Deutsche Fassung.

Wendelstein Observatory astronomical image gallery

This is a gallery of images using the CCD Camera MONICA at the 80cm telescope.

Clusters and Galaxies:

Globular Cluster M13

Spiralgalaxy M101

Spiralgalaxy NGC 891

Perseus galaxy cluster

A Globular Cluster is a globular shaped accumulation of hundred thousand to a few million stars. The diameter of such a cluster can reach up to 500 lightyears. Globular Cluster are one of the oldest formations in the milky way. They are formed more than 10 billion years ago as our milky way was not yet discus shaped like today. M 13 is a typical representative of its class and 20000 lightyears away from earth. This star system is pretty close, only 15 million lightyears away and visible as a round nebulosity with a pair of binoculars. It's spiral arms are showing many clouds of hydrogen gas. Still today new stars are formed from such gas clouds. Among these are very massive and bright stars. Due to their brightness they have a short live. Finally they loose an essential part of their mass in a gigantic supernova explosion. This galaxy is seen edge on from our earth. This means we look exactly at it's galactic plane. As a result we observe a lane of interstellar dust which divides the brightness if this system in two parts. The clouds of this starlight absorbing dust lane have an extension of a few 300 lightyears. This image is a composite of 3 single images taken through different color filters with exposure times of respectively a few minutes. (Abell 426): Each of these diffuse emerging objects is a galaxy. All together form the Perseus Galaxy Cluster - one of the closest known crowds of galaxies. We see these objects through a foreground of faint stars of our milky way. The light needs 300 million years to reach us from this distant region of the universe. Thus we see galaxies how they looked at a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

Sombrero Galaxy M104

UFO Galaxy NGC2683

M65 (NGC3623)

Stephan's Quintet

The Sombrero Nebula (NGC 4594) is a spiral galaxy about 40 million lightyears away from our home galaxy, the Milky Way. M104 was the first known galaxy which departs from us (according to its redshift) with more than 1000 km per second. This fact decided a decades lasting struggle: "Spiral Nebulae" are not part of the Milky Way, they are systems of billions of stars for their own. This spiral galaxy is nicknamed "UFO" (due to obvious reasons). It is 16 million lightyears away from us and a typical representative of its kind: It has a spherical concentration of stars in its center, young hot stars and light absorbing dust in its disk. Together with M 66 (NGC 3627) and NGC 3628 this galaxy belongs to the so called Leo Triplet, a group of galaxies in a distance of 35 million lightyears. Clearly one can identify dust and star forming regions in the spiral arms, winding around the central "bulge" of old stars. Stephan's Quintet is a small group of five galaxies belonging together. These galaxies are connected to each other with visible matter.

M 81

NGC 3642

NGC 3726

Image of the spiral galaxy Messier 81 spiral galaxy spiral galaxy


Horsehead Nebula B 72

Owl Nebula M97

Crab Nebula M1

Eagle Nebula M16

The famous Horse Head Nebula in Orion is a cloud of dust which absorbes the light of the emission gas cloud IC 434. The head is 2 lightyears wide and is situated 1600 lightyears away. The Planetary Nebula M97: Planetary Nebulae are not connected in any way to planets. At the end of its live a solar like star rejects a part of its mass in a expanding shell of gas. A little but hot (100000 degrees) star remains in the center, a White Dwarf. Its ultraviolet light illuminates the gaseous shell. The Crab Nebula Messier 1 in the constellation of Taurus is a supernova remnant whose light reached the earth after a 6500 years voyage in july 1054 and therefore was actually visible a few weeks during daytime. Inside this explosion cloud, which is 7 lightyears in diameter we find a neutron star, a pulsar rotating with 30 rps. This gaseous nebula is a birthplace of stars and planetary systems. It is situated 6000 lightyears away from earth and has an expansion of 20 lightyears. Some of the newborn stars shine 100000 times brighter than our sun.

Dumbbell Nebula M27

Cat Eye Nebula NGC 6543

Omega Nebula M17

Omega Nebula M17

Dumbbell Nebula M27 is also a Planetary Nebula but located closer and therefore appears slightly larger and more detailed. The so called Cats Eye Nebula, a processed summary of five 60 second images taken with a 5 megapixel Casio digicam. This older image finally has been photographed with a 35 mm reflex camera also at the primary focus of the 32 inch telescope. (focal length is 10 metres) This image is a three color composit of MONICA b-,r-,i-, band images.

