Category Nebulae

The Great Nebula in Orion

m42-m43_rs


Subject: M42 and M43 - Great Orion Nebula and De Mairan's Nebula
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800 with f/6.3 reducer
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique (M42): 33 approximately 30 second lights at 800 ISO. Total exposure time of approximately 17 minutes. 6 darks. 50 biases.
Technique (M43): 15 approximately 30 second lights at 800 ISO. Total exposure time of approximately 8 minutes. 6 darks. 50 biases.
Prime focus. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker. Post-processing in Photoshop.

This image is a composite stitching of two images I took tonight (included below). I had originally set out to shoot M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, but accidentally pointed my telescope at the nearby M43, De Mairan’s Nebula. Surprised at the brightness, I went ahead and took a few frames...

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The Pillars of Creation

m16pr2_rs


Subject: M16 - Eagle Nebula
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800 with f/6.3 reducer
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 46 lights between 1600 and 6400 ISO with exposures varying from 15 to 30 seconds. Total exposure time of 22 minutes 36 seconds. 16 darks. 50 biases.
Prime focus. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker. Post-processing in Photoshop.

The Pillars of Creation have long been one of my favorite deep sky objects. After my recent success with the Dumbbell Nebula I set a goal of capturing the pillars in a similarly successful shot. Tonight was the clear and still night I needed to meet that goal.

The Pillars of Creation are actually a formation within the Eagle Nebula, an object located in the brightest portion of our galactic center...

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M57 – Ring Nebula

m57


Subject: M57 - Ring Nebula
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800 with f/6.3 reducer
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 9 lights between 1600 and 6400 ISO with varying exposures. Total exposure time of 5 minutes. 5 darks. 52 biases.
Prime focus. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker. Post-processing in photoshop.

Tonight’s bright waxing gibbous moon gave me some difficulties and I was only able to salvage 9 exposures of the ring nebula. The nebula itself is only about 1.3 arcminutes in diameter making it difficult to see with smaller telescopes and binoculars. Fortunately, it’s blue color from oxygen emission lines are easy to pick up by an unmodified camera. The outer red hydrogen emissions tend do take longer exposure times to render.

Please feel free to post comments, questions, or even requests! I’...

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M27 – Dumbbell Nebula

dumbbell_pr4_rs


Subject: M27 - Dumbbell Nebula
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800 with f/6.3 reducer
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 20 lights between 1600 and 6400 ISO with varying exposures. Total exposure time of 10 minutes 18 seconds. 5 darks. 52 biases.
Prime focus. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker. Post-processing in photoshop.

I had a small window tonight between when the sun set and the clouds rolled in where there was a clear sky. This gave me the chance I had been waiting for to use my new 2″ visual back which almost completely removed the vignetting seen in my most recent photographs.

I am very happy with the result. Thanks to some adjustments to my camera, the new visual back, and especially the f/6.3 reducer, I was able to successfully stack 20 frames...

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M17 – Omega Nebula

omega


Subject: M17 - Omega Nebula
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 1 light (30 seconds at 6400 ISO)
Prime focus. Noise reduction in Photoshop

Tonight was a spur of the moment night for astrophotography. Sarah and I were outside enjoying the Perseids when I realized it was the clearest night I’d had in months. So, I set up the telescope in the dark and took some quick shots. This was one of them.

As with my previous shot of the Andromeda Galaxy, here are a lot of things wrong with this picture such as the focus, star trailing, noise, and vignetting. These are mostly due to the fact that I basically just whipped out my telescope and started shooting without any preparation. I expect to get much better shots of the Omega Nebula in the future.

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M42 – The Great Orion Nebula

M42

Subject: M42 - The Great Orion Nebula
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 25 second exposure at 1600 ISO in prime focus.

This is my first successful attempt at deep sky imagery and my first time seeing some color in a nebula (everything you see here is natural). Thanks to my new SCT telescope, the Celestron CPC 800, I am now able to take some long exposures (but not too long since I’m using an altazimuth mount). Too bad M31, the Pleiades, and most of the deep sky I’m familiar with are setting early now. I had to take this within about a 20 minute window before it set. Hopefully I can get better focus next time.

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