

and 30 min




































Then I strapped my camera to the big scope and pointed it at a spectacular pair located in Ursa Major.  M81 and M82 also known as Bode's Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy are quite a dynamic duo.  M81 is a very large face on spiral galaxy and M82 is a unique starburst galaxy that is churning out stars on a massive scale being helped along by tidal forces from it's large neighbor M81.  There's a small galaxy on the lower left called NGC 3077, it's is also an irregular galaxy likely being acted upon by it's larger neighbor as well.

11 frames @  2min, f6, 81mm, ISO1600 , merged in DeepSkyStacker