Archive for December 2022

The Shortest Day Of The Year In The Northern Hemisphere Is The Winter Solstice: December 21st 2022. See My Humble Work, Measuring The Sun Shadow, As Following: Now See The Sun Shadow Getting Shorter: January 26th 2023

December 21, 2022

My oldest grandson needed a project for showing the altitude of the Sun, via the shadow. I made my simple solar device in my back yard, and my grandson, fabricated his device near Myrtle Beach. We compared views fairly often, and discussed our results. A fun project for the both of us.

I made the following photos today, at 12:00 noon (December 21st 2022) EST.

The (Blue Mark) represents the Sun Shadow (Today) at “precisely” 12:00 Noon EST, December 21st. At “almost” the end of the scale, which represents the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. A very long shadow for sure!

The (Green Mark) at the (inch-mark #9) was made on the the first day of Fall (September 22nd).

The (White Mark) at the (#2 inch-mark) represents the shadow on the first day of Summer (June 21st) and the longest day of 2022. A very short shadow! This would conclude that the sun is never “perfectly” overhead.

The scale on the ground is perfectly level, and facing North. The shadow post is at 90º.

Nova Sophia (Sophie) looks on with interest…

January 26th 2023 @ 12:00 PM EST: My first photo of the suns shadow which shows the shadow getting shorter.

See photos below: Note the longest shadow, the blue mark, which was made on the first day of Winter, the shortest day of the year.

During DST, the time to measure the shadow should be made at 1:00 PM. During EST, the shadow measurement should be made at 12:00 Noon.

My Sky Atlas’… But My Favorite Is The Smaller Version Of The Pocket Sky Atlas

December 21, 2022

Since the introduction of the “Pocket Sky Atlas” so many years ago, I have found without exception…this atlas has served me very well.

Easy to use in the dark, and I can use the larger or smaller version equally well. However, I mostly use the smaller edition. I have different ring(s) for each version and to match different finders.

However, as of recent, I’m using my GoTo mount most of the time. Being the purist amateur, never would I have thought after 40 plus years of observing, I would be using a GoTo mount….now most of the time.

No need for an atlas with the following mount. 🙂

NGC 1245 Open Cluster In Perseus: January 2023 Observer’s Challenge Report #168

December 15, 2022

Work-File: Used only for organization and editing. When all entries are received (February 8th, 2023) and a final .pdf report will be issued by the 10th.

Mario Motta: Observer from Massachusetts

NGC 1245  reminds me of M11, similar in appearance.

A new deconvolution technique developed by Russell Cromen for PixInsight was just released (December 14th 2022) and this is what I used. It promises much better deconvolution and sharpening of images than anything done before. I was intrigued, so downloaded and tried it out on NGC 1245.

I am including an image of NGC 1245 with BlurX and a previous image for comparison.

This is an AI subroutine that works in pixinsight and corrects star deformity differentially across the field, and sharpens better than before. It is being touted as a “game changer” already by the pixinsight crowd….and so far, I have to agree.

On the BlurX version (first image) note stars are pinpoint actress the field, and some double stars are now cleanly separated. Also note that on the eastern edge (left side) two galaxies have popped into view not seen on original processing. Wow!

Images taken with my 32-inch f/6.5 telescope, R,G.G, and Lum filters, about 2 hours total imaging time, with ZWO ASI6200 camera.

Again….(first image) processed in pixInsight using the new BlurXtermintor plug-In.

Larry McHenry: Observer from Pittsburgh

Open Cluster NGC 1245 is located in the fall constellation of Perseus – “The Hero”.

The cluster is about 9,800 light-years light years distant, and is about 27 light-years in size, and estimated to be about 1 billion years old.

NGC 1245 was discovered on the night of December 11th 1786 by William Herschel using his 20-ft reflector, (18.5-inch speculum-metal mirror), at his home in Slough, near Windsor Castle. Herschel described the object as: “A beautiful compressed rich cluster of small and large stars. The stars arranged in lines like interwoven letters”. 


On 11/21/2022, from Calhoun County Park in West Virginia.  

Using an 8-inch SCT optical tube @ f/6.3 on a GEM mount, with a CMOS color camera and broadband filter, 15-second guided exposure, live-stacked for 5 minutes. 

Using EAA techniques, the moderate rich 8th mag open star cluster NGC 1245 is located next to 7.9 mag star SAO38671. The cluster’s stars are all of similar brightness, with several star-chains visible.

Phil Orbanes: Observer from Massachusetts:

This open cluster was discovered by William Herschel in 1786. It is 27 light years across, contains about 200 stars of 12th magnitude or dimmer, and lies about a billion light years from earth.

My RBG  photo includes 8 hours of imaging, with  my 14-inch Planewave reflector and FLI 16803 CCD camera, evenly divided among the three color channels. 

Roger Ivester: Observer from North Carolina

NGC 1245 – Open Cluster – Perseus 

Telescope:  10-inch f/4.5 Newtonian 

Eyepiece:  11mm 

Sketch Magnification: 104x

Field-of-View:  0.79º

A surprisingly faint cluster, especially from my 4.8 NELM back yard.  My first observation was using a 6-inch f/6 Newtonian, with little to no resolution, just a hazy spot, with a few brighter members.  

With my 10-inch, the cluster is much brighter as expected, when compared to the 6-inch, and with many faint members visible, but only when using a magnification greater than 100x.  The shape of the cluster is mostly irregular, with a few chains of stars being noted.  Mostly dim stars, but very rich.

Iota Cassiopeia – Triple Star: December 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #167

December 4, 2022

December:  Iota (ι) Cas  Triple Star  Cassiopeia; mag=4.6;6.9;9.1; Separation: 2.9″, 7.1″

RA: 02h 29m;  Dec: +67° 24′  

December 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report .pdf final as following: