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Found 177 results

  1. NGC 7635 - The Bubble

    Hi all, Last November I imaged the Bubble on a few occations with my Meade LX200-ACF and Nikon D7000 on SW HEQ5 Pro, guided with a standalone Nexguider. I managed some 10 hours under pretty good skies, plus 2 hours with H-alpha filter from my small town backyard. So almost 12 hours together (after rejecting every sub with just the slightest defect like non-circular or diffuse small stars). Registering (aligning) was done in Registar, and stacking & processing in PS. I also used the Straton software that removes (most of) the stars, after initial stretching, then I put them back using the "lighten" blending mode. C & C most welcome Ragnar
  2. IC 410 - The Tadpoles in Ha

    IC 410 – The Tadpoles IC 410 (‘The Tadpoles’) is a fascinating region of nebulosity in the Constellation of Auriga. This dusty star-forming region is part of a larger area of nebulosity that also contains IC405 (’The Flaming Star Nebula’) located around 13000 light years away. The gorgeous shapes within the nebula are sculpted from immense stellar winds from radiation developed by the large, hot young stars in the embedded open star cluster, NGC 1893. The two immense, dense structures radiating away from the centre of the nebula give it its common name ‘The Tadpoles’. These are the remnants of vast pillars of dust and gas left over from the formation of the star cluster itself. My main imaging focus recently has been to capture Ha data for B33 (‘The Horsehead Nebula’) but this object only rises above my local horizon after 22.00 so to fill the time while I wait for the Horse to arrive, I decided to capture IC 410 but the clear nights have – of course – coincided with the presence of the Moon ......... thank goodness for 3nm filters! I added my most recent data to that captured in October, 2017 to complete this phase of the image. Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filter: Astrodon 3nm Ha Subframes: 22 x 1800 sec Ha Integration: 11 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIM DL Calibration and Stacking: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 The Tadpoles
  3. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the constellation Fornax NGC 1365 ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) ............... The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837, or near Sydney, as I was, almost exactly 180 years later, when I photographed this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape. Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy. At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies. This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 120 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies with apparent magnitudes of 16 to 18 or greater. Mike O'Day ................. Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D7500 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm, 5568x3712 @ 4.196um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 22 Nov 2017 ) 6 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 120s ) all at ISO400. 70 x 120s + 5 each @ 4s to 60s total around 2.5hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks Integration in 6 sets HDR combination Image - Plate Solution ========================================== Resolution ........ 1.328 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -0.008 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 8.6" x 38' 47.5" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 41.182 Dec: -36 07 46.71 ==========================================
  4. Heres my version of NGC 7000 and the Pelican nebula, taken back in 2015, through my William optics zenithstar 70ED with focal reducer. To fit it all in I did a 4 pane mosaic. Think the subs where 15 x 6 mins for each pane..........hope you like.
  5. Heres my version of the flame nebula, take last month. Taken through my MN190, in h-alpha, the camera was an Atik 314 mono. Did this one last year, but more subs this time improved it from last attempt. 18 x 8 min subs...........
  6. M27 - Dumbbell

    Hi everyone. Not often I post in this section, but last night I finally had some working equipment and clear skies (with some moon...) So had a go at M27- The Dumbbell. I'm still learning how to process, and trying to figure out flats still. But I'll get there. 14 Lights - 800iso x 300 Seconds 20 Bias 19 Flats No Darks (Wanted to go to bed... it was getting late...)
