Tag: RC 6″

M55 Globular cluster

Messier55 is a globular cluster located in constellation Sagittarius. This cluster is very difficult to photograph from central Europe, because there is located not far from horizon. For example Charles Messier hat troubles to locate this cluster and it took him 14 years to spot it. I made a trip to Gavdos – the southernmost place is Europe. There the cluster was significantly upper in the sky.

M55 is 17600 light-year far from the Solar system, it has approximately 100 light-year diameter and contain 100 000 stars.

Techanical details

Telescope:RC 154/1370
Aperture:154 mm
Focal length:917 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:ZWO 1600 MC @ -15C
Corrector:Astro Physics CCDT67
Filters:UV, IR cut
Exposure:37x 120s Gain 240
Date:2017-09-29

M20 Trifid nebula

Trifid nebula is a combination of emission, reflection and dark nebula – pretty unique. It got its name from 3 dark lines across emission (red) part. The lines are dust clouds blocking the light emitted by ionized hydrogen.  It’s possible to observe this nebula, but one needs dark skies and a telescope with aperture at least 120 mm. The nebula can be found in constellation Sagittarius and it’s 5200 light-years far from Earth.

The picture was taken in Gavdos during my first dark sky chasing. The total integration time is only one hour, which is remarkable for such portable setup.

Technical details

Telescope:RC 154/1370
Aperture:154 mm
Focal length:917 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:ZWO 1600 MC @ -15C
Corrector:Astro Physics CCDT67
Filters:UV, IR cut
Exposure:20x 180s Gain 240
Date:2017-09-23

NGC 7293 Helix nebula

Helix nebula is the closest and the brightest planetary nebula in the sky. It was discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding quite long time ago at 1824 in constellation Aquarius. This nebula is similar to Dumbbell or Ring Nebula, only it’s much bigger and bit closer – approximately 450 light-years.

I took this picture on Gavdos. This nebula was my primary target there, because in Switzerland is located not far above the horizon, therefore I would have to capture it through heavy light pollution. In the southernmost point of European continent was way upper in the sky. I was collecting the light coming from this nebula several nights and it was worth it:

Technical details

Telescope:RC 154/1370
Aperture:154 mm
Focal length:917 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:ZWO 1600 MC @ -15C
Corrector:Astro Physics CCDT67
Filters:UV, IR cut
Exposure:116x 180s Gain 139
Date:2017-09-22

Chasing the darkness in Greece on small island Gavdos

I was always dreaming about dark skies, because I live in sub-urban area with relatively strong light pollution. Two friends returned from Gavdos where they spent their summer vacation and told me that they have never seen so many stars in the sky – at that moment I was tempted. One year later I decided to combine our summer vacation (mid Semptember) with chasing of the dark skies. Swimming, snorkeling, hiking during the day and photographing, observing during the night.

We have been to Greece already, so we knew what to expect – beautiful beaches, people with great hospitality and tourists everywhere. But Gavdos is something different. It is a small island south from Crete. The island is the southernmost point of the entire European continent, which is optimal for astrophotography, because the deep space objects, which are near to the horizon in Switzerland, are 12° upper in the sky. Only few people live on Gavdos, which means there is no light pollution compared to other Greek islands. There are neither big hotels, discotheques nor organized beaches. On the other hand there are places where you can sleep and there are many taverns where you can get something delicious. Moreover in all taverns is a Wi-Fi. Electricity is mostly produced by the solar panels and stored in the batteries and some taverns use generators, so there is electricity available whole night. This means you don’t have to carry heavy batteries to power the mount or camera cooling with you.