Hours & Directions

MON, TUE: Closed

WED & THU : 10am - 5pm

FRI & SAT : 10am - 10pm

SUN : 10am - 5pm

  • Sponsored by Best of the East Bay

Nellie Gallery

Asteroid 10683 Carter -- 3/31/08

The streak near the center of this image is Asteroid 10683 Carter, a Main Belt asteroid discovered in 1980 by Eugene and Caroline Shoemaker. These pictures of Asteroid 10683 "Carter" were taken with Chabot's 36-inch telescope, Nellie, by Conrad Jung and Gerald McKeegan. This asteroid is named for Carter Roberts, long-time President of the Eastbay Astronomical Society and representative on the Chabot Space & Science Center Board of Directors. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Asteroid 35107 -- 7/6/08

The images of this animation sequence were taken on July 6, 2008 between 10:04 and 10:17 PM PDT. Credit: Conrad Jung and Gerald McKeegan.

Comet Holmes 10-25-07

Comet Holmes was discovered on November 6, 1892 by Edwin Holmes, London, England. It has an orbital period of 7.07 years, a perihelion distance of 2.1655 Astronomical Units and an aphelion of 5.2004 AU. It's last perihelion date was May 4th, 2007. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet ISON Sept 30 2013

Comet ISON, inbound toward perihelion. 2.14 AU from Earth, 1.7 AU from the Sun. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet ISON Oct 13 2013

Comet ISON, inbound toward perihelion. 1.77 AU from Earth, 1.4 AU from the Sun. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet ISON Nov 1 2013

Comet ISON, inbound toward perihelion. 1.,21 AU from Earth, 0.97 AU from the Sun. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet ISON Nov 14 2013

Comet ISON, inbound toward perihelion. 0.91 AU from Earth, 0.62 AU from the Sun. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet ISON Nov 13 and 14 2013

Comet ISON, inbound toward perihelion. 0.93 AU from Earth and 0.65 AU from the Sun on Nov 13; 0.91 AU from Earth and 0.62 AU from the Sun on Nov 14. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet Lulin February 2009

Comet Lulin was discovered by Taiwanese amateur astronomer Quanzhi Ye in July of 2007. The official designation of the comet is C/2007 N3 (Lulin). Mr. Ye made the discovery while examining images taken by one of the telescopes at the Lulin Observatory in Taiwan. As comets go, Comet Lulin is not too different from most of them. Like most comets, it is on a highly elongated orbit that carries it into the inner solar system where it’s warmed by the energy of the Sun. The ices that make up the comet sublimate and dust is liberated as well. Recent images of the comet show the comet is a greenish ball with two distinct tails, one pointed away from the Sun and a anti-tail pointed toward the Sun. This image is too high powered to show the tails and just shows the head of the comet. Also, light pollution and the low altitude of the comet at the time of the imaging would make it very difficult to record anyway. One of the "buzzes” about Comet Lulin is that it is a comet on its first and possibly its only visit to the inner solar system. The shape of its orbit is currently calculated to be nearly parabolic. An orbit of this shape can mean 1) there are not enough observations of the comet to determine an accurate elliptical orbit or 2) the comet is possibly beyond the gravitational realm of the solar system--that is, it is an extra-solar system object. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet P2009 F3 Linear

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Comet PANSTARRS

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Cygnus X-1


Cygnus X-1 is one of the strongest X-ray sources in the sky, and was discovered in 1964 by a rocket-borne X-ray detector. This was the first X-ray source widely accepted to be a possible black hole. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Egg Nebula


The Egg Nebula is a bipolar protoplanetary nebula, located about 3000 light years from Earth. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Jupiter 2012

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Jupiter Sept 2 2009

On Sept 2, 2009 (Sept 3 GMT), Jupiter's four large Galilean moons performed a rare vanishing act: For a time on this day, all four moons disappeared into the disk of Jupiter. Io and Callisto passed behind Jupiter, while Europa and Ganymede crossed in front of it. Chabot Observatory's first Director, Charles Burckhalter, observed a similar Galilean disappearance on Oct 21, 1913. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-1: The Crab Nebula

