Welcome to
Deep Sky

Perhaps this is relevant when you consider that deep space images of the same subject by different photographers always appear dissimilar.  Beyond the obvious variances of equipment, weather conditions and processing, it suggests every astronomical picture is a summer’s midnight dream, toned by the mind of its creator, that celebrates this simple fact of life: We see what we believe.. and feel.

From: A Summer’s Midnight Dream, R. Jay GaBany

Zuni High School, is located on the Zuni Indian Reservation approximately 40 miles south of Gallup, NM.  As such it is in one of the prime locations for observing the night skies.  The school is fortunate to have staff in the Science Department who offer astronomy curriculum at the high school and college level at this location.  The department has recently received funding from the Skulnic foundation in order to provide this high school with a CPC Celestron 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.  The Celestron telescope has been made HyperStar Compatable by Starzonia based out of Tucson, AZ.   The HyperStar unit is a multiple-lense corrector that replaces the secondary mirror on the telescope allowing it to take extremely fast CCD imaging.  The imaging on our telescope is done using a Starlight Xpress color CCD camera that our astronomy instructor purchased.  

With the above equipment along with a donated laptop, we feel that we are the best equipped high school astronomy section in the state.  We will be publishing our images below throughout the upcoming school year.  These first images are from the astronomy instructor and technology teacher as we become familiar with the equipment.  The school year will see the Zuni High School students work posted  below as well.  We hope you will return often to see us get better as we scan the deep sky!

A special thanks to the Skolnick Foundation, and to Dean Koenig, Starzonia, for all his encouragement and patience.  If you would like to read more about deep sky imaging with Starizona's HyperStar, the article by Greg Parker is linked here.

These images will take a little bit of time to download, as we get better and find the best rate they should get faster.  Additional Pages:
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In order to show the reader the power of the equipment, the staff visited Mr. Koenig after having our equipment and hardware prepared for HyperStar.  We were disappointed in that the evening was not clear.  In addition to the city lights there was a high overcast so that we could not make out many stars.  Mr. Koenig said we should try anyway and proceeded to point to the Orion Nebula.  After taking several pictures, stacking them, this is the image..... Through the clouds.

The following images were taken on 8 May 2010 at Zuni Pueblo, NM.  The images below.
  • Date: 3 May 2010
  • 10 images 20 seconds ea.
  • Stacked
  • Software:  Maxim DL 5 & Photoshop Elements
M-5 NGC5904
The globular cluster, pictured here, contains roughly 100,000 stars. These stars formed together and are gravitationally bound. Stars orbit the center of the cluster, and the cluster orbits the center of our Galaxy. This is one of the finest clusters in the sky with stars shining at magnitude 5.7 measuring 23' across corresponding physiccal diameter of 125 light years.  M-5 lies high above the galactic plane some 25,000 light years away.  Because it is so bright, M-5 is visible to the naked eye as a 'star' with dark skies.

M-13 NGC6205
Great Hercules Cluster was discovered by Halley in 1714 and Messier observed it on June 1, 1764. Approx. 23,400 light years distant and 160 light years in diameter, it contains more than 1 million stars.
M-41 NGC2287
This open cluster in Canis Major is visible with a naked eye 4° S of Sirius (a Canis Majoris - see finder chart below) and was mentioned by Aristotle in 325 BC. Messier observed it on Jan. 16, 1765.

M-81 NGC3031
Also known as Bode's Galaxy is in the constellation Ursa Major, it is a spiral galaxy located approx 12 million light years from earth.  As the brightest member of the M81 group at magnitude 6.8 it was site of a supernova explosion in 1993.  
M-82 NGC 3034
A member of the M81 group, M82 is classified as a irregular galaxy also known as the Cigar Galaxy with a magnitude of 8.4 with no known structure.  M82 is also approx 12 million light years away from earth and is a strong source  infrared radiation.

M-81 & M-82
We think that M82 looks the way it does is due to a close encounter with M-81.  As you can see in this picture, the two galaxies are breathtakingly close.