  7. The Horsehead Nebula (B33) The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is one of the best known nebulae in the night sky but few astronomers have actually observed it through a telescope. The reason for this strange state of affairs is that the nebula is very dim as it is, in essence, just a pillar of dark dust and gas – in fact we can only see it because of the curtain of relatively bright Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) emissions (IC 434) behind it. This weekend several observers have seen it for the first time through a combination of excellent conditions - especially last night (25th/26th November) - and pure dogged determination to observe it. My hat is off to these intrepid observers who have persevered to achieve that goal. I on the other hand turned to the ‘Dark Side’ to achieve the same goal capturing my data over 2 nights, the first killed part way through by mist and cloud and the second (last night) working very well until a miscalculation in my image scheduling meant that the observatory closed down when it failed to maintain its guide star while imaging through a tree – Doh! Barnard 33 is a dark nebula situated in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex in the constellation of Orion. Situated underneath the mag +1.74 ‘Belt Star’, Alnitak, this nebula is very well named as in images, its shape representing a horse’s head is clearly identifiable. For me it actually looks closer to a sea horse in appearance but the shape of a horse it most certainly is! Image Stats Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filter: Astrodon 3nm Ha Subframes: 15 x 1800 sec Ha Integration: 7.5 hours Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIM DL Calibration and Stacking: PixInsight Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3 I have deliberately taken a 'high key' approach to processing this data to release some of the additional detail often lost in the foreground region below the Horsehead Nebula itself. The Horsehead Nebula - B33
  8. NGC281 - The Pac-Man by Chris Kennedy, on Flickr 35kph gusts of wind, and REALLY bad guiding due to a lack of drift align and the star being "blown away", but managed to get a little something out of 30x360s light frames, also a new target for me, one I want to come back to under better conditions and with other wavelengths of light to make a full colour image.
  9. Hi again! Last time I imaged IC5070 for approx 3 hours, then as Orion rose up I decide to use up the last of the clear skies imaging B33/NGC2024. 15 x 600s at ISO1600 with Canon 1000d, ED80 FFx0.85, darks and bias. Looking any advise on detail etc, how does guiding look, focus, etc. I'd like to try to progress so feedback welcome. It is still noisy, so definitely need more subs. I've also lost the plot somewhere with it somewhere during processing as there is artefacts all over the show! Thanks in advance Adam.
  10. Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope Having spent the years 1825 to 1833 cataloguing the double stars, nebulae and clusters of stars visible from Slough, in the south of England, John Herschel, together with his family and telescopes, set sail from Portsmouth on the 13th of November 1833 bound for Cape Town. As detailed below, in an extract from his book, the family enjoyed a pleasant and uneventful voyage and arrived some 5 months later at Table Bay with all family and instruments in good condition. Reading on however, one might very well think that it might not have ended so well had they but left shortly after ... “... (iii.) Accordingly, having- placed the instrument in question, as well as an equatorially mounted achromatic telescope of five inches aperture, and seven feet focal length, by Tulley, which had served me for the measurement of double stars in England; together with such other astronomical apparatus as I possessed, in a fitting condition for the work, and taken every precaution, by secure packing, to insure their safe arrival in an effective state, at their destination, they were conveyed (principally by water carriage) to London, and there shipped on board the Mount Stewart Elpliinstone, an East India Company's ship, Richardson,Esq. Commander, in which, having taken passage for myself and family for the Cape of Good Hope, we joined company at Portsmouth, and sailing thence on the13th November, 1833, arrived, by the blessing of Providence, safely in Table Bay, on the 15th January, 1834, and landed the next morning, after a pleasant voyage, diversified by few nautical incidents, and without seeing land in the interim. It was most fortunate that, availing himself of a very brief opportunity afforded by a favorable change of wind, our captain put to sea when he did, as we subsequently heard that, immediately after our leaving Portsmouth, and getting out to sea, an awful hurricane had occurred from the S. W. (of which we experienced nothing), followed by a series of south-west gales, which prevented any vessel sailing for six weeks. In effect, the first arrival from England, after our own, was that of the Claudine, on the 4th of April, with letters dated January 1st.