The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant--the hot gas and dust blasted into space by the death-explosion of a very massive star. The star that died to create this beautiful object did so on July 4th, 1054 CE--a fact known thanks to Chinese and Japanese astronomers who observed and recorded the event. The Crab Nebula is 6,300 light years away, located in the constellation of Taurus the Bull. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-2: Globular Cluster in Aquarius

The Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by a "halo” of "globular” star clusters, like this one: Messier 2 (M2) in the constellation Aquarius. This one lies about 37,500 light years from our Solar System, is about 175 light years across, and contains about 150,000 stars. It was discovered by Jean-Dominique Maraldi in 1746. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-3

The Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by a "halo” of "globular” star clusters, like this one: Messier 3 (M3) in the constellation Canes Venatici. This one lies about 33,900 light years from our Solar System, is about 180 light years across, and contains about a half million stars. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. M3 is famous for the large number of variable stars found in it. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-8

Messier 8 is an emission nebula in the constellation Sagittarius, at a distance of about 4,100 light years and with physical dimensions of about 110 by 50 light years. It is a star-forming nebula, and is faintly visible to the unaided eye under good observing conditions. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

The Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by a "halo” of "globular” star clusters, like this one: the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules. This cluster is about 25,000 light years distant and about 150 light years across. In very dark skies, when the Moon is not present, it can even be seen with the unaided eye: a fuzzy knot about a third the diameter of the Moon. Globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the Universe, and made up of hundreds of thousands of very old stars—and near the center, the stars are packed together about 500 times more densely than in our Sun’s neighborhood of space! The Hercules cluster is believed to be at least 12 billion years old. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-16 Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula (M-16) is a star formation region about 6,500 light years away. So named for its eagle-like shape, the "head" and "wings" of the eagle are also called the Pillars of Creation, dubbed after a Hubble Space Telescope image showing details of star system formation within the nebula. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-17: Omega Nebula (aka, Swan, Horseshoe, or Lobster Nebula)

This cloud of gas and dust has a feature unusual to most emission nebulae: the stars that light it up—a cluster numbering 35--are hidden to the eye, buried deep inside clouds of dust. The Omega’s red color comes from hydrogen gas energized by the radiation from the young stars nested inside. The Omega is located somewhere between 5000 and 6000 light years from us, its bright, visible component, which is about 15 light years across, is embedded in a larger cloud of dark material extending perhaps 40 light years or more. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-22

A globular star cluster located in the constellation of Sagittarius, about 10,400 light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-27: The Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula was the first "planetary” nebula to be discovered. Planetary nebulae—named for their planet-like appearance in early, low-powered telescopes—are shells of gas blown off by dying, Sun-like stars. These "bubbles” are expanding outward into space, and will eventually dissipate. The Dumbbell, 1250 light years away, is about 1.5 light years in diameter, and was cast off by its dying parent star probably between 3000 and 4000 years ago. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-31: The Andromeda Galaxy

The famous Andromeda Galaxy, a large spiral galaxy about 2.5 million light years away in the constellation of Andromeda. This is the nearest large galaxy to our Milky Way, and is the only spiral galaxy visible to the unaided human eye. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-42: The Orion Nebula

The picture above was taken in December, 2008. A notable feature is in the lower right corner, associated with one of the stars. Look for a graceful, arcing structure that cuts right through one of the stars. This is a "bow shock" structure, about half a light-year across. It is formed from the gases of the nebula by stellar wind pressure emanating from the energetic young star LL Orionis. As the fast stellar wind collides with the slow moving gases, a shock front, or bow shock, is formed. The slower gas is flowing away from from the hot central star cluster of the nebula (the Trapezium, at the center of the picture). Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-42: The Orion Nebula

