A few astro-pics from Runcu Stone – November 5, 2016

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I’ve finally went to Runcu Stone, a place with a cabin located at an altitude 850 meters, in Dambovita County, Romania.

The sky was clear for almost a full hour, before some cirrus and other “species” of clouds rolled in. The Moon was present also, hanging above the western horizon. Still, the limiting visual magnitude was close to +6, with the Milky Way beautifully crossing the entire sky.

One shot with the telescope looking at the Pleiades, at the end of the imaging session:


The strange scope in the image above is the 355mm F/4.5 homemade Newtonian. Together with the ASI 174MM camera (with no filter), it formed the imaging setup for the session.

The first result is a 340-frame stack (5 seconds subs) image of the M-27 / Dumbbell planetary nebula in Vulpecula:


The second and final shot for the night, is an image acquired in very difficult conditions, through clouds, and with the subject at only 20 degrees above the horizon.

The IC 349 nebula, or Barnard’s Merope Nebula. Merope is one of the main stars of the Pleiades (M-45) star-cluster, and it is immersed in the cluster’s nebula. Very close to Merope, at only 36 arc-seconds, there is a small nebula that requires high magnification and large telescopes to be observed or imaged properly due to the brightness of the near-by star. E. Barnard first observed this small nebula in 1890.

The image below was acquired with the 355mm scope when the cluster was still rising and some cirrus clouds were passing over the Pleiades. Still, some details are visible in the actual nebula.


This object deserves an one hour long session with good seeing and transparency. It may be done in the following weeks as the Pleiades are getting higher in the sky before midnight…

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