The Galaxy Cluster Abell 2151 in Constellation Hercules

The galaxy cluster Abell 2151 in the constellation Hercules, therefore also known as the Hercules cluster, has an extension of approx. 1° and is located at a distance of approx. 500 light years. Unlike other clusters, it has no central galaxy, and contains several interacting galaxy systems. It was first described by Harlow Shapley in 1933.


The Galaxy Cluster Abell 2151 in Constellation Hercules, Telescope Newton f=1000mm f/4, Camera Atik 460Exm, Total Exposure Time 13h30min

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Aurora over Bad Kreuznach (Germany) in the night from 10 to 11 May 2024

During the night of 10 to 11 May, a rare event for Central European latitudes occurred: a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun hit the earth's atmosphere and caused auroras all over Europe. Here is a collection of pictures from my location in Bad Kreuznach (Germany). The colours of the following pictures were only clearly attenuated or not visible at all to the naked eye, as the brightness of the aurora was mostly not high enough to appeal to the colour receptors of the human eye. Nevertheless, I watched the event in amazement on the meadow in the garden and recognised the light phenomena as an unusually bright veils in the clear, dark night sky (shortly after new moon).


Viewing Direction North-East, Aurora Borealis, 2024-05-10 approx. 22:45 UTC (2024-05-11 0:45 MEST), Background St Wolfgang's church tower

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The Beehive Cluster / Praesepe M 44 in constellation cancer and seven asteroids

Messier 44, also known as the Beehive Cluster or Praesepe, is a bright and prominent open star cluster located in the constellation Cancer. It is located approximately 610 light-years away from Earth. It is one of the closest open star clusters to our solar system. As the cluster lies close to the ecliptic, asteroids from the solar system can often be observed in its vicinity, depending on the date of capture.


M 44 and seven asteroids, image data: f=430mm, f/3.3 35x180s Canon EOS 6Da ISO800

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Sh 2-230: A HII-Region Comprising Many More Deep-Sky Object

Sh 2-230 is a very faint and extended emission nebula that encompasses a number of other a number of other Sharpless objects in the heart of Auriga. The Sharpless 2 catalogue (Sh 2) is a list of 312 HII (Hydrogen Emission Nebula) regions with the intention, to form a complete list of these objects north of declination δ = -27°. The first edition of the catalogue from 1953 was labelled Sharpless 1 (Sh 1).


Sharpless 2-230 comprising Sh 2-234 (IC 417), Sh 2-236 (IC 410, NGC 1893), Sh 2-229 (IC 405), M38 (NGC 1912) and NGC 1907

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The Pleiades, Messier 45, in Constellation Taurus

The Pleiades also known as the Seven Sisters, Messier 45, and other names by different cultures, is an asterism and an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars in the north-west of the constellation Taurus. At a distance of about 444 light years, it is among the nearest star clusters to Earth. It is the nearest Messier object to Earth, and is the most obvious cluster to the naked eye in the night sky.


Messier 45, the Pleiades, image data: f=430mm, f/3.3 50x180s Canon EOS 6Da ISO800

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Satellites - it's getting crowded in Earth orbit

On the evening of 9 and 10 January 2024, I pointed my telescope at the Orion Nebula M 42 and was very surprised at how many satellites crossed the field of view within just 3 hours. Particularly conspicuous was an apparent motorway of slightly lower declination below the Orion Nebula. After a little thought I came up with the explanation for this apparently particularly popular satellite orbit.


Satellite tracks in 3h exposure time

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M 42 The Orion Nebula and Neighbors

The celestial region shown in the image comprises the surroundings of the Large Orion Nebula. Most of the objects visible in the photographs are located in the Orion arm of the Milky Way, as is our home solar system.


HDR image section of the Orion Nebula with surroundings, telescope Newton 130mm f/3.3, camera Canon EOS 6Da ISO800, 60x180s 10x: 60s, 30s, 10s, 5s

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Soul Nebula IC 1848 and Heart Nebula IC 1805

The Soul Nebula (IC 1848, Sharpless 2-199, LBN 667) is an emission nebula located in constellation Cassiopeia. Several small open clusters are embedded in the nebula. This complex is the eastern neighbor of IC1805 (Heart Nebula) and the two are often mentioned together as the "Heart and Soul".

The Heart Nebula (IC 1805, Sharpless 2-190) is an emission nebula, 7500 light years away from Earth and located in the Perseus Arm of the milky way (as the Soul Nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia).


IC 1848 and IC 1805 in Constellation Cassiopeia, Telescope Newton f=430mm f/3.3, Camera Canon EOS 6Da, ISO800, Total Exposure Time 14h06min

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NGC 225 - Open Cluster in Constellation Cassiopeia

NGC 225 is an open cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia. It is located roughly 2,200 light-years from Earth. It is about 100 to 150 million years old. The binary fraction, or the fraction of stars that are multiple stars, is 0.52. It is also known as sailboat cluster. But what's happening at the top of the mast? The boat is obviously being boarded by an octopus - the more clearer, the longer you expose (or if you drink too much red wine)... Beside the quite nice, probably not so well known star cluster you can see interesting dust clouds and a reflection nebula, which are cataloged as LDN 1291 and LBN 604.


NGC 225, the sailboat cluster in Constellation Cassiopeia, Telescope Newton 10" f/4, Camera Atik 460EXM, Total Exposure Time 11h05min

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M 31 - The Andromeda Galaxy

"The Andromeda Galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy and is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. It was originally named the Andromeda Nebula and is cataloged as Messier 31, M31, and NGC 224. It has a diameter of about 46.56 kiloparsecs (152,000 light-years) and is approximately 765 kpc (2.5 million light-years) from Earth. The galaxy's name stems from the area of Earth's sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda, which itself is named after the princess who was the wife of Perseus in Greek mythology.


The Andromeda Galaxy M31 in Constellation Andromeda, Telescope Newton f=430mm f/3.3, Camera EOS60DaISO800, Total Exposure Time 6h39min

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