Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our SSON users and supporters and my blog readers! As a Christmas gift to everyone I want to post two images of interesting objects taken by Adam Block using the Mt. Lemmon 32-inch (0.81-meter) telescope that is part of SSON. Adam took the data and processed it to create these images in the past few weeks. Anyone who wants to acquire this type of data to create their own images can use the Mt. Lemmon and other SSON telescopes to create fantastic astronomy images.
Adam is the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center observatory manager for SSON.
Thanks for sharing your great work Adam!
Here is the email message Adam to me about his great image of the galaxy NGC 1169:
NGC 1169 is a little-studied galaxy that we view through the outer spiral arms of our own galaxy.
At one hundred million light years away it isn’t really in the neighborhood and many of the stars in its disk must be intrinsically bright. As viewed from here (Earth) however this galaxy is quite faint and many hours of exposure time are necessary to see it well through all of the intervening (and somewhat distracting) stars of our own galaxy. This image may be the sharpest full color image of this galaxy taken to-date.
Happy Winter Solstice!
P.S. The top right of the frame in the large view has a cool grouping of galaxies including a striking edge-on disk galaxy.
WeBo1 Planetary Nebula
Here is the email message Adam sent to me about planetary nebula WeBo 1:
WeBo 1 is a strange planetary nebula (dying star) that was discovered in the mid-1900s. Although an interesting curiosity to astronomers no high-resolution color images have been taken of it… until now.
It is a tiny, faint and very cool object. The discovers (that recognized its true nature) wrote a readable astronomical journal article about it here.
(You will find small grayscale images of it as acquired using the 4 meter Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. )
I just love the nearly perfect oval glow amidst a sea of stars and nebulae.