M57 Ring Nebula April 5, 2012

M57, the Ring Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra. It is a cloud of cold gas expanding away from a small hot central star that provides energy for the gas cloud to glow. The nebula is relatively easy to find and is visible even with 3-4 inch telescopes. Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 10 x 60 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 5, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano. For more images of nebula, click here.
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M8 Lagoon Nebula and the Open Cluster NGC 6530 April 6, 2012

M8, the Lagoon Nebula, is a cloud of ionized hydrogen gas some 50 light-years in diameter, located about 5000 light-years away. It is a region in space where new stars form. To the east of the nebula is the open cluster NGC 6530, also visible in this photograph. Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 2 x 240 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 6, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

M20 Trifid Nebula and M21 Open Cluster April 6, 2012

M20 is a cloud of ionized hydrogen gas some 25 light-years in diameter. Dark lanes visible in 3-4 inch telescopes may be seen extending from its center towards the west, northeast, and southeast, effectively dividing the nebula into 3 distinct patches, hence the name ‘Trifid’ which means ‘split into three,’ was derived. M21, an open cluster, is also visible in this photo (upper left of the nebula). Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 240 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 6, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

 

M7 (Ptolemy’s Cluster) April 6, 2012

M7, also called the Ptolemy’s Cluster, is an open cluster in Scorpius, with its stars spread in such a large area (1 degree), and thus, best viewed with a pair of binoculars. With a small telescope and on a dark clear night, fainter stars in the cluster may be observed. Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 60 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 6, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

M6 (Butterfly Cluster) April 6, 2012

M6 is an open cluster in Scorpius also known as the Butterfly Cluster. To the naked eye, its stars are on the verge of visibility, making an illusion of a ‘flying butterfly’ as the stars in the cluster twinkle. The brightest star in the cluster, BM Scorpii (an orange star), varies brightness from 6th to 8th magnitude in a period of approximately 28 months. Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 60 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 6, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

M4 Globular Cluster April 6, 2012

Just one degree west of the bright star Antares (2 moon diameters), M4 is one of the easy-to-find globular clusters. It is 100 light-years in diameter and only 7000 light-years away (rather close in terms of globular cluster standards). Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 60 secexp, IS0 1600. April 6, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Photo Credit: Anthony Urbano

DSO-hunting this Summer Break

I am heading to the province tonight for some DSO hunting: diffused and planetary nebula! Hope it will be as productive as last December’s deep-sky hunt. It will be a long 8-hour trip.

With an OIII narrow-band filter which is particularly useful in improving contrast in diffused and planetary nebula, I might actually have a chance to finally have a glimpse of the elusive Veil nebula :)

ALP Philippine Messier Marathon Open 2012

The Philippine Messier Marathon Open is an annual star party conducted under the dark clear skies of Caliraya, Laguna, where astronomy-enthusiasts in the country gather to observe and meet fellow enthusiasts. This event hosted by the Astronomical League of the Philippines is by far the largest star party and astro-gathering in the Philippines.

The highlight of the event is the Messier Marathon where astro-enthusiasts attempt to observe and identify all the 110 m-objects in just one night. This image was taken earlier today, March 25, 2012, at sunrise. For more info, click here.

IR-modified Canon PowerShot S3IS

The modification involves physically removing the “hot plate”, a kind of filter that blocks infrared light. Manufacturers install it in cameras in order to correct for the reddish hue inherent to CCD or CMOS sensors. Removing such filter makes the camera more sensitive to IR and as well as H-alpha wavelengths, which is particularly useful in deep-sky photography.

Canon S3IS point-and-shoot camera modified for astrophotography (afocal imaging)

Read more.