All posts by CAS

BOOK REVIEW: Treasures of the Southern Sky

Treasures of the Southern Sky

BOOK REVIEW by Steve Crouch

Treasures of the Southern Sky by Robert Gendler, Lars Lindberg Christensen and David Malin (Published by Springer)

Given that it’s been almost 25 years since the publication of “Exploring the Southern Sky” and almost 20 years since David Malin’s “A view of the Universe”, a new coffee table book featuring the southern sky is probably long overdue. There have been many advances in imaging techniques in the last 25 years and quite a few new telescopes, including HST, which often image southern objects. Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: Treasures of the Southern Sky


Everyone’s heard of NGC 253—this is NGC 254

NGC 254
NGC 254

Steve Crouch turns his eye to a less-often imaged galaxy. And captures at least 10 other galaxies into the bargain! He explains:

Thought I would try something not often imaged.  It’s obvious from this image why people prefer NGC 253.

Catalogue and alternative designations NGC 254

Type Galaxy
Position   00 47.8, -31 25
Constellation Sculptor
Camera and Telescope STXL11002 and 36.8 cm Ritchey Chretien
Focal Ratio F9Exposure
Details LRGB 285:70:60:60 Luminance 1×1, Colours 2×2


This is a SB0 type magnitude 12 galaxy roughly 2.6′ x1.7′ in size.  It is almost exactly due north of the much better known NGC 253.

You can see more of Steve Crouch’s astrophotography over on his website at

Stunning photo of the Trifid Nebula — Chris Marklew

Trifid Nebula
Trifid Nebula

Chris explains:

It has been a while since capturing data for a new image (~6months), but here it is, The Trifid Nebula (NGC6514).
Image details
Telescope: FSQ106EDXIII
Camera: SBIG STT-8300M
Composition: LRGB (152:45:40:40) bin L 1×1, RGB 2×2
Captured: 25, 27, and 29 September 2013 – Canberra says the following about the photo:

Your results are:
(RA, Dec) center: (270.625564674, -22.996920876) degrees
Orientation: 1.19352109615 deg E of N
Pixel scale: 2.10083867783 arcsec/pixel
Your field contains:NGC 6531NGC 6514



One million solar masses crammed into one spot. Globular cluster 47 Tucanae — Steve Crouch

NGC 104
47 Tucanae [NGC 104]

While delving around the SMC I couldn’t resist doing a shot of 47 Tucanae which I haven’t imaged for several years.  This is 45 minutes exposure for each of L,R,G and B with the RGB added into L for synthetic luminance.

Catalogue and alternative designations NGC 104, 47 Tucanae

Type Globular Cluster
Position 00 24.1, -72 05
Constellation Tucana
Camera and Telescope STXL11002 and 36.8 cm Ritchey Chretien
Focal Ratio F9
Exposure Details LRGB 90:45:45:45 All 1×1.  Synthetic luminance used.


47 Tucanae is the second brightest globular cluster in the sky but has a much stronger central condensation than Omega Centauri.  It is adjacent to the Small Magellanic Cloud and a very easy naked eye object.

You can see more of Steve Crouch’s astrophotography over on his website.

The globular cluster 47 Tucanae — Mark Nickols

47 Tucanae
47 Tucanae [NGC 104]
In the Southern Hemisphere, we have some of the best globular clusters, including the biggest of all Omega Centauri with some five million solar masses, and this beauty: 47 Tucanae with about one million solar masses. Here’s a good shot of “47 Tuc” by Mark Nickols:

I’m still struggling with guiding issues, but just to prove my issue is not optics, I again pointed the scope southward where things don’t move around so much and snapped 47 Tucanae last night, just to prove I can manage to take round stars (as opposed to eggs, tadpoles, dumbbells, etc). I personally prefer Omega Centauri, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless (the globular cluster, not necessarily the image).

10 x 3 minute exposures. Scope: LX200 8″, f/6.7 focal reducer.Camera: SBIG STF8300C