Sunday, August 12, 2012

Messier 11 and Messier 27

I imaged these two objects while watching the Perseid meteor shower the other night.

Messier 11 is an open cluster in the constellation Scutum. It's common name, the Wild Duck Cluster, is derived from a triangular formation of stars in the cluster that supposedly resembles a formation of ducks. I don't see it. All I see is a sea turtle. Or Robin Hood.

Messier 11, the Wild Duck Cluster; Epsilon-200 on NJP Mount; 10x180
Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula, was the first object that I imaged with the Epsilon-200. I was able to get more of the red to come out in this version:

Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula; Epsilon-200 on NJP Mount; 15x180

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Blue (and Orange) Moon

August 31, 2012, is a Blue Moon, so I thought it would be appropriate to do one of those "colors of the moon" images. The weather here has been a little unpredictable lately, so it's anyone's guess as to whether or not the Blue Moon will be visible. The sky was clear the night of the August 1 full moon, so I took the opportunity to image it, instead.

The moon's colors are very subtle not and easily discerned by the human eye. A little image enhancement brings them out.

Full Moon, August 1, 2012 with enhanced colors
A negative image often brings out subtle details that are usually harder to see in normal photographs. Astronomers use this technique to spot galaxies, nebulae and other dim objects.

Inverted monochrome image of the August 1, 2012 Full Moon
And here is a "normal" image of the moon, with only slight contrast enhancement:

August 1, 2012 Full Moon