Here’s another galaxy with no nearby neighbors, and no catchy nicknames either: NGC 3344. It’s about 22.5 million light-years away within the constellation Leo Minor. Although it doesn’t get the love it deserves, it’s a glorious face-on barred spiral galaxy that’s about half the size of our own Milky Way. Explore the space around it, and you’ll find many other galaxies that are much more distant.
This comet will reach its brightest point a couple of weeks from now, but the skies were clear this morning so I figured I should go for it while I can! The tail’s not as pronounced as I hoped, and processing is a bit sloppy in a couple of spots. But hey, it’s a comet….
Located about 2,400 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus, the “Elephant’s Trunk Nebula” has a distinct “Pillars of Creation” vibe when viewed as a long-exposure, narrowband image in the style of Hubble. Like the “Pillars of Creation” (the Eagle Nebula,) the Elephant’s Trunk is also an area of star formation, containing some young, newly-formed stars….
These past couple of nights, I revisited the Wizard Nebula – home of a star cluster about 7,000 light-years away within the constellation Cepheus. This is a false-color image in the “Hubble Palette” where red, green, and blue represent ionized Sulphur, Hydrogen, and Oxygen emissions respectively. Can you see the “wizard”? Hint: he’s lying on…
This pair of galaxies gets its name from their shapes. Both are viewed edge-on, and from this perspective we can see how a past interaction between the two warped them both. About 6 hours of exposure time from the backyard observatory.
This image contains a few things! At the bottom is the Cone Nebula, at the upper-right is the “Fox Fur Nebula”, and in the middle is the “Christmas Tree” star cluster… you have to flip the image upside down to see that one. It’s a gorgeous region of active star formation in the constellation Monoceros….