The Philippine Astronomical Society




M 16
by John Nassr

The treasure trove of stunning Milky Way jewels includes M16 aka Eagle Nebula aka Star Queen Nebula. This young cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens Caput is easily seen through a pair of binoculars and appears well resolved with distinct surrounding nebulosity through a 5” refractor. Exposures through a 16” Newtonian reveals the profile of the “Star Queen”, with its pillars of hydrogen gas forming new stars in the central region of this image. Dark Bok Globules and wispy blue regions add variety to this intriguing part of the sky.(Imaged June 14, 2015)

Andromeda Galaxy                                         
by Anthony Urbano

At a distance of 2.2 million light-years, Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant celestial object visible to the naked eye. It is listed in astronomical catalogs as M31 or NGC 224. The two spiral arms (dark bands) and its companion galaxy, M32 (upper left), are visible in this photograph. (Sky-Watcher 100 ED on Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR prime focus at f/9, ISO 1600, 2 x 120 sec exposure stacked using Registax 5.1, 23-Dec-2011, Basud, Camarines Norte.

by John Nassr

Here is a 4.8-hour exposure of NGC2903 a spiral galaxy in Leo with active HII star-forming regions.

Comet Lovejoy                                                
by John Nassr       
 Aptly and timely posted for the New Year. Doesn't this comet remind you of when the Three Kings were looking for the Infant Jesus in Bethlehem and were guided by a

Lovejoy C2014 Q2 beside globular cluster M79 under a half moon. The galaxy in the glow of the comet head is NGC 1886. (Captured December 29, 2014 at Stardust Observatory, Baguio City, Philippines)

M66 and  M65                                                   
by John Nassr
M66 and M65 is a striking galaxy pair in Leo. They are well placed in the early evening this time of year. Because of their relative size and brightness, both make good visual and imaging targets even through modest apertures.
This is a first-light image through my new QSI 683 camera. It is non-blooming, relatively light-sensitive, lightweight, and quite noise-free making it a pleasure to work with. (Imaged March 27, 2014 at Baguio City.)
Sombrero Galaxy
By John Nassr
Here is flyby of magnitude 14 Comet Loneos C/2006 S3 passing south of the famous Sombrero Galaxy, M106. (Captured by John Nassr on March 28, 2014 at Baguio City.)
Trifid Nebula                                                     
by John Nassr
When the season is predominantly cloudy, an astronomer will jump at even a quick patch of starry sky which is like a welcomed and much needed breathe of fresh air. Last night was such the case for this deprived astroimager. All the weather allowed was a quick 15 minutes of dark clear sky for me to capture as much light from M20 the Trifid Nebula as possible, before closing in and bringing rain again. The nebula is in Sagittarius inhabiting the dense central part of our own Milky Way galaxy. It is a star forming stellar nursery similar to M42 in Orion. Here is my catch for the night.
Lagoon Nebula                                                  
by John Nassr
Clear sky finally graced the monsoon season last night and I could not resist to at least attempt a quick image of a bright and easy to find target. I swept the dark sky with binoculars and was quickly attracted to the glow of the Milky Way and the obvious nebulosity of the Lagoon Nebula, M8 in Sagittarius. I decided to use an uncooled Nikon D7000 color camera partly to test its high ISO capabilities and partly to make sure I would be able to still bag an image even if clouds suddenly got in the way, which was simply too risky if I used a monochrome camera requiring four filters to go through. The result of my test is a 2-minute exposure of M8 at ISO6400.
The Big Dipper                                                      
by John Nassr
The Big Dipper is one of the most recognized and important asterisms in the sky because the two tips of its scoop points to the North Star, Polaris. This quick snapshot was captured through a break in the clouds as it set over some pine trees." (Stack of seven 20-sec exposures)
Interacting Galaxies                                            
by John Nassr
The constellation Virgo holds some of the finest collection of galaxies in the night sky with configurations that makes one marvel at the varying shapes of gravitationally interacting stellar material in the universe. It is not uncommon to find two galaxies interacting together. However, it is not too common to find four interacting galaxies close enough for the scrutiny of amateur telescopes. The interacting group of galaxies NGC 4410, NGC 4410b, IC790, VCC934, and VCC914, a possible fifth interacting galaxy, is one such example found in the upper center of this six-hour image. NGC4410 is a LINER-type galaxy with an active high energy nucleus believed to be a result of accretion of mass by a super-massive black hole at its center. The two larger spiral galaxies below are NGC4411 and NGC4411b.

Comet Pan-Starrs                                                  
by Roland Roldan
After two weeks of hit and miss (all because of cloud cover), I finally got Comet Panstarrs. It's deep, really deep, near the horizon 6:49.40pm, March 18, 2013. I have to climb hills of Alabang.
by John Nassr

M35 is a beautiful open star cluster in the constellation Gemini. It consists of a loose grouping of dazzling young blue stars. To the lower right is another more distant star cluster, NGC 2158. Its red reddish stars are indicative of its older age and its denser arrangement is almost like a globular cluster.