(iv.) ...” “Result of Astronomical Observations, Made During the Years 1834, 5, 6, 7, 8, At the Cape of Good Hope ... “ by Sir John Herschel, 1847 John Herschel rented a property and set up the twenty foot reflector near Table Mountain, at a site, that was then, just outside of Cape Town. The Twenty Feet Reflector at Feldhausen, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, 1834 This telescope was made by Herschel in England and transported, along with his other instruments, by ship to Cape Town and then inland to Feldhausen. The telescope is a Newtonian reflector, built to William Herschel’s design, with a focal length of 20 feet and clear aperture of 18 1/4 inches ( f13 ). The location of the telescope was established by careful survey to be: lat 33d 55’ 56.55”, long 22h 46’ 9.11” W ( or 18.462 deg E ). The site of the great telescope was memorialised by the people of Cape Town by the erection of a granite column that is still there today. ............. Observations of the Sculptor Galaxy Amongst his many thousands of observations made from Cape Town, of nebulae, clusters of stars, double stars, the sun, etc., Sir John Herschel records that he observed V.1 ( CH10 - Caroline’s Nebula - the Sculptor Galaxy ) during two different “sweeps” and gave it the number 2345 in his South African catalogue. Sweeps: 646 - 20th November 1835; 733 - 12th September 1836 At the latitude of Feldhausen, and on these dates, the Sculptor galaxy would have been at an altitude around 80 degrees above the northern horizon when near the meridian ( which was where the telescope was pointed during Herschel’s “sweeps” ). The sight afforded from this location, with the Sculptor Galaxy almost at the zenith, must have been significantly brighter and clearer than the Herschels had thus far been granted from its location way down near the horizon south of Slough. .......... Other Obsevations by John Herschel from Cape Town Also observed by John Herschel in 1835 were the people and animals that inhabit the moon ... The Great Moon Hoax of 1825 - “Lunar Animals and other Objects, Discovered by Sir John Herschel in his Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope ... “
  11. Tor's Helmet NGC2359

    Hi All Took this beautiful nebula also knows as Tor's Helmet during my visit to Namibia this year. Finally got a few nights to process the raw images to the photo you see here. Photo Details: Ha: 1.4 Hours OIII: 35 Min SII: 25 Min RGB: 15Min each. Telescope: ASA 12'' Astrograph F3.6 Mount: ASA DDM85 Camera: FLI8300 Mono Thanks for watching, Haim Huli
  12. M42

    Messier 42I know Orion has been done to death but atm it's one that's within my meagre reach. Was thinking of reshooting this at 200mm to get the slightly longer exposure times and maybe drop the ISO to stop the core blowing out so much? Obviously more captures, getting out of the city and waiting until it's higher would help Nikon D5300 360 image stack, 10 offsets, (oops on the darks) 300mm @ 1.6 seconds exposures ISO 5000 @ f / 5.6 Stacked in DSS, data stretched out In LightRoom and Photoshop. Lots of noise in this as it was very low down on the horizon and I forgot to add the darks, but still my best attempt yet. The core and several brighter stars are blown but I've sacrificed those for the sake of cloud detail
  13. A new High Dynamic Range image of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) captured over a number of nights in mid-September 2017 and processed with PixInsight using the DrizzleIntegration and PhotometricColorCalibration tools. The Silver Coin or Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) in the Sculptor constellation. ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) On the 23rd of September 1783, sitting before her telescope in the field behind the house she shared with her brother William at Datchet, near Slough in the south of England, Miss Caroline Herschel "swept" the sky searching for new comets and never before seen star clusters and nebulae. On this occasion, way down in the sky, not far above the Southern horizon, in an area of the southern sky that Nicolas de Lacaille had called the “Apparatus Sculptoris” or “the sculptor’s studio", Miss Herschel saw and noted down a very bright and large nebula where one had never before been recorded. This event was later recognised by her brother, Sir William Herschel, as the discovery, by Caroline Herschel, of the nebula he listed in his catalogue as H V.1. In later years, her 'beloved nephew', Sir John Herschel, William's son, would record this 'nebula' as entry # 138 in his General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars ( eventually becoming the 253th entry in the New General Catalogue, NGC 253 ). Whilst relatively close to us compared to the billions of far more distant galaxies in the Universe, the great size of the “Sculptor Galaxy” and the huge distances involved are still hard to comprehend. To put this into some perspective, the light that is just now reaching one edge of the great disc left the opposite edge when the Earth was in the grip of last great Ice Age 70,000 years ago and the light we now see has been travelling towards us for over 11 million years. ........ More information on the discovery of the Sculptor Galaxy by Miss Caroline Herschel, as well as the later observations by both Sir William and Sir John Herschel, can be found in my Stargazerslounge blog, “The Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 )” ......... This image was captured over a number of nights in the middle of September 2017 and processed on the 23rd; exactly 234 years from the day of its discovery by Caroline Herschel. With over 18 hours of total exposure, this HDR image attempts to capture the huge range of brightness levels; from the brightest stars and the core of the galaxy through to the numerous 'tiny' galaxies scattered throughout the image ( the total magnitude range is from around mag 8.8, for the brightest star, to 22+ for the faintest stars and galaxies visible in the image). Mike O'Day ...................... Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ) Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1410mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera:Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ).. Capture ( 16, 17, 19,20,22 Sept. 2017 ) 8 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 2s to 240s ) all at ISO800 273 x 240s + 10 each @ 2s to 120s total around 18hrs Processing Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Drizzle Integration in 8 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration Pixinsight & Photoshop 23 Sept. & 8 Oct 2017 Image Plate Solution ( this cropped image ) =============================================== Resolution ........ 1.324 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -180.00 deg ( South ^, East > ) Field of view ..... 57' 57.5" x 38' 40.1" Image center ...... RA: 00 47 32.809 Dec: -25 17 04.48 =============================================== .................... Designations and alternative names for the Sculptor Galaxy: CH10 ( Caroline Herschel # 10 ) H V.1 ( William Herschel, Class V ( very large Nebulae ) # 1 ) H 61, H 2345 ( John Herschel observations identifiers ) GC 138. ( John Herschel’s - A General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars # 138 ) NGC 253 ( John Herschel’s catalogue updated by Dreyer - The New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars # 253 ) Caldwell 65 Leda 2789 ESO 479-29 Sculptor GalaxySilver Coin GalaxySilver Dollar Galaxy .................. Annotated image of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) - showing the brighter stars ( from the Tycho-2 catalogue ) as well the galaxies recorded in the Principal Galaxies Catalogue ( PGC ). I have yet to complete identifying and annotating the very large number of ‘tiny’ galaxies in the image. ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) .........
  14. Observations of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) by William and John Herschel ......... Part 2. Observations of "Caroline's Galaxy" by Sir John Herschel, 1830's Sir John Herschel, the only child of Mary Baldwin and Sir William Herschel, was born in 1792 when his father was in middle age and already famous as one of world's leading astronomers. Having excelled in school, and no doubt inspired by his famous elders, John Herschel decided upon a career as a 'man of science' and set out to pursue a wide range of interests; with one particular focus being a continuation of the study of the heavens commenced by his father and aunt, Caroline Herschel. In 1820, with the assistance of his father, John Herschel supervised the construction of a new telescope at Slough in England. As described in the extract below ( from a paper presented to the Royal Society in 1826, titled "Account of some observations made with a 20-feet reflecting telescope ... " ), the telescope had a polished metal mirror with clear aperture of 18 inches, focal length of 20 feet and was modelled on the same design created by his father. It is this telescope, in the 1820’s and early 30’s, following the death of his father and the return of his aunt Caroline to Hanover, that John Herschel used to 'sweep' the night sky and extend the catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars that was published by his father ( see W. Herschel's Catalogue of One Thousand new Nebulae and Clusters of Stars ). On the 1st of July 1833, having complied sufficient observations, John Herschel presented to the Royal Society an updated list of the positions and descriptions of the Nebulae and Clusters of Stars that he had thus far observed. As noted in the introduction to the paper published in the Philosophical Transactions, he had planned to wait before publishing until he had complied a fully comprehensive general catalogue of objects visible from the south of England. However, due to his expectation of “several more more years additional work” needed to complete the task and his assessment that he now was in a position to address, at least in part, the then current “... want of an extensive list of nebulae arranged in order of right ascension ...”, he elected to present his list, “ ... simply stating the individual results of such observations as I have hitherto made ... “. It was not until October 16, 1863, some thirty years later, that Sir John would deliver to the Royal Society his General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars. As well as introducing many objects that had not previously been recorded, Sir John’s list of 1833 included a re-examination of, and in some cases a small correction to, the positions of many of the deep sky objects observed by his father and noted down by his aunt. One of these re-visited objects was, unsurprisingly, the large and bright nebula discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783 and recorded in Sir Williams’s catalogue as V.1 / CH 10 ( object number one, of class five ( very large nebulae ) / Caroline Herschel #10 ). In total, John Herschel records around 2500 observations of nebulae and clusters of stars in his 1833 paper; with observation #61 being V.1, the “ Sculptor Galaxy “ . The measured position of V.1is given in RA and the angle from the north celestial pole ( all reduced to epoch 1830.0 ). The description can be interpreted by reference to the legend in the paper. Thus, “ A vL mE vB neb “ becomes “ A very large, much extended, elliptic or elongated, very bright nebula “. He also notes that in addition to this observation, #61, noted down from sweep #306, V.1 was also observed in sweep #292, “but no place was taken”. The figure to which he refers , figure 52, is included towards the back of his paper and is a sketch he made of the Sculptor Galaxy. to be continued ...
