Saturday, October 12, 2019



What's that?

The video arcade games Pacman and Ms Pacman were very popular when I was in college.  Alas, I was a poor college student.  Quarters were precious to me so I didn't actually get to play games in the arcade often.  

I had friends who were hooked on them and they could often be found in the student union basement recreation center spending their coins and developing their arcade skills instead of studying.  Who knows how that turned out for them?  Last Starfighter, perhaps?


Why the Pacman reference in this blog?

I was finally able to image NGC 281 last weekend and its results are recognisable as its "also known as" name, the Pacman Nebula.

Yep, there is a Pacman Nebula.

NGC 281, Aka the Pacman Nebula

This is the image as it first appeared.  Not much there and pretty disappointing.  If you squint and hold your tongue just right, you might see it.

Pacman Nebula, almost invisible

I almost didn't try to capture an image.  I couldn't see anything, at first.  I figured that perhaps the scope's alignment was off.

But, just in case, I had SharpCap capture and stack a bunch of frames while I went into the house for more coffee.

Here is what I saw when I came back to the laptop.

Friday, October 4, 2019



It turns out that there is a catalog of peculiar galaxies!  This is my type of catalog!

The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies is a catalog of peculiar galaxies.  It was produced by Halton Arp in 1966 and was originally published by the California Institute of Technology in the same year

The primary purpose of the catalog was to present photographs of examples of the different kinds of peculiar structures found among galaxies.

There are a total of 338 galaxies presented in the atlas.

This is one of them.  I captured it last night shortly after moonset.

Arp 28

Arp 28.  It's a peculiar galaxy. Click for the bigger version.

The Arp 28, magnified, is below.

Pew! Pew!

Space Laser!

I have one of these mounted on the business end of my telescope.  It is a rifle laser sight.  It shines an intensely bright thin green line towards whatever is in the crosshairs of the sighter scope, also visible in this image.

Careful alignment was necessary.

It's useful because I can determine where the scope is pointing or slewing without doing the contortions to peer through the sighter scope.

It works really well.  Even at cold winter temperatures.  Cold is usually a problem for green laser pointers, but I made sure this had good cold weather specs.

Pew! Pew!
While out with the telescope last night, I noticed something that I had not previously seen.

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