Moon and Jupiter                                         

by Anthony Urbano

Jupiter a few minutes before it disappears behind the moon on August 12, 2012 as observed from Quezon City, Philippines. This image is a post-processed screenshot taken from the video timer setup.
The Accidental Meteor                                   
by Ker Wayne

Taken August 21, 2012.

Comet Holmes                                                
by John Nassr
It's been rain, rain, rain, and more rain with nary a sky in sight. So I thought I'd share an old image of Comet Holmes that I recently re-processed to better bring out interior contrast and details. At the time this image was captured, Holmes had remarkably expanded to become the largest object in the solar system. It was even bigger than the sun! Here is a link to that unusual and rare event.
Jupiter-Moon Occultation                             
by Roland Roldan
The Dumbbell Nebula                                    
by Anthony Urbano

M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula imaged using a Sky-Watcher 100 ED 4 in f/9 refractor, Kenko NES mount, Canon 450D DSLR, 5 x 90 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 5, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines.

Close Pairing of Planet Venus and Pleiades            
by Anthony Urbano

Close pairing of the planet Venus and the open cluster M45, or Pleiades. Image taken with a Canon 450D DSLR on a tripod, 50 mm f/1.8 lens, 2.5 sec exp, IS0 1600. April 6, 2012, Camarines Norte, Philippines.

Orion Nebula                                                  
by Henry So

I got the chance to go to Tanay Rizal with my friends to visit their farm. Since the sky was clear, I brought along with me my astro stuff. My target are Orion nebula (M42) and Rosette nebula.
Both image where taken using William Optics Zenithstar 80 II, Canon EOS 550D.  iso 1600, Meade LXD75. Orion nebula 4 X 60sec = 4 min.

Rosette Nebula                                                  
by Henry So

Taken at Tanay, Rizal on February 24, 2012. 10 X 120sec = 20min.

Total Lunar Eclipse

By John Nassr

December 10, 2011--featured in Taken at Stardust Observatory, Baguio City.

47 Tuscanae or NGC 104                                      
by Clem Brazil

Situated in the Tucana constellation right next to the Small Magellanic loud, 47 Tucanae, or NGC 104, is about 15000 light years away and competes with Omega Centauri for the title of the most splendid globular cluster in the entire sky.  Its center is more centrally condensed and is thus brighter.  An atypical feature of this cluster is that it has a paucity of blue stars and it has a large number of pulsars.

ISource: Skywatching by David H. Levy, 2007 revised edition

SUNNY SUNDAY                                           
by John Nassr

The monsoon season's cloudy weather gave way to a bright sunny morning and a chance for me to capture a few sunspots, prominences, and dark filaments on that day's Sun.

Double Bubble                                             
by John Nassr
A month of unseasonably cloudy and hazy nights prevented me from acquiring longer exposures for this target than I wanted. The area west of NGC 2327 in Canis Major hosts two intergalactic bubbles made mostly of HII gas that appear to still be condensing into stars. HII region LBN 1035 enveloped by reflection nebula GN 07.00.3 comprise the bubble to the lower left while LBN 1030 and reflection nebula GN 06.59.4 are to the upper right.

This work is dedicated to Victor Badillo S.J. I

N 07.02.9 Reflection Nebula in Canis Major             
by John Nassr

GN 07.02.9 is a blue reflection nebula surrounding HD53623 a 7.9-magnitude star in Canis Major. F3R 6114 is the Simbad identifier for the red HII ionized region behind it. An undesignated dark nebula occupies space to the right of this energetic star forming region south of the Gum 1 Nebula.

The Eyes                                                                   
by John Nassr

NGC 4438 and smaller NGC 4435 is a pair of interacting galaxies in Virgo called "The Eyes".  Powerful gravitational forces distort the symmetry of the stars, gas, and dust in the larger and peculiar galaxy, NGC 4438, which is also known as Arp 120. Its active nucleus is believed to harbor a black hole. Numerous other more distant background galaxies are also captured in this four- hour long exposure.

The Owl Nebula - M97                                          
by John Nassr 

I decided to image M97 again to see how much more new details could be coaxed with a larger aperture, more sensitive camera, and longer total exposure. A 3nm narrow band Oxygen III filter was also used to reveal an extremely faint outer bubble surrounding this expanding ball of stellar material located southeast of  Merak, one of the two stars in the Big Dipper that point to the North Star. A total exposure time of 12.6 hours was used for this image compared to 3.5 hours for an earlier image taken four years ago.

A Galaxy Pair in Coma Berenices                           
by John Nassr

NGC 4302 and NGC 4298 is a pair of spiral galaxies in Coma Berenices. Though they seem close to each other they do not appear to be gravitationally interacting. Quite likely, one is just nearly in the foreground of the other.