  15. Hello, Here is my version of the Pelican Nebula. Data capture done during several nights from the 14th august to 22nd September 2017. Location, country side one hours drive south of Copenhagen. HA 5nm: 47 x 600 second subs, moon lit nights. OIII 3nm: 29 x 600 second subs, no moon. SQM 21.10 SII 3nm: 37 x 600 second subs, no moon SQM 21.30 Total exposure: 18 hours 50 minutes Calibrated and stacked followed by deconvolve and DPP in Maxim. Layered as Hubble palette and final curves in Photoshop. Reduction of magenta saturation and lightnes to adjust star color in the flattened image. Equipment: Mesu200 mount. 10" Skywatcher Quattro, Atik 460m camera and Astrodon filters. Offaxis guided. Link to full resolution: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-WsltPPgG5JeXFIZnA5d3ZkYmc Thanks for watching.
  16. Observations of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) by William and John Herschel The very large and bright 'nebula' discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783, that we now know as the Sculptor Galaxy, was observed a number of times by her 'dear brother' Sir William Herschel and by her 'beloved nephew' Sir John Herschel, Baronet. Some of these observations were recorded and published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and, with respect to those by Sir John in South Africa, in the book of Astronomical Observations at the Cape of Good Hope. ......... Part 1. Observation of the 'class V nebula', H V.1, by Sir William Herschel, 1783 In 1782, with the fresh patronage of King George III, William Herschel, together with his sister Caroline, undertook the not inconsiderable task of transferring his astronomical equipment from Bath to Datchet ( near Windsor ) in England. Shortly afterwards, in 1983, Sir William began a "sweep of the heavens" with the very large Newtonian telescope of his design and construction. With this mighty telescope's twenty foot focal length and clear aperture of a little over eighteen and half inches, William was able to see fainter objects and smaller detail than any other astronomer of that time. ( source: The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel, Vol.1 ) ...... On the 30th of October, 1783, in the course of one of his "sweeps" with the twenty-foot telescope, Sir William Herschel observed Caroline's 'nebula' and noted down ( or perhaps more likely, dictated to Caroline ) a description of what he saw and a reference to its position relative to a 4th magnitude star in the Piscis Austrainus constellation, #18 Pis. Aust. ( with reference to Flamsteed's Catalogue ( or HD 214748 , HIP 111954 as we might call it )). Over the course of the next three years, Sir William would go on to view the Sculptor Galaxy a total of seven more times; as recorded in his paper "Catalogue of One Thousand New Nebulae and Clusters of Stars", presented to the Royal Society on the 27th of April 1786. ( Source ) Sir William's somewhat cryptic notes can be translated by reference to the key provide in his paper and doing so reveals the following: Class: V. ( very large nebula ) Number: 1 Observed ( by WH ): 30 Oct 1784 Reference star: 18 Piscis Austrainus ( Flamsteed's Catalogue; the best reference for the time - we might use epsilon Pis. Aust. or HD 214748 / HIP 111954 ) Sidereal direction rel. to star ( following or leading ): following star Sidereal time rel. to star: 128 min 17 sec Declination direction rel. to star: north of star Declination amount rel. to star: 1deg 39min Observed: 8 times ( up until April 1786, the date of the paper ) Description: - cB: "confidently bright" - mE: "much extended" - sp: "south preceding" - nf: "north following" - mbM: "much brighter middle" - size: 50' x 7 or 8' " CH" denotes that it was discovered by his sister Caroline Herschel The note he refers to expands on details of Caroline's discovery ... ...............................................
