„Lift up your eyes to heaven and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name. Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing (…)”
Middle Eastern poem about the stars, 8th century BCE
Our recent pictures
h Persei & χ Persei / Caldwell 14 / NGC 869 & 884
Two young star clusters about 7,500 light years from us. They reside in the Perseus arm of the Milky Way, while we are living in the Orion arm. So looking at the Double cluster you are looking through our local spiral arm into the neighbouring arm outward from the galactic center. Interestingly they are speeding towards us at 140,000 km/h.
M45 / Seven Sisters / Kiʹmah
Kiʹmah is possibly a reference to Pleiades in Amos 5:8:
The One who made the Kiʹmah constellation and the Keʹsil constellation,
The One who turns deep shadow into morning,
The One who makes day as dark as night,
The One who summons the waters of the sea
To pour them out on the surface of the earth
—Jehovah is his name."
Pretty dark nebulae in front of hydrogen clouds
The red/orange parts of the image are made up of hydrogen and sulphur, the bluish parts are oxygen. The black parts are dark nebulae or absorption nebulae which block the light of the stars behind them. You can see such dark clouds with the naked eye as dark patches against the brighter background of the Milky Way!
M33 / NGC 598
Triangulum is the smallest spiral galaxy in the Local Group (us, Andromeda, the Magellanic Clouds and a few more neighbours). It is thought to be satellite galaxy of Andromeda as they are moving towards us together. In 4 billion years all three galaxies might merge into one big elliptical galaxy!
Assorted throwaway pancakes
More often than not astrophotos don’t come out the way you planned them to. There are about 200 steps involved in taking a picture, and they all have to be right. Also, often we need to experiment, finetune equipment or the sky is not good enough for long enough to finish a project. These are some examples of failures and experiments.