Sean Curry

Sean Curry and his dog Lena next to the telescope
  • Scope and Camera etc:

    - PlaneWave CDK 12.5", 2541mm focal length, AP1100 Mount, QSI583wsg camera, Astrodon Filters, Lodestar guide camera, controlled with ACP and Maxim DL, images processed with PixInsight

    - Some widefield photos with Takahashi FSQ 106EDX on AP900 mount, same camera and software

     

    A brief biography:

     

    Sean is a transplanted Canadian, which explains his extreme politeness and frequent local cultural misunderstandings. He has a bunch of Engineering degrees from UC Berkeley, some of which have proven to be marginally useful over the years. He is trying hard to retire, but still works part-time on a research website and database for a University Consortium. He spends a lot of time on astronomic pursuits, and especially enjoys working with students on observing and analyzing the wonders of the universe.

Barnard 33- Horse Head Nebula

Barnard 33- Horse Head Nebula
  • Among one of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, it is located in Orion and is part of a molecular cloud. The horsehead Nebula, also known as Barnard 33, was first discovered on a photograph in the late 1800’s. Barnard 33 got its name because it looks like a horse’s head in the sky. The red gas you see in Barnard 33 comes from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula. This gas is ionized by the bright star known as Sigma Orionis. The darkness of Barnard 33 is caused by the collection of thick dust that also casts a shadow to the left of the neck. The gas coming out in streams is funneled by a strong magnetic field. It takes about 1500 years for light to reach us from Barnard 33.

M13- Hercules Cluster

Hercules Cluster
  • This mass of lights contains over 100,000 stars that whirl within the cluster m13. This among the brightest star clusters that are visible in the Northern Hemisphere. M13 is located 25,000 light-years from Earth with an apparent magnitude of 5.8, This mass of stars can be seen in Hercules with the use of a pair of binoculars. The cluster, known as m13, was discovered by the English astronomer Edmund Halley in 1714. When m13 was added to Charles Messier’s catalog in 1764, he was convinced that this object contained no stars. Due to the stars being so packed together, the cluster’s individual stars were not resolved until 1779. In the core of the cluster, the population density of stars is about a hundred times greater than the density in the neighborhood of our sun. Due to this area being so dense, some stars tend to run into each other and can form a new star. The result of these “Blue Stragglers” look to be younger than the other stars that is located in their immediate vicinity and are seen in great scientific interest to astronomers.

M27- Dumbbell Nebula

Dumbbell
  •  The "Dumbbell nebula," also known as Messier 27. The nebula was named after its resemblance to a dumbbell as seen in visible light. It was discovered in 1764 by Charles Messier, who included it as the 27th member of his famous catalog of nebulous objects. Though he did not know it at the time, this was the first in a class of objects, now known as "planetary nebulae," to make it into the catalog.

    Planetary nebulae, historically named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets, are now known to be the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun. When sun-like stars die, they puff out their outer gaseous layers. These layers are heated by the hot core of the dead star, called a white dwarf, and shine with infrared and visible-light colors. Our own sun will blossom into a planetary nebula when it dies in about five billion years.

    The Dumbbell nebula is 1,360 light-years away in the Vulpecula constellation, and stretches across 4.5 light-years of space. That would more that fill the space between our sun and the nearest star, and it demonstrates how effective planetary nebulae are at returning much of a star's material back to interstellar space at the end of their lives.

    The diffuse green glow, which is brightest near the center, is probably from hot gas atoms being heated by the ultraviolet light from the central white dwarf.

    A collection of clumps fill the central part of the nebula, and red-colored radial spokes extend well beyond. Astronomers think these features represent molecules of hydrogen gas, mixed with traces of heavier elements. Despite being broken apart by the ultraviolet light from the central white dwarf, much of this molecular material may survive intact and mix back into interstellar gas clouds, helping to fuel the next generation of stars. Similar structures are seen in the Helix and other planetary nebulae.

     

M45- Pleaides Cluster

M45
  • The stars of the Pleiades cluster, also known by the names “M45” and “the seven sisters,” shine brightly in this view from the Cassini spacecraft. The cluster is comprised of hundreds of stars, a few of which are visible to the unaided eye on Earth as a brilliant grouping in the constellation Taurus. This reflection nebula is dust that reflects the light of the hot, blue stars in the cluster. 

M51- Whirlpool Galaxy

M51
  • The Whirlpool Galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy. At only 30 million light years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky.Astronomers expected to see large dust clouds, ranging from about 100 light-years to more than 300 light-years wide. Instead, most of the dust is tied up in smooth and diffuse dust lanes. An encounter with another galaxy may have prevented giant clouds from forming.

M82- Supernova

M82
  • These supernovas are used as cosmic distance-markers and played a key role in the discovery of the Universe’s accelerated expansion, which has been attributed to the effects of dark energy.  Scientists think that all Type Ia supernovae involve the detonation of a white dwarf. One important question is whether the fuse on the explosion is lit when the white dwarf pulls too much material from a companion star like the Sun, or when two white dwarf stars merge.

M101- Pinwheel Galaxy

M101
  • M101 is a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way, but about 70 percent bigger. It is located about 21 million light years from Earth. The Pinwheel Galaxy is in the constellation of Ursa Major (also known as the Big Dipper). It is about 70 percent larger than our own Milky Way Galaxy, with a diameter of about 170,000 light years, and sits at a distance of 21 million light years from Earth. This means that the light we're seeing in this image left the Pinwheel Galaxy about 21 million years ago - many millions of years before humans ever walked the Earth.