  17. Night of the Nebulas

    Viewing report from 21st Sept. 2215pm thru 0300am Location: Cumbria Equipment: 20" Dobsonian The weather forecast had been predicting "clear" for the night of 21st for some time and as predicted it started to clear up from 7pm. The problem I have when it does this is deciding what time to start? - do you go out early when the seeing may be better (without moisture) or wait for later when the sky is darker. As my targets were nebula, I settled on waiting until later. So I went out and took the cover of the scope (location in my roll off shed) at 8-30 and switched the fans on. I waited until 10-15 by which time the temptation was too much, I could see the Milky Way across the sky and decided to get out there... I collimated the scope (with the paracorr2 in) and rolled back the roof. Setting up Nexus was a doddle and I seemed to get the alignment stars quickly centred in the eyepiece (for a change). I performed a quick alignment check using Andromeda and was happy with the result. Andromeda - Using the Ethos21, the galaxy looked large and the 2 dust lanes were clear. I traced them to the top edge but found the front most sections hard to find (unlike the other night). that's the problem with the early start, the sky is not quite dark enough. But at least it gives you time to get your eye in and pupils open! M15 - Moved to a globular as the darkness is less important and was pleased with the view from the Ethos10, the centre was nice a bright and there were plenty of stars resolved. I wanted to move to M2 but having repositioned the scope the other week for the supernova, I was unable to get low enough from the scopes current location (Grrr!) Stephans Quintet - This is a recurring target for me over several years as I try to get the elusive 5th galaxy of the bundle. Anyway, last night I managed to get all 5 but the last really needed some averted and concentration. Even then it only briefly came into view now and again. I started with the E21 to locate the group then switched to the E10. With the E10 I could easily see the small galaxy near the tiny star (that's 1), the three main galaxies were easy and one was easily split into 2 separate cores of the merging galaxys (that's 3 more) but there was no sign of the lower galaxy further out. I switched to the Ethos8 and this is when I started to glimpse the final galaxy (in & out of view) - that's all 5! I tried the Ethos13 and was fine seeing the first 4 (incl. the 2 cores of the merging galaxys) but the 5th was a no. Blue snowball pneb - I like to pop in for the blue snowball as I pass-by, it is a lovely bright planetary and with a little power resolves to reveal an off-centre dark hole. I tried a UHC but it made the view more difficulty to hold so returned to the unfiltered view. Veil - I tried the Veil unfiltered and all the major sections were visible (20" is a lot of light) but added an Astronomik UHC (for a change) to see what it could do. The Veil was much improved with plenty of shading within the nebula strands on view and I enjoyed the extra field stars that are lost when using an O3 filter. I did then change to the Astronomik O3 and this gave the best view, the nebula was much brighter and easy to see. Its hard to not revisit this object again and again... Crescent - Up next the crescent, I decided to go with the UHC first. The view was excellent and the "jelly fish" was easy to find. I think I prefer the UHC view of this nebula to the O3, the extra stars add to the view. North American & Pelican - Again, I started with the UHC and the N. American was clear and easy to trace around the outer edges. The gap between the two nebs was lovely and black. The Pelican too was showing its full extent. I moved to the O3 but scored this as a draw. Cocoon - I started with the Astronomik Hb filter and the Ethos13 eyepiece. There was not much to see. I switched to the UHC and then the nebula could be dimly seen, dim being the key word there was still not a lot to see Cave - After my success the other night, I returned to the Cave with high expectations (that were not met). I was using the O3 filter and E21, there was plenty of nebulosity around and I could trace long lanes around the area, but the sharp right angle I saw the other night was not to be seen. I found the corner point but it took some time and patience. You could just make it out but it seems the conditions were not as good as before. By now, I could hear the occasional drip of dew coming down from the ridge of the roof and a quick touch of the UTA revealed wet fingers! Dew had arrived... To the naked eye, the Milky Way was superb overhead. I was really struck with the thick black areas running between the 2 arms and throughout. I could not find M33 naked eye. I did bag it one night last week though, a further sign that conditions were good