Selected Posts of Interest

Posted October 8, 2016

From Gary Zientara, Angel Fire, NM
The reason I'm sending so many images lately is I recently got access to an Atik Infinity camera.
I'm pleased with how easy it is to get quality deep space images with its near real time simple imaging software.
This is how the Atik Imaging Software looks on my laptop computer showing near real time imaging.
Software is intuitive and hardware is easy to set up (two wires from camera...
one power cord to a 12 volt battery and one USB 2.0 connector to laptop).

An example is NGC 253 (the Silver Dollar Galaxy in Sculptor) which I imaged last night through a
4" APO refractor (40 stacked 20 second exposures).
We've also been enjoying excellent clear dark skies here in NM for almost a week so far.

The two following images I took at Mount Sangre Observatory Angel Fire NM last Sunday.
Telescope: Meade 14" LX600.  Camera: Atik Infinity.  Exposures: Stephan's Quintet (Plus One)
Sixty 20 second exposures stacked using Atik software that came with camera.
Dumbbell Forty Five 5 second stacked exposures,
Stephan's Quintet (Plus One) with NGC 7320 in foreground (lower center right) at 39 million light years
and NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, 7317, and 7320C in the background ranging
from 210 to 340 million light years away.  Note the thin gossamer tidal tail extending from NGC 7319
and seeming to connect with NGC 7320C.

Dumbbell Nebula.  "Dead" star with white dwarf remnant about the size of Earth
but almost as massive as our Sun.  It's radiating enough energy to make the star's
convulsive ejected former atmosphere glow.


Posted September 6, 2017

From Gary Zientara, Angel Fire, NM:
"This happened because of up flow from hurricane over Baha Mexico."

Posted July 17, 2016
Indian Dunes Stargazing with Larry Silvestri

12inch F6 New Astronomer
12 inch F6 Pleiades/Hayedes by Chuck Flores
12inch F6 Pottawattamie Park Winter Dunes State Park Persieds
Hot Chocolate and Orion

September 27, 2015
Total Lunar Eclipse!!
Members and Friends of the Chicago Astronomical Society assisted the Adler Planetarium
in showing and explaining the Lunar Eclipse to hundreds of people. ŻŻ

Joe Guzman & Audrey Fischer

Joe Guzman, Claire & Bob Gadbois

Our member-at-large, Gary Zientara, from Angel Fire, NM published an article in the local newspaper
and viewed the eclipse from his observatory. ŻŻ

The images below were taken by Peter Birren and Grace Mazur with a
hand-held Nikon Coolpix L810 at the Evanston Dog Beach.  No word
whether the dogs were howling or not. 

December 13, 2014
Members of the Chicago Astronomical Astronomical Society enjoyed a feast and  lots of camaraderie at the annual holiday dinner at Klas Bohemian Restaurant in Cicero, Illinois.  Music and images were displayed by members on a big screen.  Much discussion among old and new friends made for a stimulating evening.  There was even a short tour of the hidden prohibition era speakeasy room.  A good time was had by all.

Images by Claire & Bob Gadbois

October 23, 2014

Members of the Chicago Astronomical Society participated with the Adler Planetarium to show visitors the partial solar eclipse in the late afternoon before sunset.  Unfortunately the cloudy skies frustrated our attempts---until just a few moments before the sun set behind the buildings.  At that moment on the south end of the planetarium grounds, the sun peeked through the clouds and gave those with fast feet and solar glasses a quick glimpse of the crescent sun.  However, one participant did more than that.  In the words of CAS President Audrey Fischer:

"Rich Wagner (, got 3 photos of the eclipse from the Adler.

Take a look at the inexpensive system he used.
This makes solar viewing super affordable and simple, especially for groups, because many people can see the projection at the same time.  Perfect daytime activity for schools!
Rich made the "Sun funnel" for $15 by attaching a piece of rear-projection screen material to a standard funnel used for automobile oil changes.
The photos were handheld snapshots of the projected image as viewed on top of the funnel;  Very effective. 
Because Rich's set up was sooooo lightweight and portable, he was able to pick it up and literally run to a spot where the eclipse was visible (about 20' from where Joe Guzman's scope was set up)."