The Great Nebula in Orion is a vast cloud of gas and dust in which new stars are being born. Located at the middle of the Orion’s Sword—a line of stars "hanging” beneath Orion’s Belt--this stellar nursery lies about 1600 light years away, and is about 30 light years across. From Earth, the nebula covers an area of the sky four times greater than the Full Moon. The visible part of the nebula, however, is actually a small part of a much larger cloud, which spans more than 10 degrees of the sky, covering half of the constellation of Orion. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-42: The Orion Nebula

Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-51: The Whirlpool Galaxy

It wasn’t until the early 1920s that the objects we know today as Spiral Galaxies—like the Whirlpool—were proven to be what they are: enormous and very distant masses of billions of stars, like the Milky Way. Before that, astronomers believed these objects to be "nebulae”—great clouds of gas in space. The Whirlpool Galaxy, along with its smaller companion galaxy, is about 23 million light years away and 65 million light years across. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-51: The Whirlpool Galaxy

It wasn’t until the early 1920s that the objects we know today as Spiral Galaxies—like the Whirlpool—were proven to be what they are: enormous and very distant masses of billions of stars, like the Milky Way. Before that, astronomers believed these objects to be "nebulae”—great clouds of gas in space. The Whirlpool Galaxy, along with its smaller companion galaxy, is about 23 million light years away and 65 million light years across. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-51: Supernova SN 2011dh in the Whirlpool Galaxy

M-51, before and after the eruption of Supernova 2011dh, the death of a yellow supergiant star in that galaxy. The image on the left was taken in 2009, and on the right July 8th, 2011. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-56: Globular Cluster in Lyra

Messier 56 is a globular star cluster in the constellation Lyra. Discovered in 1779 by Charles Messier, the cluster is 32,900 light years away and is approximately 84 light years across. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-57: The Ring Nebula

The famous Ring Nebula in the constellation of Lyra. The Ring is a planetary nebula, the blown-off shell of gas and dust from a dying star, seen at its center. The Ring is about 2,300 light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-58

Messier Object 58 is a "barred" spiral galaxy--a galaxy with spiral arms but with a bar-like structure crossing the hub of its center. One of the brightest galaxies in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, M 58 is 60 million light years away. The bright blue spot at the upper edge of the spiral is not part of M 58, but instead is a star in our own galaxy residing in the foreground of this scene. Recent observations have revealed that our own Milky Way galaxy is also a barred spiral. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-60 and NGC 4647

Messier object 60 (NGC 4649), to the lower left, is a giant elliptical galaxy about 60 million light years away. It is the third brightest galaxy in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. NGC 4647, in the upper right, is a spiral galaxy. It is not certain if these two galaxies are physically close enough together to interact with one another, or are at different distances along our line of sight. Both galaxies are located in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-63: The Sunflower Galaxy

Messier 63, also known as the Sunflower Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is located about 37 million light years from Earth. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-64: "Black Eye" Galaxy or "Sleeping Beauty" Galaxy

From 19 million light years away, the Blackeye Galaxy appears to stare at us, darkly. The appearance of a brooding eye in a bruised face is given by a prominent arc of dust skirting the central galactic nucleus. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-64: "Black Eye" Galaxy or "Sleeping Beauty" Galaxy

From 19 million light years away, the Blackeye Galaxy appears to stare at us, darkly. The appearance of a brooding eye in a bruised face is given by a prominent arc of dust skirting the central galactic nucleus. Credit: Conrad Jung, 2014.

M-71

M 71 is a globular star cluster in the constellation of Sagitta. It is about 12,000 light years distant and 27 light years across. Originally thought to be a densely packed open cluster, later studies have identified it as a relatively young globular cluster of only 9 or 10 billion years. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-66

A spiral galaxy in the constellation of Leo, about 35 million light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-76

Also called the Little Dumbbell, this planetary nebula is about 2500 light years distant, in the constellation Perseus. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-78

M-78 is a diffuse reflection nebula--a cloud of gas and dust lit up by the light of large, bright blue-type stars. This nebula is located in the constellation of Orion about 1,600 light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-78

This picture was taken in October 2008. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-82: The Cigar Galaxy

The Cigar Galaxy is an example of galactic mayhem! Its ravaged, irregular appearance is probably the result of a close encounter with another, neighboring galaxy some time in the past, which disrupted the Cigar and caused a flurry of new star formation. The Cigar, and its neighboring tormentor, are 12 million light years away in the constellation Ursa Major (the Big Bear—aka, the Big Dipper). Credit: Ryan Diduck and Conrad Jung.