but not the "best". Elephants Trunk - Onward to the trunk... I started with the E21/O3 combination and having found the centre triple star. I moved down to trace the trunk. As before the start and end sections were easy enough but there is a centre section that's much harder to follow. Looks like it has a kink in it and that throws my eyes off the dark path. The trunk is centred around a trail of stars that are sharper than the rest and if you glance up and down then the nebula can be seen so you know you are in the right place. Was the truck easy and in your face = no. Its there but you have to look for it. I switched to the UHC but found this to be harder still than the O3. Iris - My first visit to the Iris, having forgot about it the other night! 21E/O3 combination used. I could trace a fairly large sausage shape but the bright section around the star didn't stand out for me. I switched to the UHC and the view improved. The nebula was brighter and the edges more defined. Another visit needed for sure... Pleides - By now the Seven Sisters was up and in range so it would be rude not to take a look. The view in the E21 was breath-taking. The stars are so bright and sharp with a lovely nebula glow surrounding the large and mid-size ones. Beautiful. My old SCT view could not compare with this! California - While in the area, I drifted over to the California which is a bit low, but once you are in the zone you cant stop easily! I used the E21/UHC first and found the nebula easily. It is a very long nebula and the edges were not very sharp. I did try the O3 but found it not as good as the UHC on this target. I will need to come back as it gets higher in the sky. Heart & Soul - I spotted these on the sky safari screen and could not resist a chance to see them in the 20" for the first time. I had a long history with these 2 nebulas in the 11" SCT and although I did see them, I was never happy with what I got! I loaded the E21/O3 combination into the scope... "Wow", they were so much better with the larger aperture. The outer shapes of both nebulas could be traced easily from the eyepiece. I spotted 2 bright points within the Heart and wondered what they might be, a quick check of sky safari showed them as bright points within the nebula! (never seen those before). I went on the see all the other bright areas too. (Happy with that) Feels like a big step forward on what has always been a challenging target for me I swapped in the UHC but found the view not as good as with the O3. Having spent the night on Nebulas, I completely forgot my favourite astronomical object - galaxies! By the time I thought to visit the Fireworks galaxy and NGC6824 (with the supernova), they had moved out of range of the scopes location (with the shed walls in the way) I did get to see M33 once again and although it did reveal a faint "S" shape and several of its NGCs to one side, the view was underwhelming to those I have had before so left me wishing I had been more on the ball earlier in the evening. Never mind, next time I will prioritise Galaxies and make sure to be on them when the conditions are at the best. I could see some thick cloud slowly approaching so I decided to head for the Double Cluster for my first view in the big dob... with the E21 this was another Wow moment. I managed about one and a half clusters in the FOV but the stars were so bright. The thing that stood out was the colours, the stars seemed much more colourful than with my old 11". I had a good look around and lingered for a good while as the cloud pulled overhead... One other thing I noted was that its starting to get colder at night. I was glad that I had my thermals on but even with full fingered gloves on the metal truss poles of the dob are cold to the touch. I also had to go fetch a towel from the house to wipe all the dew of the UTA at the end of the night. Both my chair and desk were damp to the touch. I did leave the dehumidifer running when I left for my bed So, please "Mr. Weather God" can I have another clear night before the Devils Orb rises to take my fun away for another 2 weeks! ... Hope you find something useful above, Alan
  18. I was very excited to process those photos of the NGC6188 region. After many hours of work I was not happy with the result and started from scratch, finally I got the result I was pleased with. Photo Details: Ha: 1.1 Hour RGB: 20 Min each channel Total Exposure: 2:10 Hours Telescope: ASA 12'' F3.6 Mount ASA DDM85 Camera: FLI 8300 Mono Location: Namibia Hope you like it too Thanks for watching Haim Huli To all my photos, follow me at my Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/101543943@N04/
  19. Hi! I would just like to ask if it is possible to get a decent image of the Rosette Nebula using an unmodded DSLR. I'm planning to take a series of around 120~150 secs shots. Thanks!
