Sunday, July 7, 2013


The southern sky from my house is dominated by the light dome of Huntsville. One of the nice things about the Sam Houston State University observatory is its relatively dark southern sky; so, when I get a chance to image from the observatory I often image objects to the south.

During a recent visit to the observatory I imaged Messier 22, a globular cluster, and Messier 17, the Swan Nebula. Both objects are located in the constellation Sagittarius.  Both images were made with my ST80 and the Vixen Super Polaris mount.

Messier 22, the Sagittarius Cluster; ST80 on a Vixen SP mount; 17x120
I posted an image of Messier 22 back in August 2010 that was made using the Epsilon-200.

I was trying some experiments with a Barlow lens and apparently knocked the mount out of alignment.  I didn't realize the problem until I started imaging Messier 17. I tried realigning it, but apparently didn't do something right. It was getting late and I was getting tired and making mistakes. However, I did manage to get five decent subs of the nebula.
Messier 17, the Swan Nebula; ST80 on a Vixen SP mount; 5x120
I've imaged Messier 17 before. I will definitely revisit this object when I get a chance.

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