Bathurst Observatory Research Facility

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  • 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.
  • Wide field photo showing the whole constellation of Orion. Taken with just the camera on a tripod! Orion is promient rising due east this time of year. Note: to the centre right (in Orion's sword) you can even make out the pinkish cloud of the Great Orion Nebula, M42. This is pretty much how the eye see this constellation.
  • Almost full Moon. It is ususally a time I have a break from the telescope. Tonight though, I decided to image the Moon, as it is warm outside and a beautiful clear night.
  • A clear sky and a crescent Moon. Good to get out and just take  time away from everything. Image 16th Nov.
  • Blue, White and Red.
  • Dark, stormy skies mean no telescope time. However, the storms do create opportunities for weather images.
  • There are objects in the night sky that do not require telescopes. This image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (Galaxy) was imaged with just the DSLR camera on a tripod. The LMC is a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way and about 158,000 light years away. You can see it from a dark sky site with just your eyes this time of year.
  • It is that time of the year when some interesting galaxies are visible after dark. NGC 1365 is a barred spiral galaxy. Though this is a previous image, I plan to try and a new image of it again soon.
  • For some reason I had never imaged globular star cluster M15. So on the 15th of October I did! The Moon is waxing, so deep sky objects will have to wait a few weeks. I might image the moon in close up instead!
  • Another lecture coming up. These are done as fund raisers for the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst.
  • Side on spiral galaxy NGC253. I imaged this a few nights ago and debated to post it or not. NGC 253 is one of my favourite galaxies.
  • Globular star cluster NGC 104. This is one of the highlights of the southern sky at this time of year.
  • Comet Catalina has brightened a tiny bit (still too faint to see without a telescope), but getting hard to image as it gets lower in the western sky. Image 2nd Oct 2015.
  • Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) is currently low in the SW sky from Australia just after sunset. It is too faint to see without a telescope, but developing a nice tail. This image is the first for the research telescope after the computer fully took over its control last night.
  • NGC300 is a large but faint spiral galaxy. The arms are hard to trace out. It takes some patience to record it in an image.
  • Average stars shed their outer layers at the end of their lives. The resulting 'bubble' can be very pretty! This is M27. Now that I have re-opened our museum, I will be printing a few images for sale. The money raised will help fund equipment.
  • The visitors last night enjoyed their view of the Moon, Saturn and other objects. This was the view they saw of the Moon.
  • The constellation of Grus has an amazing group of galaxies. This image was with my smaller imaging telescope.
  • The sun has been quiet for some time, but a large sunspot group has emerged. Though currently not producing flares, it has the potential for strong flares in the days ahead.
  • Cloudy weather is hampering my attempts to test the new drive controller and undertake more imaging. This image is one from 2 years ago of the M17 nebula. This object will be imaged again as soon as a clear night occurs.
  • I have recently re-opened the museum housing our mineral, fossil and space related displays. It had been closed for a few years, but a recent clean up has allowed it to be viewed again.
  • The new telescope controller (brain) for the research telescope. It requires a rewiring of the old mount and a few other modifications. (As I said earlier, it would have been cheaper to replace the whole mount). However, I am looking forward to seeing how it all works. Perhaps just over a week to do all the work required.
  • While I do have telescopes that can zoom in close on the Moon, sometimes I enjoy the wider field offered by one of my smallest telescopes. This image was taken to commemorate the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11.
  • Comet C2014Q1 Panstarrs is faintly visible in the evening twilight sky. It can be just picked up with binoculars about 7 degrees to the left of Jupiter. This image is taken with a fairly small telescope from the observatory on the 20th July 2015. It will get a bit higher in the sky each night (to the left of Venus), but the brightening Moon will make it harder to see.
  • For the first time in over a week, the sky was clear enough to image. I wanted to image the M20 nebula, but the result is not quite as good as I wanted. It is ok, but not perfect. I do like the colour contrasts. I will image it again in about 2 weeks.
  • New Horizons has made its historic flyby of Pluto. It was programmed to collect as much data as it could and later send it back to Earth (over coming weeks). Some images have been received, with many more to come. The image below is credited to NASA, and the New Horizons team. More images are available on the New Horizons web site.
  • Winter down under is the best time to view the milky way. This image was taken from the observatory site. One reason it is so prominent this time of year is that the area of the milky way we see is in the direction of the rich central part of our galaxy. The dark areas are actually gas and dust in our galaxy, that may one day form new stars.
  • I actually imaged this over a week ago. Again, it is an area of the milky way, rich in stars and star forming nebula. I should be doing another imaging run during the coming week. This area is in the tail of Scorpio.
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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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