Cincinnati Observatory Center 2016 Calendar

The Cincinnati Observatory Center is releasing its 2016 Deep Sky Treasures Calendar feature the images of three of it members. During 2014 Fred Calvert conducted a year long astro-imaging class . This years calendar features the work of five of the students. The calendar is available for $15.00 from the Cincinnati Observatory Center.

Below are the images by Fred Calvert, Cold Spring Observatory featured in the 2016 calendar.

Cover Image: NGC6188 is an emission nebula located about 4000 light years away in the constellation Ara.

NGC 3372 Eta Carina Nebula, Fred Calvert, Cold Spring Observatory

Eta Carina is one of the largest diffuse Nebulae, some four times the size of the Orion Nebula and much brighter.  The nebula is estimated to be 7,500 light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation Carina. The two most notable and well known features of the Eta Carina Nebula are the Eta Carina Star system and the Key Hole Nebula, both located in the yellow center section of the picture. The Eta Carina stellar system contains at least two stars with the largest estimated to be 100 times the mass of our sun, and a combined luminosity of over five million times that of our sun. Because of the star's age, size and the speed that the main larger star is losing its mass, the larger star is expected to explode as a supernova or hypernova in the near astronomical future. Data for this image was acquired with a Takahashi FSQ ED 106 / f/5 telescope and SBIG STL- 11000M CCD camera to collect the narrowband data. Exposure was 1 hour each using Hydrogen Alpha, OIII and SII narrowband filters.

NGC 5139 Omega Centauri, Fred Calvert, Cold Spring Observatory

 Appearing almost as large as a full moon to the naked eye, Omega Centauri is the biggest and brightest of the 150 known  globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. About 10 million stars orbit the center of the cluster which stretches 150 light years across at a distance from Earth of about 15,000 light years. It is estimated that the stars in the core of the cluster are only 0.1 light years apart. In recent years Hubble Telescope Data indicates evidence of an intermediate-mass black hole at the center of the cluster, suggesting that Omega Centauri is actually the core of a failed dwarf galaxy which was disrupted during formation and absorbed by the Milky Way galaxy. Omega Centauri has been cataloged as many different types of object as far back as 150 A.D., but was first recognized as a globular cluster by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop in 1826. Data for this image was acquired with a Takahashi FSQ ED 106 / f/5 telescope, Paramount PME mount using an SBIG STL- 11000M CCD camera to collect the LRGB data. Exposure: Luminance 60 minutes and Red, Green and Blue 30 minutes each for a total of 2.5 hours.

M33 Triangulum Galaxy, Fred Calvert, Cold Spring Observatory

 The Triangulum galaxy is the third largest of the local group of about 44  galaxies.  It has an estimated diameter of 60,000 light years and is composed of an estimated 40 billion stars. The largest galaxy in the local group is the Andromeda galaxy with an estimated diameter of 220,000 light years and 1 trillion stars. Our home the Milky Way galaxy is the second largest of the group with an estimated diameter of 120,000 light years and 400 billion stars. The Triangulum galaxy is thought to be gravitationally bound to the larger Andromeda galaxy. Both are approaching our Milky Way galaxy at about 68 miles per second and all three will collide in about 4 billion years to form a new, larger galaxy. The galaxy was first described around 1654 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna in his written works. Charles Messier also independently discovered the galaxy in 1764 and cataloged it as object 33; hence the name M33.Data for this image was acquired with a Planewave 17" f/4.5 telescope and FLI-PL6303E CCD Camera. Total exposure time was 2.5 hours.

NGC 5128 Galaxy Centaurus A, Fred Calvert, Cold Spring Observatory

 One of the closest active radio galaxies to Earth, Centaurus A contains a super massive black hole in it center estimated to be over a billion times the mass of our sun - the result of a elliptical galaxy merging with a smaller companion spiral galaxy. Centaurus A is a peculiar elliptical galaxy spanning some 60,000 light years across at a distance of 11 million light years from Earth. It was discovered by Scottish astronomer James Dunlop in 1826 from his home in New South Wales, Australia and is located North of the Southern Cross in the constellation Centaurus. In 2015 the European Space Agency's Very Large Telescope in Chile observed in Centaurus A what is proposed as a new class of star clusters call dark globular clusters because of their unusually high mass and dark matter components when  compared to the amount of stars in the cluster. Normal globular star clusters are normally considered to be almost devoid of dark matter. Data for this image was collected using a Planewave 27" f/6.6 telescope and FLI PL 09000 CCD camera. Exposure times were 45 minutes Luminous and 15 minutes each for Red, Green and Blue.

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