Starry Night (Ursa Major) on the Rhone
Vincent van Gogh (1888)

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Aquarius - The Water Bearer


Aquarius
October 15, 2003 21:07 - 21:09 UT.
Aquarius, the Water Bearer, is dominated by the famed four-star Y-shaped "Water Jar"
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Aquila - The Eagle


Aquila the Eagle.
September 5, 2004 19:56 UT
A pretty constellation at the celestial equator; it lies (roughly spoken) between DEC +10 and -10, and RA 19h to 20h 30m.
The alpha star Altair [arab.: the flying eagle] forms with alpha Cyg and alpha Lyr the so called Summer Triangle.

Mythological Background:
Aquila, the eagle, is one of the the two birds (Cygnus, the swan, is the second), which are hunted by Hercules. Yet it seems that the two birds were lucky and have escaped. It is assumed that these birds (together with a third one, the Vulture - nowadays the constellation Lyra) represent the Stymphalian Birds - one of the tasks of Hercules.
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Altair in Wide View.
October 14, 2007 18:32 - 18:38 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO, f/6.8 with 0.6 Mogg focal reducer [focal length approx. 245 mm],
Astronomik LRGB filters; ATK16IC b/w camera, K3CCDTools.
Exposures: LRGB: 10x5 seconds; unguided.
Imaging and post-processing as per my LRGB/DSO tutorial.

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Cassiopeia - The Queen


Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia: the "W"-shaped constellation, just emerging from the trees.
August 17, 2005 22:42 - 22:47 UT.
Imaging: ex-TV Zoom lens at 10mm with SC3a b/w RAW camera and ex-Vesta IRB filter, 17 autoguided exposures of 16 seconds.
Once upon a time in Ethiopia Cassiopeia was the wife of Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda. She considered herself more beautiful than the daughters of Nereus. To learn humility she was banned to the skies: half of the time with her head downwards.
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Cassiopeia
May 24, 2003 20:21 - 20:29 UT
Cassiopeia: the "W" shaped constellation.

Skymap Chart
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Coma Berenices - the hair of Queen Berenice


Coma Berenices. [Berenice's Hair]
May 3, 2003 21:26 UT.
This constellation was named by the Greek Konon of Samos [47 BC] after the hair of Egyptian Queen Berenice. She was the wife of King Ptolemaeus III. The story goes that when the King went to war Berenice promised her hair to Aphrodite, the greek Goddess of Love, if her husband would return safe and victorious. After the kings return Berenice kept her promise though the loss was hard. Aphrodite herself brought the hair to the stars.
Skymap Chart
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Corona Borealis - The Northern Crown


Corona Borealis: Behold the sparkling jewels of the Northern Crown.
March 19, 2009 22:22 - 22:56 UT.
Imaging: 29mm SLR Photolens, ATK16IC camera with Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: Lum: 21x90s [1x1]; RGB 5x35s [2x2]; unguided.

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Corona Borealis
April 10, 2005 23:56 - 24:00 UT.
Corona Borealis: Behold the sparkling jewels of the Northern Crown.
Mythological Background:
This Crown belonged to Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, her ball of thread helped Theseus defeat the Minotaur, and he gave her the crown when they married. She was abandoned on the Greek island of Naxos by Theseus. She married Liber Bacchus, the crown was placed in the stars by Venus.

Imaging: ex-TV zoomlens @ 15mm focal length and ex-Vesta Infra Red Blocking filter, Vesta SC3a b/w RAW webcam,
22 unguided exposures of 10 seconds.
Skymap Chart
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Delphinus - The Dolphin


Delphinus.
October 22, 2008 18:26 - 18:49 UT.
Delphinus, the dolphin, is a small constellation of the family of the Heavenly Waters lying North, but close to the celestial equator.
Imaging: SLR Photolens 29mm focal length piggybacked on my LX200, Astronomik LRGB filters; ATK16IC b/w camera.
Exposures: L: 5x120s [1x1]; RGB: 5x45s [2x2] [I had to hurry because of trees], unguided.
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Gemini - The Twins


Gemini [Twins].
March 16, 2003 19:11 - 19:24 UT
The names of the two brightest stars of this constellation, Castor and Pollux, can be found in the Greek mythology: One day Zeus seduced Leda, the wife of the King of Sparta, Tyndareos. To get Leda Zeus changed himself to a swan. Leda got pregnant and gave birth to the twins Pollux and Castor and to a girl named Helena. This was the same Helena who was kidnapped by Paris and brought to Troja; this was the reason for the start of the Trojan War.
Skymap Chart
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Leo - The Lion


