Sunday, May 26, 2024
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From the Bateson Observatory: Andromeda Galaxy

Two spectacular photos this weekend from Dr. Bateson’s Gold Run observatory.
 Taken about 1:30 Saturday morning, this is a 5 minute exposure of the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31 with M32 just below it).
The doctor took the photo with a Nikon D-90 through a Televue 85mm apochromatic refractor, electronically guided by an Orion Starshoot Autoguider camera.
It is the closest and largest of the ‘local group’ of galaxies but is still 2.36 million light years away. It is so large that it is visible to the naked eye as a small oval patch in the constellation Andromeda. The top 3 stars of Cassiopeia form a ‘V’ that points to it.
The Andromeda Galaxy from Doctor Bateson's observatory ~ Click on the picture for a larger version.


This photo, taken by the Doctor Wednesday night, of Messier 57 or the ‘Ring Nebula’ found in the constellation Lyra just south of the bright star Vega which is nearly overhead after dark.

It is a planetary nebula which is actually an exploded star and has nothing to do with a planet. These were named back in the 1700’s when their poor quality telescopes could only tell that it wasn’t a pinpoint star, so they assumed it had something to do with a planet. The central star, at 14.4 magnitude is the white dwarf remnant of the red giant star that it once was when it exploded. 

Bateson's photo of Messier 57 or the 'Ring Nebula' ~ Click on the picture for a larger version.
Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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