Comet with dual tail

Comet C/2013 US10 is currently in the morning just north a few degrees of Venus. It is starting to fade from its current 5.0 Magnitude. This image was taken with a Cannon EOS Rebel and a stock (non-L) lens.
The camera and lens was mounted on a StarSync Tracker. (local manufacturer)
Its a 2 minute image taken December 9th at 300 mm focal length that shows both gas and dust tail separated by a large angle.   G. Hug

KU Observational class at Farpoint

Kansas University Observational astronomy class meet at Farpoint for an all-night observing run Oct 24th.
We were surprised that the water was turned off at the school (and therefore at Farpoint.) I had to make a quick run to Topeka to pick several 2.5 gal water jugs to use for toilet flushing. There was an apparent leak on the water line just after it left the school so they the shut the water off. I just wish they would have notified us prior to having 10 students and a crock pot of white chili!! The picture has most of the students that made the all-nighter at Farpoint.

Good timing for this year’s Persied shower

taken about 4:00 AM CDT

The night of August 12th (and morning of the 13th) should be a great time to view the Perseids from Farpoint Observatory. Every year at roughly the same day the earth moves through the dusty tail of comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseid meteor shower usually produces about 50 -60 meteors per hour and at peak can deliver near 100/hour. This year the peak happens when the radiant is as high as it gets about 3:00 AM August 13th. The moon is completely out of the way too, being just a day or so of new. I plan to be there all night and I invite everyone to join in. Bring your sleeping bag or lawn chair preferably one that folds back horizontally, warmer clothes than you might think for mid August, bug spray, and if so inclined a camera (particularly with a wide field lens). All night restroom, coffee, etc will be available. It’ll be many years before we get another chance for an optimal Perseid shower.
The general public is also invited to join in, but please leave those bright white flashlights at home. Dark adaptation is key for meteor shower enjoyment..

Comet Lovejoy

C2014 Q2 Comet Lovejoy should reach near naked-eye visibility in early January. The tail actually extends much farther than this image shows. Current location is in Lepus just below Orion.

C/2014 Q2

GRB in M31 May 27th

May 27th, 21:24:27 UT NASA’s Swift spacecraft detected a new bright x-ray source. Thought to be an GRB (GAMMA RAY BURSTER) The object was associated with M31 (Andromeda Galaxy).
I took an image as soon as it was available to us (albeit nearly 10 hours after the signal was received). M31 was very low at the time. It was only 30 degrees above the North-East horizon. The image shows a 15th magnitude star just lower left of center (marked). The source was just a few seconds of arc north of that star. The image has the central bulge of the Andromeda galaxy just off the lower right.
Current thought is the object is not as strong as a normal GRB and is labeled as a Soft-Ray Burster (SRB)
A SRB is heavy with soft X-rays and high energy Ultra-Violet but not a huge amount of Gamma…

2 recent supernova

Here’s a couple of recent supernova images. The first is a color image of supernova 2014G in the host galaxy NGC 3448.
The supernova 2014J is located in the “cigar” galaxy M82. (b&w)
Rough instrumental magnitudes 2014G = 14.8 R., 2014J = 11.1 R.
Both images were taken with the .56 meter reflector at sandlot Observatory.

3 oppostion of comet 178P (Hug-Bell)

Here’s an image of Comet 178P (Hug-Bell) just 3 nights shy of 14 years after discovery at Farpoint. The 30 x 1 minute stacked image was taken 12-7-13 with the 22″ reflector at Sandlot Observatory.
There’s a faint but obvious coma extension to the West North-West ( PA ~ 285). It’ll stay just under 18th magnitude for another month or so. It’s currently about 3 degrees southeast of Jupiter.


Comet ISON 9-30-13

Here’s a quick image of Comet ISON as of 9-30-13
Its a composite of ten – 1 minute images shifted according to the speed and direction the comet was moving. (thus the trailed stars)
22″ f4.8 scope, the image is cropped to just a few arc minutes.


Mark Your calendar for May 4th, 2013. All NEKAAL members are invited to meet at the parking lot at 10th & Gage (west of Walgreen’s). We will carpool/caravan north to Holton and then west a few miles to Banner Creek Reservoir. The Banner Creek Science Center is located on the west side of the park.
We will get a special tour of the observatory and if you want to bring your telescope and set it up, there is a splendid observing area.
We’ll leave promptly at 6:00 PM , so you may want to get there a few minutes early…
You can stay latter if you want but the group will head back to Topeka by 11:00 PM, getting back to the parking lot before midnight..
If you have any questions be sure to let me know.