Sunday, August 11, 2019

All Sky and More

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

I set an alarm for 0130 to awaken me this morning.

Taking a peek out of the master bedroom window, I was encouraged by the lack of clouds in the sky.

The moon was still shining brightly, but was due to set at 0230.

Plenty of time to get the equipment set up before moonless darkness fell.

My plan was to lean back in my observing chair and watch the near peak Perseids.

While watching the sky, I'd let the imager run on a couple of selected objects.  I wasn't planning a full session of imaging.  I wanted to count Perseids.

All Sky

After a couple of hours, and 40 Perseids later, I remembered that my ZWO ASI224MC imager came with an "All Sky" lens that I have never tried.  If I planned it properly, it probably would let me capture meteor images.  Perhaps, next time, though.  I didn't have the proper software installed and 0430 is not the time to try anything new.  Especially when sitting outside in the driveway.

On a lark, I perched the imager with the lens on my equipment table and attached it to the laptop.  This is one of the images that I captured.  I didn't spend a lot of time on it, so it's nothing fancy.  It's a really raw shot.  Focus isn't great.  Hot pixels are evident.  But, it is really representative of what I can see from my driveway.

The View from My Driveway.
In the upper left corner is the top of a tree near my garage.  It "touches" the Milky Way.  In the lower right corner is light pollution from the city.  You can see the Pleiades, Taurus, and Orion's shield rising through the city's lights.

While counting Perseids, I pointed the telescope at a couple of my favorite objects.  I had not yet had the opportunity to see them in the wide field of the ZWO ASI294MC.


This is an image of double star that is very striking because the larger star is gold in color and the smaller is blue in appearance.

Albireo - Diffraction spikes are pretty.
Albireo is best when seen through an eyepiece.  The brightness and colors of the double star really capture your eye.

NGC 7331

NGC 7331 is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation, Pegasus.  While it is beautiful in its own right, I like it because it located in a region of the sky bursting with galaxies.

NGC 7331 and neighbors.
NGC 7331 is the "big" spiral galaxy in this image.  Immediately below it are three smaller galaxies, to its upper left is another small galaxy.  In the upper right corner of this image is a cluster of galaxies known as "Stepan's Quintet."


  1. You had an awesome viewing night. I guess seeing 40 Perseids means you got to make 40 wishes.:-) I'm digging the NGC 7331 "and neighbors" image!

    1. NGC 7331 was nearly straight up in the sky so I was able to do longish 8 seconds frame exposures without being impacted much by field rotation. This let me tease out more of the details in its spiral arms. Pretty, huh!?

  2. Gosh! I love both of those last two images!!! The Milky Way is also lovely, but the last two are really striking. How many Perseids did you see? I plan on going out tomorrow morning after the moon sets.

  3. Thanks! I have spent many minutes staring at Albireo! Love the gold and blue colors. I counted 40 Perseids over the couple hours I was paying attention. The rate of meteors started to really pick up around 0500!


Featured Post

More HyperStar Fun

Yes, more HyperStar fun! Thursday night, we finally had clear dark night. It was worthy of putting the HyperStar on the Cat. It was worthy o...

Popular Posts