Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

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  • This will be the last image of comet Panstarrs for a while due to bad weather this week. The Moon will start to brighten the sky later this week as well. Also notice the faint nebula in the lower right in this rich part of the sky. Image 3rd July 2016.
  • The lagoon nebula, M8. Imaged in late June 2016.
  • The latest image of comet x1 Panstarrs. This was taken on the 29th June 2016. The comet is moving into a rich star field of the milky way. The tail has a nice curve to it too!
  • I managed to finally get about an hour break in the cloud and image comet X1 Panstarrs. The comet is not quite visible to the eye, but certainly nice in the field of view of the research telescope. (25th June 2016). The comet is slowly fading as it moves away from the sun and Earth.
  • I promised a another image of the popular NGC 6231 region. I had imaged it again in May, but have only just processed it in StarTools.
  • As many in the region will know, we have had cloudy and bad weather for about two weeks. That means no new images. So I have used the time to re-process some images. This is the eta carina nebula. Sorry to those who have tried to book this long weekend, as I am booked out.
  • I have been using this great program called StarTools to process my images of late. It is specifically made for astrophotography and I admit that I am impressed. Here is an image of the galaxy NGC5128 using StarTools. The galaxy itself is merging with another, and hence the dark dust lane.
  • Galaxy M83. Imaged 29th May. I find this galaxy just epic!
  • I recently imaged M64, the Black Eye Galaxy. About 24 million light years away. It has an unusual dark band of gas and dust. The dark patch is the result of a merger with another galaxy. Don't forget that June is the month for viewing Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Keep an eye on the website, I may add extra tours!
  • Now is the best time to view the planet Mars. It will be a highlight of our tours through June. However, there is also Jupiter and Saturn to view as well. The image is a simulation, looking east, to help you spot Mars and Saturn. Jupiter can been seen shining brightly in the northern sky (from Australia).
  • Around 5:00 pm Wednesday 18th May, people around the central west started calling about a strange bright orb in the southern sky. I saw it too!!!! I managed to get the telescope  trained on it and was able to image it. As you can see, it turns out to be a giant NASA weather balloon! There was some hazy cloud too. The balloon drifted slowly westwards. For more info on its purpose http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/nasa-prepares-for-nz-balloon-launch/news-story/8047080d0d690e6a728ad6728a70e315
  • The Moon is too bright to image deep sky objects. So before my tour, I turned one of the telescopes to the Moon. This is the view my visitors had during the tour on the 13th of May.
  • Just as a break from galaxy images, I thought I would image the NGC6231 region. The larger of the glowing hydrogen gas clouds is called the prawn nebula. In a couple of months, I will image it again when it is higher in the evening sky.
  • I really love galaxy NGC4565. It is a spiral galaxy seen side on. It is fairly low in the Northern sky but still shows nice detail despite the smoke haze. May 2016.
  • Galaxy M90. Another spiral, which is seen at an angle (rather than face on). Let me know when you are all tired of seeing distant galaxies! The galaxy is another member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies.
  • Galaxy M100 (and others in the image too). About 55 million light years away. I have just finished imaging this (high winds tonight too). I may post a better image once I have processed tonight's images. I did image a few galaxies and will post them over coming days. 1st May 2016.
  • NGC 4038. This is a pair of spiral galaxies in the process of collision. It is also known as the antenna galaxy, because if you look closely, you might notice the very faint drawn out arms of the spirals, somewhat looking like antenna.
  • Galaxy M104 is a side on spiral. Note the dark gas and dust that encircle the galaxy. It is about 28 million light years away, but shows up well in a wide angle view from the research telescope.
  • My son wanted to attempt an image of Jupiter. Here is his first try. Planets are the hardest things to try and capture. So not bad at all!
  • M95 and M96 are a pair of spiral galaxies in the constellation of Leo. The are about 36 million light years away. I do like the central bar within M95. April  2016
  • Just near the Southern Cross is the Jewel Box star cluster. This type  of cluster is known as an open cluster. The region is also a rich star field. April 2016.
  • M83 has to be one of the best face on spiral galaxies. It is about 15 million light years away. This is a wide angle view using the research telescope. March 2016.
  • NGC 5128. Also called Centaurus A, it is a large galaxy currently merging with a spiral galaxy. The dark lane is gas from the spiral. Deep in the heart of NGC 5128 is an active black hole.
