La Cañada Observatory, is an initiative by Juan Lacruz, the observatory started astrometric operations in the summer of 2002, it is registered as station J87 in the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union.

The Observatory also participates in the studies on minor bodies promoted by the Group on Meteorites, Minor Bodies, and Planetary Sciences of the Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC-IEEC).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Horse Head Nebula in Orion

Sum of 3 images of 5 min each. (c) J. Lacruz, La Cañada Observatory.

M42, The Orion Nebula

The Nebula in Orion, a 10 seconds image LX200R 40cm + AOL+STL1001 E, The central region is over exposed to enhance the wings details. (c) J. Lacruz, La Cañada.

M1, The Crab nebula

The Crab Nebula M 1 is the remnant of a supernova in Taurus that was recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers in 1054.

At the center of the nebula lies a Pulsar, a rotating neutron star, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second.

M1 2007 Dec 15, J87 La Cañada (c) J. Lacruz
This is a sum of three exposures 5 min each, taken through an LX200R 40cm telescope working at F10. Image stabilized with AOL, camera STL2001E, the resolution is 1.2 arc sec per pixel.
North is Up, East left.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Fine face on spiral galaxy

M57 The Ring Nebula in Lyra

A picture of the ring nebula, one exposition 3 minutes long.

The central star was discovered in 1800 by Friedrich von Hahn (1742-1805) this object is a white dwarf of 15 magnitude.

A detail has been contrast enhanced to show the faint background spiral galaxy.

Comet P/2007 V1 (LARSON) 2007 Nov 08

This object posted on the NEO Confirmation page displayed a tail 30 arc seconds long in position angle 240 degrees.
The observations from La Cañada, confirming the discovery, were published in MPEC 2007-V72 and IAUC 8893

Thursday, November 1, 2007

17P Holmes outburst

Quoting Gary Kronk account on comets-ml :

This outburst is very similar to the outburst this comet
experienced in 1892, which led to its discovery by Edwin Holmes
(England) on November 6. He was turning his 32-cm reflector toward M31
and thought that galaxy had entered the field of his finder. Upon
looking through the telescope he saw a comet about 5 arc minutes across
with a bright nucleus. Several people expressed scepticism that Holmes
had discovered such a bright comet, but it was confirmed with the naked
eye by other observers on November 7.

Read the IAUC8886 about this out burst.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Image of the planetary nebula M27 Dumbbell in Vulpecula.

LX200R Ritchey-Chretien 0.40m F10 + STL 1001E CCD
6x30secs North up, East left 2007.09.22
Scale 1.23 arc sec/pixel, 1024x1024 pixels.

Despite the nearly full Moon and some high thin cirrus clouds I captured this composition of six images of 30 seconds then stacked, La Cañada J87 2007.09.22.

Stars with mass above Chandrasekhar limit (1.4 Solar masses) burn nuclear fuel (hydrogen then helium) quite fast, when exhausted the radiation pressure is no longer able to support the weight of the outer layers of the star, which was so far in hydrostatic equilibrium. The usual end is an implosion of the external shells, still with hydrogen, raising the core temperatures and starting suddenly explosive nuclear reactions. The result is visible many times as a Supernova. Later on the gas and metal debris ejected into the galaxy's neighbourhoods shine as a planetary nebula. In the geometrical center of the cloud it is sometimes visible the remmanents of the progenitor star.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Discovery of a Jupiter Trojan asteroid

New discoveries on 2007 sept 08 and 09, 2007 RJ35, 2007 RK35 and 2007 RQ39, RK35 is a Jovian Trojan at Lagrangian point L4

The animation below shows the simulated orbits of Jupiter Trojans (green color) and Hildas (red) courtesy of Petr Scheirich.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

NGC 7331

Fine spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pegasus.
This image from La Cañada on 2007 Sept the 14th has been composed adding 6 frames 30 seconds each. LX200R 16" F10 + STL 1001E. The field of view is about 21 arc min.
The faintest stars shown are about 20V magnitude.
Some other five galaxies are visible. North is up, east is left.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

La Cañada, 2007 Sep 1, Globular cluster M15

LX200 30cm F10 + STL1001E 15 sec.

Globular clusters are groups of about 100.000 stars gravitationally linked into a compact spheric configuration. These clusters, located in the halo of most galaxies, orbit the nucleus not just in the principal galaxy plane but at any angle. They were formed at the time the galaxy was born, their stars are population II (the oldest observed in the galaxy). Most of them, which have very low metallicity , are in late states of evolution giving a characteristic red color to the cluster.

Monday, June 25, 2007

C/2007 M3 (LINEAR)

This parabolic comet was posted as BD92298 on the NEO Confirmation Page the night of 2007 June the 22th.

Adding 60 exposures 30 seconds each on the object's movement it didn't show any noticeable comma or tail, the full width half maximun (FWHM) being about 6.3 arc seconds, somewhat wider than similar magnitude sorrounding stars.

Probably the faint star just to the south (below) the comet is hiding any trace of the tiny tail.

Other observers described cometary features in IAUC 8852 .

Saturday, April 21, 2007

C/2007 H2 SKIFF

This nearly parabolic comet was posted on the Neo Confirmation Page (NEOCP) when observed with the telescope at La Cañada controlled remotely from Madrid. IAUC 08831 (subscribers).