NGC7023- Iris Nebula

NGC7023
  • Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023, this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers.The main cluster of stars within the nebula is called NGC 7023. It lies 1,300 light-years away in the Cepheus constellation.

     

NGC7635- Bubble Nebula

NGC7635
  • It's the bubble versus the cloud. NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, is being pushed out by the stellar wind of massive star BD+602522, visible in blue toward the right, inside the nebula. Next door, though, lives a giant molecular cloud, visible to the far right in red. At this place in space, an irresistible force meets an immovable object in an interesting way. The cloud is able to contain the expansion of the bubble gas, but gets blasted by the hot radiation from the bubble's central star. The radiation heats up dense regions of the molecular cloud causing it to glow. The Bubble Nebula is about 10 light-years across and part of a much larger complex of stars and shells. The Bubble Nebula can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of Queen Cassiopeia

VDB152- Dark Nebula

VBD162
  • Described as a "dusty curtain" or "ghostly apparition", mysterious reflection nebula VDB 152 really is very faint. Far from your neighborhood on this Halloween Night, the cosmic phantom is nearly 1,400 light-years away. Also cataloged as Ced 201, it lies along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving parts of the nebula a characteristic blue color. Ultraviolet light from the star is also thought to cause a dim reddish luminescence in the nebular dust. Though stars do form in molecular clouds, this star seems to have only accidentally wandered into the area, as its measured velocity through space is very different from the cloud's velocity. This deep telescopic image of the region spans about 7 light-years.

Dave Bloomsness

Dave Bloomsness
  • Local Astrophotographer Dave Bloomsness flying on NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infra-Red Astronmy ( SOFIA) in 2014.

Working with NASA
M31
  • Imaging telescope or lens:Takahashi Epsilon E-160

    Imaging camera:ZWO ASI 1600MM Cooled

    Mount:Paramount MyT

    Filter:Optolong LRGB 36mm

    Accessory:ZWO EFW 7x36mm

    Resolution: 2000x1512

    Dates:Sept. 15, 2018

    Frames: 40x180"

    Integration: 2.0 hours

Narrow band  Nebula
  • Imaging telescope or lens:Explore Scientific N208CF

    Imaging camera:ZWO ASI 1600MM Cooled

    Mount:Paramount MyT

    Guiding telescope or lens:Explore Scientific N208CF

    Guiding camera:Starlight Xpress Loadestar

    Software:Software Bisque Sky X Pro, Adobe Photoshop CS2 CS2,  Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight

    Filter:Optolong H-Alpha, SII, OIII

    Accessories:ZWO OAG,  Explore Scientific HRCC Coma Corrector

    Resolution: 1200x907

    Dates:Jan. 12, 2019

    Frames: 60x180"

    Integration: 3.0 hours

Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula
  • Imaging telescope or lens:Takahashi Epsilon E-160

    Imaging camera:ZWO ASI294MC PRO OSC

    Mount:iOptron CEM60

    Guiding telescope or lens:60mm f6 Guidescope

    Guiding camera:QHYCCD QHY5II-M

    Software:Open PHD2 Guiding PHD2 Guiding,  Stark Labs Nebulosity 4 Nebulosity 4,  Adobe Photoshop CS2 CS2, Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight

    Resolution: 1200x838

    Dates:Jan. 12, 2019

    Frames: 32x240"

    Integration: 2.1 hours

Running Man Nebula

Running Man Nebula
  • RM1 Final Small 

    TPO 10" RC @f6

    ASI 1600MM C

    RGB 4 x 600 Seconds each

M51
  • Imaging telescope or lens:TPO RC10 Truss Tube

    Imaging camera:ZWO ASI 1600MM Cooled

    Mount:Paramount MyT

    Software:Software Bisque Sky X Pro

    Accessory:ZWO EFW 7x36mm

    Resolution: 2328x1760

    Dates:May 13, 2018

    Frames:Optolong LRGB 36mm: 40x300" -22C bin 2x2

M42

M1
  • Imaging telescope or lens:Takahashi Epsilon E-160

    Imaging camera:ZWO ASI294MC PRO OSC

    Mount:iOptron CEM60

    Guiding telescope or lens:60mm f6 Guidescope

    Guiding camera:QHYCCD QHY5II-M

    Software:Open PHD2 Guiding PHD2 Guiding,  Adobe Photoshop CS2 CS2, Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight

    Filter:Orion 2" Skyglow AP Filter

    Resolution: 1500x1021

    Dates:Jan. 30, 2019

    Frames: 116x45"

    Integration: 1.4 hours

IC1805

M1

M1
  • M1

    10" RC Scope @ f6

    HA 5 x 300 sec, SII 4 x 300 sec, OIII 4 x 300 sec

    ASI 1600MM C Camera

Crescent Nebula

Crescent Nebula
  • Crescent Nebula in Narrowband

    10" Truss Tube RC Scope @ f6

    ASI 1600MM C Camera

    HA 3 x 1200 Sec

    SII 3 x 1200 Sec

    OIII 3 x 1200 Sec

NGC 2264-Cone Nebula

Cone Nebula
  • RM1 Final Small 

    TPO 10" RC @f6

    ASI 1600MM C

    RGB 4 x 600 Seconds each

California Nebula

California Nebula
  • NGC1499 Final Small 3

    NGC 1499 California Nebula

    Takahashi E160 @ f 3,3

    Modifies Canon 450D

    31 x 90 Seconds

  • IC434 Final Small 

    Takahashi E160 @ f3.3

    Modified Canon 450D

Horse Head Nebula

Horse Head Nebula