  • I recently re imaged and processed the M42 nebula to highlight the details (particularly in the darker parts of the nebula). I hope you enjoy.
  • Comet 252P/Linear, March 16th. This comet is going to pass by Earth fairly closely on March 21st. At a distance of 5.4 million km, there is no chance of hitting Earth, but it ranks as the 5th closest pass of a comet. It is a bit too faint to see without a telescope, and with a bright Moon, it will be even harder.
  • Omega Centauri rates as the best globular star cluster. Even with  the wide angle telescope, it takes up a lot of the view. It is a spherical ball of stars about 16,000 light years away. Mar 2016
  • Three galaxies (M 66, M65 and NGC 3628) form a nice triplet in the constellation of Leo. March 2016. They are about 35 million light years away. I Imaged these to test the new camera. I have found the software doesn't like the camera! A bit more tweaking required.
  • Nebula NGC 2174. This is located near Orion and is known as the Monkey Face nebula. At least I can make out this one! I also had a meeting this week to plan out some very exciting things for the observatory. I will announce more as they come up.
  • This is IC2948, a nebula near the Southern Cross. It is known as the "Running Chicken" nebula. I have looked at it a few times, and just can't see it myself! Feb 2016.
  • I had delayed posting this image. It is the horsehead nebula region in Orion. The bright star is the eastern most of Orion's belt. Just below this star is the Flame nebula. This was a test image with the F2 system on the research telescope.
  • A clear evening and a wonderful Moon. The Moon presents a nice easy target for imaging. 17th Feb 2016. The crater Copernicus is just emerging from the shadows of the Moon's terminator.
  • Large but faint. The Rosette Nebula is in the constellation of Monoceros near Orion. This is again a wide angle view.
  • Something I promised a few weeks ago is a wide angle view of the Eta Carina Nebula with the new F2 equipment.  Eta Carina would have to be one of the best nebula. Compare this wide angle view with the post from 16th Jan.
  • A clear night gave me the chance to try the research scope at wide angle. (Technically C14, at F2). Nebula M42 and M43 were the test targets. The wide angle equipment was purchased as part of the AMP Tomorrow Fund grant.
  • This is a close up part view of the Pleiades cluster. The wider angle telescope should fit them all in soon. They are sometimes called the seven sisters and quite prominent in the northern sky (Australia) after dark this time of year. To the eye they look like a tight cluster of stars surrounded by a haze.
  • Too big to fit in the research telescope's field of view, the eta carina nebula is a beautiful sight. The research telescope now has an adapter that will enable a much wider field of view. Eta Carina will be a great test object!
  • I have dug into my image archives due to a week of cloudy nights. This image from 2013 is part of a star cluster and nebula in the constellation of Monoceros. The nebula itself covers such a large area of sky that it doesn’t fit in the frame. I now have an attachment for the telescope that will enable a much wider field of view, perfect for such objects.
  • It has been a bit cloudy of late. I had hoped to give the new public telescopes a work out and learn how to use them!
  • The dog was bitten by a brown snake a week ago, and to pay for his vet bill, I am selling a few rare but spare meteorite pieces. This is a 41 gram slice of Seymchan Pallasite from Russia. It is about 93mm long, 35mm wide and 3mm thick. Pallasites are among the most beautiful of all meteorites. I am selling this slice very reluctantly for $750 (plus postage).
  • I was testing the new camera lens to image the Southern Cross, when I seem to have captured some sort of strange object. I wish to thank all the followers of the observatory and wish you all the best for Christmas and New Year.
  • The peak of the Geminid meteor shower has now past. At the observatory I noted mainly faint meteors with an occasional bright one. There was some cloud which made viewing hard, but I managed about 20 Geminids in an hour. Taking an image was hard, as the brighter ones always seem to occur where the camera wasn't pointed! Here is an image of one the 'average' ones cutting through Leo.
  • This is a previous image of M42 that is a highlight of Orion this time of year. As soon as I get the imaging telescope back on line, I will be posting a new (closer) image as a test of the new camera purchased from the AMP Tomorrow Fund Grant.
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    Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

    (Open Night Tours, Research and Meteorite related enquires)
    624 Rossmore Park, Limekilns Rd, KELSO NSW 2795. Australia
    Phone: 02 6337 3988 | International: +61 2 6337 3988
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