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Monday, June 1, 2020

What's In The Sky - June 2020

Get ready for summer stargazing! With the weather warming up, June is a great time of year to enjoy relaxing evenings under starry skies with your telescope or astronomy binoculars. Here are a few of Orion Telescopes and Binoculars top picks for June 2020 stargazing and observing:

Solar System Trio

Rising in the southeast on June 7th and 8th, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon are well placed for observing, with 5 degrees of separation between Jupiter and Saturn. On the 7th the Moon approaches Jupiter with a separation of 6 degrees, and on the 8th it is 4.5 degrees away from Saturn. They will rise around 11pm, and reach their highest point in the sky around 4am, providing ample observing time. Grab a planetary guide set to identify surface details or a Barlow lens for high magnification viewing!

M13 - The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules imaged on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector (ATEO-1). Image data acquired by Muir Evenden and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.
M13 - The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules imaged on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector (ATEO-1). Image data acquired by Muir Evenden and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.

Summer is Globular Season!

Globular star clusters are densely packed balls of stars that are concentrated towards the center of the Milky Way. June skies offer some of the finest globular cluster viewing opportunities. While you can detect most globular clusters in 50mm or larger binoculars, a moderate to high-power eyepiece in a 6" or larger telescope offers the best chance to resolve individual stars. In the constellation Hercules, look for M92 and the "Great Cluster" M13. In Scorpius, look for M4 and M80. The constellation Ophiuchus is home to six globulars - M10, M12, M14, M107, M9, and M19. Can you spot them all?

Summertime Staycation

Take advantage of the New Moon on June 20th and the galaxies and globular clusters visible for a great Staycation at home! Not only will the dark skies of the moonless night provide great opportunities to see fainter objects more clearly, but the warm June weather will make it easy to enjoy starry sights all night long. The New Moon also brings an annular solar eclipse, but this is only visible from parts of Africa and Asia.

M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici (left) and M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (right) in Ursa Major imaged on Insight Observatory's ATEO-1 by Michael Petrasko (M51) and Utkarsh Mishra (M101).
M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici (left) and M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (right) in Ursa Major imaged on Insight Observatory's ATEO-1 by Michael Petrasko (M51) and Utkarsh Mishra (M101). 

Swirling Spirals

Around 10pm in mid-June, two glorious, face-on spiral galaxies M51 and M101 will both be in a great position for viewing and imaging. Look for M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, to the southwest of the star Alkaid at the end of the Big Dipper's "handle". Scan the sky to the northeast of Alkaid to find M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy. Under very dark skies, these distant galaxies can barely be detected in smaller telescopes, but a 10" or larger reflector will reveal much more impressive views. If you're viewing from an especially dark location, try to resolve the delicate spiral arms of M51 in a 10" or larger telescope.


Orion Telescopes and Binoculars 10" Dobsonian Telescopes
Orion Telescopes and Binoculars 10" Dobsonian Telescopes

Gems of the Summer Triangle

By 10pm in mid-northern latitudes, the Summer Triangle, comprising beacon stars Vega (in Lyra), Deneb (in Cygnus), and Altair (in Aquila), will be fully visible above the horizon. Several celestial gems lie within its confines, including the Ring Nebula (M57), the Dumbbell Nebula (M27), open star cluster M29, and the visually challenging Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888). To catch a glimpse of the elusive Crescent, you'll almost certainly need an Orion Oxygen-III Filter in a larger telescope.

Summer Sky Challenge

Discovered in 1825 by the German astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, NGC 6572 is bright enough to be seen in a humble 60mm refractor telescope from a dark sky site; but it is very, very small! At only 8 arc-seconds in size, it takes a lot of magnification to distinguish this from a star. The easiest way to find it is to look in the target area for a green star. NGC 6572 is one of the most intensely colored objects in the night sky. Some say this is green, some say it is blue; what do you think?

All objects described above can easily be seen with the suggested equipment from a dark sky site, a viewing location some distance away from city lights where light pollution and when bright moonlight does not overpower the stars.
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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Monsoon Madness!

Get 20% OFF Imaging Credits and Starbase Image Set Subscriptions on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector (ATEO-1)!

Offer valid from June 1, 2020, Thru August 31, 2020.

Now that the summer months are arriving in the southwest, US, they may bring us fewer clear nights. However, when the nights are clear, the deep-sky gems in the summer Milky Way are there for the taking.

Insight Observatory has decided to celebrate the "rainy season" with a summer discount of 20% OFF imaging credits and Starbase image set subscriptions on our fast and wide field of view 16" f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector remote telescope located at nearly 7,800' in the dark skies of New Mexico.

Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector (ATEO-1) remote telescope housed in Gamma Observatory at SkyPi Remote Observatory located at nearly 7,800' in Bortle 1 dark skies of New Mexico.
Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector (ATEO-1) remote telescope housed in Gamma Observatory at SkyPi Remote Observatory located at nearly 7,800' in Bortle 1 dark skies of New Mexico.

ATEO-1 Discounted Imaging Rates:
  • Standard: $48.00 USD per imaging hour - Savings of $12.00 per imaging hour
  • Education: $39.00 USD per imaging hour - Savings of $10.80 per imaging hour

ATEO-1 Starbase Image Set Subscriptions:
  • Standard: $0.08 cents per minute of image set exposure time
  • Education: $0.06 cents per minute of image set exposure time

Get quality image data acquired from ATEO-1 to process images like these...

M13 - The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, M16 - The Eagle Nebula, and M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy all imaged on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector (ATEO-1) remote telescope. M13 and M63 images processed by Utkarsh Mishra and M16 image processed by Bubba Daniels.
M13 - The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, M16 - The Eagle Nebula, and M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy all imaged on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector (ATEO-1) remote telescope. M13 and M63 images processed by Utkarsh Mishra and M16 image processed by Bubba Daniels.

If you have any questions regarding our "Monsoon Madness" summer discount, please Contact Us.

Sign-up or log in to access your ATEO Portal account to take advantage of this special offer.

Enjoy and Clear Skies!
The Insight Observatory Team
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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

New Image Sets Available In Starbase!

New image sets are available for downloading from Insight Observatory's Starbase Image Set Repository! Over the course of the past six months, all three remote Astronomical Telescopes for Educational Outreach (ATEO) have been busy gathering image data for Starbase as well as various educational projects.

Listed below are just a few image sets that are now available acquired on Insight Observatory's ATEO remote telescopes...

NGC 1365 - The "Great Barred Spiral Galaxy" in the constellation Fornax. Imaged data acquired on ATEO-3 by Franck Jobard and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.
NGC 1365 - The "Great Barred Spiral Galaxy" in the constellation Fornax. Imaged data acquired on ATEO-3 by Franck Jobard and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.

ATEO-1 - 16" f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector:

NGC 5907 - The Knife Edge or Splinter Galaxy (left) imaged on ATEO-1, M81 and M82 - Bode's and Cigar Galaxies (upper right) imaged on ATEO-1, and IC 405 - The Flaming Star Nebula (lower right) imaged on ATEO-2A.
NGC 5907 - The Knife Edge or Splinter Galaxy (left) imaged on ATEO-1, M81 and M82 - Bode's and Cigar Galaxies (upper right) imaged on ATEO-1, and IC 405 - The Flaming Star Nebula (lower right) imaged on ATEO-2A.

ATEO-2A - 5" f/5.8 Wiliams Optics APO refractor:

ATEO-3 - 12.5" f/9 Quasar Ritchey-Chretien:

Learn more about Insight Observatory's Starbase or download these and more image sets by logging in or signing up to Starbase HERE.

For any questions regarding Starbase, please Contact Us.
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