Leo [the Lion].
April 23, 2003 20:04 - 20:42 UT.
Mosaic constructed from 7 individual AVI's.
One of the twelve tasks of Hercules was to kill the lion, which this constellation is thought to represent.
Skymap Chart
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Leo with Jupiter.
March 30, 2004 21:29 - 21:31 UT
Annotated picture.
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Lyra - The Lyre


Lyra
August 8, 2004 21:10 - 21:19 UT.
This wide field image allows you to find M57.
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Lyra
July 27, 2004 22:03 UT
A wide field image of Lyra.







July 27, 2004 22:03 UT
The same wide field image of Lyra, with annotations.

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Lyra
July 11, 2003 23:06 UT
Lyra is right in the zenith of my observatory and you can see the trees that block my view.
Mythological Background:
Lyra is thought to represent the harp of Orpheus. On older skymaps Lyra ist represented as a bird: Vultur, the Vulture. Together with the Cygnus, the Swan, and Aquila, the Eagle, it is hunted by Hercules.
Another story says that Mercury invented the lyre by placing strings across the back of a tortoise shell. So sometimes in early descriptions this constellation is also drawn as a tortoise.
Skymap Chart
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Cygnus - The Swan [a.k.a. The Northern Cross]


Cygnus: just South of Sadr [gamma Cygni].
August 5, 2006 21:54 - 21:57 UT.
Please note M29.
Imaged with ex-TV-Zoomlens at 40mm and ex-Vesta Infra Red Blocking Filter.
Camera: Vesta Pro SC3a RAW webcam, only 5 [because of clouds] unguided exposures of 25 seconds.
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Cygnus: The Northern Cross
August 5, 2006 21:25 - 21:39 UT.
Constellation Cygnus [the Swan]: a.k.a. the Northern Cross.
Imaged with ex-TV-Zoomlens at 10mm and ex-Vesta Infra Red Blocking Filter.
Camera: Vesta Pro SC3a RAW webcam, 20 unguided exposures of 45 seconds.





The same image as above, but annotated.
Please note Chi Cygni: a variable star of the Mira type and is showing one of the largest variations in magnitude known.
At the maximum [close to or on imaging time] Chi Cygni is +3.62 magnitude while at the minimum it is +15.00 magnitude.
Its usual period is about 408 days, with substantial variation; its distance is approximately 345 light years.
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IC1318 - Large nebular complex around Gamma Cygnus [with M29 and NGC6888].
August 26, 2005 22:01 - 22:23 UT.
Imaging: 50mm SLR Photolens with SC3a b/w RAW camera and Astronomik H-Alpha filter, 12 autoguided [RA only] exposures of 120 seconds.
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IC1318 - Large nebular complex around Gamma Cygnus [with M29 and NGC6888].
August 26, 2005 22:01 - 22:23 UT.
This blink comparison between my image and the Megastar chart nicely shows the objects.
Made with Astrowave [to determine the rotation angle and scale], Photoshop [layering and positioning] and Animagic [animation]
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Cygnus and Lyra








Cygnus and Lyra
July 31, 2006 21:19 - 21:32 UT.
QCUIAG-members Robin Leadbeater and Hans-Goran Lundberg pointed out that variable star Chi Cygnus is now exceptionally bright.
Chi Cygni is a variable star of the Mira type and shows one of the largest variations in magnitude known.
At the maximum [close to or on imaging time] Chi Cygni is +3.62 magnitude while at the minimum it is +15.00 magnitude.
Its usual period is about 408 days, with substantial variation; its distance is approximately 345 light years.
Imaged with ex-TV-Zoomlens at 10mm and ex-Vesta Infra Red Blocking Filter.
Camera: Vesta Pro SC3a RAW webcam, 15 unguided exposures of 40 seconds.


