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Gallery and Photography

We often take pictures with our SBIG STL-11000 camera.

We also have adapters for SLR cameras, and we can attach them to one of our telescopes. Those interested in astrophotography are encouraged to contact us. We can post some of your photographs below.

Available camera adapters

  • Canon
  • Minolta
  • Nikon
  • Pentax

While we believe that most of all of these are (fairly) generic, we can't guarantee that a given adapter will necessarily fit your camera. Feel free to bring any adapter of your own you wish to use.

Observatory

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Selu Science Barn

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Looking down from the dome to the bottom of the silo

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Closeup of the dome

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Open dome at night

Telescope

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Where it all began.

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The pieces start to come together.

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Peering into the skies for the first time.

Observatory Photos

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The nearly-full phase. This picture shows clearly the field of view of the camera on our telescope. October 12, 2008.

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First light

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Waxing crescent moon. November 2, 2008.

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The Horsehead Nebula in color. The bright nebulosity and star to the left are NGC 2023 and HD 37903, respectively. November 2, 2008.

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The Horsehead Nebula, a dark nebula in Orion approximately 1500 light years from Earth. The bright nebulosity and star to the left are NGC 2023 and HD 37903, respectively. November 2, 2008.

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Messier 31 – the Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy about 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. This is a 90-second exposure, clearly showing dust bands around the galaxy but overexposing the nucleus. We have not yet polar-aligned the telescope, and the effects show — the stars have drifted slightly during the exposure, resulting in an elongated appearance. October 19, 2008.

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The Ring Nebula in color. Its interior has a blue-green tinge caused by doubly-ionized oxygen emission lines. Part of the reddish hue in the outer region of the ring is caused by hydrogen emission lines (often seen in nebulae). October 29, 2008.

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The famously-named Ring Nebula (also Messier 57, M57, or NGC 6720) is located in the northern constellation of Lyra — located 2300 light-years from Earth, it is one of the most prominent examples of the deep-sky objects called planetary nebulae. October 29, 2008.

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Messier 77 (also known as NGC 1068) is a barred spiral galaxy about 47.0 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus. The center of the galaxy is deliberately over-exposed in order to see the spiral arms. October 29, 2008.

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The Whirlpool Galaxy (also known as Messier 51 or NGC 5194) is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy about 23 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is one of the most famous spiral galaxies in the sky. The Whirlpool Galaxy is a popular target of study in seeking to understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions. March 17, 2009.

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Messier 92 (also known as M92 or NGC 6341) is a globular cluster in the constellation Hercules, about 26,000 light-years away from Earth. October 6, 2008.

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One of the raw images of Messier 77. Of interest is the diagonal line, which is not visible in any of the other exposures. As this frame was taken, a meteor (or shooting star) passed through the telescope’s field of view. October 29, 2008.

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The Sombrero Galaxy is also know as M104 or NGC 4594. This spiral galaxy is in the constellation Virgo; it is notable for a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane circling it. A black hole at its center is among the most massive identified in nearby galaxies.

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The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. The nebula corresponds to a bright supernova that was recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers in 1054. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-years from Earth, the nebula has a diameter of 11 light years and is expanding at a rate of about 1,000 miles per second. At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a rotating neutron star. October 31, 2008.

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The Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Messier 27, M27, or NGC 6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1360 light years. October 30, 2008.

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The Orion Nebula (Messier 42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula near Orion's Belt. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features. December 3, 2008.

Visitors' Photos

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First Light

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The Moon. Jeremy McClaughlin, Nov. 6, 2008

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The famously-named Ring Nebula, one of the most prominent examples of the deep-sky objects called planetary nebulae. Jeremy McClaughlin, Nov. 6, 2008.

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Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Messier 27, M27, or NGC 6853). The brightness/contrast has been adjusted to show the color clearly, at the expense of getting a grainier picture – the same result can be obtained by increasing the ISO setting. Compare to exposures by our camera and a professional astrophotographer. Jeremy McClaughlin, Nov. 6, 2008.

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Ring Nebula. Merritt Boyd, Nov. 21, 2008.

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The Little Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Messier 76, NGC 650/651, the Barbell Nebula, or the Cork Nebula) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus. It gets its name from its resemblance to the Dumbbell Nebula (M27) in Vulpecula. It was originally thought to consist of two separate nebulae and was thus given two catalog numbers in the NGC, 650 and 651. Merritt Boyd, Nov. 21, 2008.

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Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27). Merritt Boyd, Nov. 21, 2008.

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The Pleiades (the Seven Sisters, also known as Messier 45). Merritt Boyd, Nov. 21, 2008.

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Andromeda Galaxy. Merritt Boyd, Nov. 21, 2008.

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The Orion Nebula (Messier 42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula near Orion's Belt. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. The Orion Nebula is one of the most scrutinized and photographed objects in the night sky, and is among the most intensely studied celestial features. Merritt Boyd, Nov. 21, 2008.

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Comet Lulin is a one-time visitor to the Solar System, passing by the Earth in February 2009. Its green color comes from a combination of gases that make up its local atmosphere, primarily diatomic carbon and cyanogen (a poisonous gas). Merritt Boyd, Feb. 24, 2009.

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The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as Messier 101 or NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy about 27 million light-years away near the Big Dipper. Jon Nogueira, April 17, 2009.

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Messier 81 and Messier 82 (right). M81 is (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. M81 is one of the most striking examples of a grand design spiral galaxy, with near perfect arms spiraling into the very center. The nearby M82 (also known as NGC 3034 or the Cigar Galaxy) is being deformed by gravitational tidal forces due to its larger neighbor. This interaction has caused star formation to increase tenfold; M82 is known as a starburst galaxy, and is five times as bright as the whole Milky Way galaxy. Jon Nogueira, April 17, 2009.