  20. Viewing report from 15th Sept. Location: Cumbria Equipment: 20" Dobsonian I got an unexpected session outside last night after what seems like 2 weeks of solid clouds. Its been so long that I was not expecting the sky to be so dark before 11pm ... When I peeped outside the milky way was big and bright & wide across the sky, the weather app suggested I may get a hour of so before the clouds returned so I got changed and headed down to the "shed". The scope was not cooled - I usually have the fans on for a couple of hours but not tonight! Quick collimation check with the Glatter laser and Tublug, then slide back the roof. I setup the Nexus push-to with a couple of quick bright stars (I use the Ethos10 to setup the Nexus which gives x200 in my dob) then pushed to M31 to test the alignment. It was on the edge of the FOV. Switched to the Ethos21 and I could easily see the 2 very dark lanes around the left side. I managed to trace the lanes up to the top and I could see the top most point of the galaxy (seems to be this is not visible all the time). Anyway, onto the nebulas... I have spend the last 2 months with the Veil, Crescent, North American & Cocoon as the main targets to be revisited. Not easy when the skys are not dark! All viewed with Astronomik O3 filter. I have had great views of the Veil with the dob - my best ever views - and the detail available is just incredible. If I I could have an Ethos 40mm so I could get more in the FOV The North American & Pelican have also been improved by the big dob. Great views of the Crescent were had at the last new moon and I was surprised by its size, finding that x100 or x150 was plenty. The dob has not let me down on this target. The Cocoon has been more of a challenge. I have been using an Astronomik Hb filter and have had some success, I have seen some nebulosity but it is a real challenge to see anything resembling the images! Anyway, back to last night. We are now into September so my targets have changed to Elephants Trunk, Cave & Iris. Using Astronomik O3 filter. Elephants trunk - In the E21 I located the triple star in the centre of the nebula and then let the nebula drift across the view until my eye picked up the black area of the trunk. I was able to trace around the inner trunk pretty easily but the outer areas were more difficult. I shall return again ... Cave - I tried this 2 weeks ago and got nothing but there it was straight away, I could trace out a right angled area of nebula quite easily. It was a bigger nebula than I expected and I felt that I could map out a dark area surrounded by on two sides by bright nebula and underneath by a finer fainter nebulous region. The clouds rolled in ... and out again. I wanted to view the fireworks galaxy to see in the supernove had gone (it had) and also view NGC6824 which has a new supernova close in. I easily spotted 6824, it was smal and bright but I was not able to split the core from the SN. I tried x100, x150 & x200. The SN was probably making the galaxy easier to see due to the extra brightness but I will need to come back and look again... The clouds rolled in ... and stayed But, I got an unpected start to nebula season and I will be hoping to get back again and again over the next 6 weeks to build on my initial observations. Let me know if you have similar plans or alternate nebula targets for the coming weeks? Alan
  21. The Fighting Dragons of Ara ( NGC 6188 ) ( Please click/tap on image to enlarge page ) ------------ Link to image on Flickr
  22. I started this in Nov 2015 shortly after getting my Mesu mount. Weather and other priorities stopped play for several months and the project lay on my hard drive gathering dust. I only returned to it this month and have now gathered just about enough data. Scope: Tak FSQ 106 ED Camera: QSI 532 wsg Filters: Baader 7nm Ha and OIII. 11 x 1800 secs with each Captured, calibrated and combined in Maxim. Processed in PS (which seems very uncool these days but God bless it!) Was wondering whether I should also gather some SII but unconvinced I thought I would try a Hubble bicolour. So...I've done a mapping of Ha to red and OIII to blue and green for a naturalistic look and another version with Ha mapped to green and OIII to blue and red and done a Hubble process. Now I'm thinking whether, for many targets (not all), I am better off spending time gathering real signal rather than pratting around with SII given that I don't live in New Mexico!
  23. Tarantula Nebula -

    Following my first version of NGC2070 aka Tarantula Nebula, I process the rest of the raw photo I took for a narrow band image. The NB photo is made from Ha, OIII and SII filters and I also added the stars with LRGB filters. Details in my Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/101543943@N04/ Thanks for watching, Haim Huli
  24. No doubt many of you already know about this but I came accross this free ebook and I thought some of you might be interested ... The book has 188 pages and includes around 70 odd black and white images of nebulae and clusters captured in the few years at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s. One example is plate 55, the Trifid Nebula The ebook can be downloaded for free from : http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/36470
  25. Took this Tarantula Nebula photo during my trip to Namibia. Photo Details: Ha - 60Min RGB - 15Min Each channel Total Exposure: 1:45 Hours. Telescope: ASA 12'' F3.6 Astrograph Mount: ASA DDM85 Camera: FLI 8300 Mono Hope you enjoy it Haim Huli
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