This Light Curve of chi Cygni from the VSOLJ database [1900-1999] clearly shows that magnitudes brighter than magnitude 4 are quite exceptional, and my image shows an estimated 3.7 magnitude.
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Cygnus
September 9, 2004 20:46 - 20:47 UT.
Cygnus and Vega: the zenith from my observatory, complete with trees.
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Orion - The Hunter


Orion [the Hunter] as seen from my observatory on January 17, 2003 20:22 UT
Orion is a magnificent constellation which can easily be found by the three stars which form the belt of the Hunter.
From this belt hangs a dagger, which is adourned with a precious jewel: The Great Orion Nebula (M42).
Skymap Chart
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Orion just over the roof of my home.
January 2, 2004 21:41 - 21:43 UT
Skymap Chart
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The area around Alnitak; FOV approx 2.5 x 2 arc degrees.
January 30, 2008 19:40 - 20:08 UT.
Imaging: 50mm SLR Photolens with 2xTeleconverter [f/l 100mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik H-alpha filter, 8 unguided exposures of 240 seconds.







The same area according to Megastar.
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The three belt stars of Orion together with the Flame Nebula and the Horse Head Nebula
January 24, 2008 21:16 - 21:52 UT.
The three belt stars of Orion together with the Flame Nebula and the Horse Head Nebula.
This image was a test to see how the 85mm lens [ex slide projector] would perform.
Imaging: 85mm lens [ex slide projector], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik H-alpha filter, 10 unguided exposures of 240 seconds.




The same area according to Megastar.
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Orion Wide Field with SH2-276 Barnards Loop
January 25, 2007 18:54 - 20:59 UT.
This wide field image shows the heart of the Orion constellation.
You see the 3 belt stars, the Flame Nebula, the Horse Head Nebula and on the left a vague outline of Barnards Loop.
Imaging: 29mm SLR Photolens, Vesta SC3a bw RAW camera, Astronomik H-alpha filter, 32 unguided exposures of 180 seconds.




The same area according to Megastar.
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Sagitta - The Arrow


Sagitta : the arrow.
August 14, 2003 22:08 - 22:17 UT
A very small constellation lying south of the Fox, Vulpecula, and north of the Eagle, Aquila. As a matter of fact Sagitta is the third smallest constellation in the sky. It shows clearly the shape of an arrow flying towards the Swan, Cygnus.
Sagitta is thought to be the arrow shot by Hercules as he is hunting the two birds, Aquila and Cygnus. But it seems that they were lucky and escaped.
Skymap Chart
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Taurus - The Bull


Taurus - the Bull (with M45 - the Pleiades)
December 8, 2004 22:37 - 22:46 UT
Megastar skymap
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Melotte 25 - The Hyades, open cluster in Taurus.
December 30, 2008 18:25 - 19:39 UT.
Imaging: 29mm SLR Photolens, ATK16IC camera with Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: Lum: 14x240s [1x1]; RGB 5x30s [2x2]; unguided.

Aldebaran: the Alpha star [= brightest star] of Taurus.
November 25, 2009 20:36 - 20:59 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO with Meade 3.3 Focal Reducer at f/3 [focal length 240 mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: LRGB: 5x60s [1x1]; unguided.
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Triangulum - The Triangle


Triangulum
December 30, 2008 19:43 - 20:23 UT.
Imaging: 29mm SLR Photolens, ATK16IC camera with Astronomik L filter.
Exposures: Lum: 8x240s [1x1]; RGB not captured because of trees; unguided.

Ursa Major - The Great Bear


Ursa Major
May 19, 2003 20:42 - 21:01 UT
Ursa Major: the Great Bear. Also known as the Big Dipper or the Wagon.
In a very old book we read the following:
"Can you ensure the proper sequence of the seasons, or guide the constellation of the Bear with her satellites across the heavens?"
Indeed: these are words from the Bible and you can find them in the book Job (chapter 31) where God questions Job and shows a glimpse of Who He is.

Imaged from static photo tripod without any tracking, which explains the slightly oval shaped stars.
Location: camping site Orfü, Hungary.
Camera: Vesta SC1.5, no cooling; TV zoom lens at 10mm; 3 AVIs of 10 x 20 seconds; faint magnitude: 9.3

Megastar 5.0 Chart
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Ursa Minor - The Small Bear



Ursa Minor
May 29, 2003 20:34 - 20:50 UT
Ursa Minor: the Small Bear. Also known as the Little Dipper.
Imaged from static tripod.





The upper image was processed with MaxIm DL 2.09 [demo version] to compensate the rotation, whereas the lower image was processed with K3CCDTools ['full frames';'calculate results' with the option 'If Lighter'] to show the rotation around the celestial North Pole.
Skymap Chart
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