M-82: Supernova 2014j

The supernova shown in this astrophoto of M-82 was first detected on January 22nd 2014, but is projected to have gone off some time prior to January 19. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-87

It may look like a small, fuzzy, cottonball-like smudge—at least in smaller telescopes—but the Giant Elliptical Galaxy M87, at a distance of 60 million light years, is greater than it looks. Elliptical galaxies are so named—as with all types of galaxies—because of their shape. Ellipticals lack the spiral, flat disk structures of Spiral Galaxies, and are instead smooth oval or even spherical shapes. M87 is a monster in size: 125,000 light years across (compared to the Milky Way’s 100,000 light years). And because it is egg-like in dimensions, and not a flat disk, it fills an even greater volume of space with its stars. There are maybe trillions of stars in this galaxy! Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-95

Messier 95 is a barred spiral galaxy about 38 million light years away in the constellation Leo.  It was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781 and cataloged by Charles Messier later that same year. Credit: Conrad Jung.

M-97: The Owl Nebula

Messier 97, also known as the Owl Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Ursa Major, located about 2,600 light years from Earth. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Moon: Lunar X1

Are Lunatics playing a celestial game of Tic-Tac-Toe? The "X" near the center of this image is called "Lunar X," a feature on the Moon formed by the adjoining walls of three craters (all mostly in shadow here, to the left, right, and above the X). Lunar X is only visible as a clearly defined X for a few hours of its lunar twilight when sunlight grazes the tops of the crater wall rims. Lunar X is located at lunar coordinates 25.3° S latitude and 0.9° E longitude, and is about 70 kilometers across. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 40: Bowtie Nebula

NGC 40, the Bowtie Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Cepheus. It is about 3500 light years away and was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1788. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 2022

A planetary nebula located in the constellation of Orion about 8100 light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 2371

This dual-lobed planetary nebula can sometimes appear as two distinct objects in some telescopes. For this reason, Herschel entered it as two different objects in the New General Catalog: NGC 2371 and NGC 2372. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 2261: The Hubble Variable Nebula

The Hubble Variable Nebula--a cloud of gas reflecting the light from nearby stars that has been seen to change in brightness at times. Though not fully understood, some scientists think that the brightening and dimming is caused as moving clouds of dust casting shadows on the reflection nebula. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 2392: The Eskimo Nebula, or Clown Face Nebula

The appearance of this planetary nebula gave someone the impression of a face dressed in a fur-lined parka, earning it the name of Eskimo Nebula. The outer shell of material is decorated with comet-like filaments and streaks, all streaming away from the central star, which give the appearance of the fur of a parka. The Eskimo Nebula is estimated to be about 3000 light years away and about 10,000 years old. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 2419: Globular Cluster

This globular star cluster was once called the "Galactic Wanderer" when it was thought not to orbit the Milky Way galaxy, which turned out to be false. This cluster's orbit carries it farther from the Milky Way than the Magellanic Clouds, taking 3 billion years to complete one trip around the Milky Way. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 3242: The Ghost of Jupiter

This planetary nebula is composed of two, or three, separate layers, or shells. The brightest, innermost shell is strongly oblong, and along with the nebula's central dying star have encouraged some to call this the Eye, or the CBS Eye. The next layer has a more circular shape, and its angular size of 40x35 arc seconds--close to the angular size of Jupiter in our skies--has sometimes earned it the name "Jupiter's Ghost." A third, much fainter shell, or halo, around this nebula (not visible in this picture) extends to about 20.8 arc minutes in diameter--two thirds the diameter of the Moon! NGC 3242 is somewhere between 1400 and 2500 light years away. This photo was taken on February 28th, 2008. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 4565: The Needle Galaxy