Objects in the Solar System:

The Moon

... closing in



The Moon seen through the finderscope at the 80 cm telescope. The image was made with a commercial camcorder. Nice images of the moon can be taken with MONICA using a blue filter. You can identify parts of the Mare Imbrium the craters Copernicus, Eratosthenes and Archimedes in this image. Saturn is not adjusted to the field-of-view of MONICA but is a perfect target for "lucky" imaging with a camcorder. Mars dominated the summer sky 2003. This image was produced by coadding pictures of the 80 cm telescope also applying "lucky" imaging.

Comet Neat

Comet Neat

Comet 17P/Holmes

Comet 17P/Holmes

Observations with our 80 cm telescope: three color composite image of the Comet Neat, observed in Spring 2004 with the MONICA CCD camera. Observations with 80 cm telescope: Rainbow color image of the Comet Neat, observed in Spring 2004 with MONICA. Observations of Comet 17P/Holmes in B band on 28/10/2007. Contours in green (7x7 arcmin). Rainbow color image. You can see 2 brightness maxima: Has the comet broken in two?

Minor planet 22348 Schmeidler

Minor planet 22348 Schmeidler, observed with an R-band filter and the CCD camera MONICA at the Wendelstein 80 cm telescope on Dec. 27, 2007, between 05:28 and 05:48 UT. The minor planet was discovered at Tautenburg Observatory. The name was suggestes by the first discoverer. Felix Schmeidler (b. 1920), a professor at Munich University, has for many decades been an astronomer at the Munich Observatory. He is well known for his valuable contributions to classical astronomy and the history of astronomy.

The Supernova 2007gr in NGC 1058

SN 2007gr

Observation (26/8/2007) of a very bright supernova in the spiral galaxy NGC 1058 (Camera MONICA, Image processing Stefan Taubenberger, Max-Planck-Institut for astrophysics, Garching).

link to all actual supernovae!

The Supernova 2007af in NGC 5584

Image of the supernova SN2007af on 11th April observed with the MONICA CCD camera.

NGC 5584 mit SN 2006af am 11. April 2007

The Supernova 2006X in Messier 100

In late Winter 2006, again a bright Supernova occured, this time in galaxy M100. This galaxy ist also of interest for our black hole monitoring program, thus there was an opportunity to take exposures of this galaxy with and without supernova. The three colour composite was created on March 1st, the comparative image was taken in v-filter on January 15th.

SN 2006X M100 15.01.06
M100 with SN 2002X, 2006 March 1st, taken in B, V and R filter, processed with Registax and Gimp. For comparison: M100, black and white image without supernova.

The Supernova 2005cs in Messier 51

The Supernova 2005cs was discovered on June 27th 2005. This galaxy is also part of our present supermassive Black Hole monitoring, thus there are images showing the galaxy with and without Supernova. Unfortunately we had lousy weather during the time of the first flash up of the Supernova and therefore have only few frames of this event. The three colour composite showing here has been created also during the praktical course.

SN 2005cs M51 22.04.05
M51 with SN 2002cs at September 1st 2005, taken in B, V and R filter. Comparison: M51, black and white image without Supernova, done at April 22nd 2005.

The Supernova 2004et in NGC 6946

SN 2005cs

On December 8th 2004 the galaxy NGC 6946 was taken in B-, V-, R- and I- Filter in the context of our practical course at the 80 cm telescope. The exposure times spread between 450 sec in R and 600 sec in B. The brightness of the Supernova 2004et was about 13 mag at this point. This MONICA shot was taken with active support from the Mt. Wendelstein staff.

The Supernova 2002ap in M74:

We observed the Supernova 2002ap in M74 from February 1st, 2002 until February 3rd. The colour image combines best seeing images in UBVRI filters, the SN still brightening in all colours. The smaller grey image shows the region of interest in the R-band on September 4th 1999: There is no progenitor brighter than R = 21.1 (3 sigma). The small visible (extended) object close to the SN location is more than one arcsec off.

SN 2002ap
M74 Sep. 4th 1999 light curve
SN 2002ap, UBVRI filters, Feb. 1st - 3rd Comparison: before and while SN going off 5 filters lightcurve: + and * are literature values

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Last update: February 2008
A. Riffeser
Claus Gössl
Christoph Ries