The "Needle Galaxy” is a beautiful example of a Spiral Galaxy, maybe like our own Milky Way, seen edge-on. The flatness of the spiral disk and the prominence of the central bulge are highlighted when viewed from this direction. Also, the dark, obscuring dust in the spiral arms can be easily seen cutting in front of the bulge. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 4871

NGC 4871 (the bright object at center-left in the picture) is a giant elliptical galaxy, a major member of the Coma Cluster of galaxies. The Coma Cluster is 400 million light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 6543: The Catseye Nebula

The "Catseye Nebula" is a planetary nebula: a shell of gas sloughed off by a dieing star. It is located in the constellation Draco, and is approximately 3,300 light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 6826: The Blinking Eye Nebula

The "Blinking Eye" Nebula is a planetary nebula--the expanding shell of glowing gas cast off by a dying star that in its life was about the size of our Sun. Our skies are filled with these bubbles, but since they are relatively small as astronomical objects go (on the order of a light year across) and not very bright (the star that formed the nebula is in the process of dying, and no longer shines with its original intensity), we need telescopes to see them. The Blinking Eye Nebula is about 2,200 light years away, in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 7008

Also known as the "Fetus Nebula," NGC 7008 is a colorful planetary nebula located 2800 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus. It was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. Named the "Fetus" because of the unusual arrangement of colors and shapes within, ironically this planetary nebula has nothing to do with star birth, but rather is a stage of the end of life of a star. Conrad Jung.

NGC 7510: Open cluster in Cepheus

This open star cluster in the constellation Cepheus lies 9,900 light years away and contains about 60 stars. Credit: Conrad Jung.

NGC 7662: The Blue Snowball

Another of the beautiful gems of the deep sky called planetary nebulae, the "Blue Snowball” in the constellation Andromeda is so named for its bluish tint. As with all planetary nebulae, what you are looking at is a shell of gas that has been blown off by a dying star—a star still visible at the center of the nebula through larger telescopes. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Quasar 3C273 - June 2009

Quasar 3C273 is located within the constellation Virgo. It was the first quasar (quasi-stellar radio source) every identified, and is the optically brightest quasar known. At a distance of approximately 2.44 billion light years, the object's mass is estimated at 886 +/- 186 million solar masses. Quasars are the highly energetic cores of active galaxies, believed to be powered by central supermassive blackholes in the process of swallowing huge quantities of matter. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Double Quasar QSO 0957+561

The "Double Quasar" or "Twin Quasar" QSO 0957+561 was the first identified "gravitationally lensed" object. The two images, labeled A and B, are of the same quasar, a double image created by the gravity of an intermediate object--the "lensing" object. The lensing object, which is too faint to be seen in this image, is a giant elliptical galaxy, part of a cluster of galaxy which also contribute to the lensing effect. The lensed object, QSO 0957+51, lies at a distance from us of 8.7 billion light years, while the lensing elliptical galaxy is 3.7 billion light years away. The quasar itself is the highly energetic core of a galaxy as it was in the early universe. We are seeing the quasar as it was 8.7 billion years ago by virtue of its great distance and the time it has taken for its light to reach us. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Stephan's Quintet

At least four of the galaxies in this group of five are interacting with each other gravitationally, forming a small galaxy cluster. At least a couple of them are in the process of actually colliding with each other--an event that plays out over one or two billion years or more. This picture was taken in August 2012. Credit: Conrad Jung.

Tempel 1

Credit: Conrad Jung.

Veil Nebula

The Veil Nebula is a supernova remnant in the constellation Cygnus. Also known as the Cygnus Loop and the Witch's Broom Nebula. Discovered by William Herschel in 1784, this nebula spans an area of sky equal to about six times the diameter of the Moon. The supernova that produced this gas cloud exploded between 5000 and 8000 years ago. Its distance is not accurately known, but is estimated to be between 1400 and 2600 light years away. Credit: Conrad Jung.