Category: Planetary nebula

NGC7293 Helix Nebula

NGC 7293, sometimes called Helix Nebula, is the closest planetary nebula (only 700 light-years away), which can be located in constellation Aquarius. Last year I captured this nebula on Gavdos. This year on Milos I was equipped by different telescope and different camera, so I gave it a try again.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure40x300s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,

NGC 7293 Helix nebula

Helix nebula is the closest and the brightest planetary nebula in the sky. It was discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding quite long time ago at 1824 in constellation Aquarius. This nebula is similar to Dumbbell or Ring Nebula, only it’s much bigger and bit closer – approximately 450 light-years.

I took this picture on Gavdos. This nebula was my primary target there, because in Switzerland is located not far above the horizon, therefore I would have to capture it through heavy light pollution. In the southernmost point of European continent was way upper in the sky. I was collecting the light coming from this nebula several nights and it was worth it:

Technical details

Telescope:RC 154/1370
Aperture:154 mm
Focal length:917 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:ZWO 1600 MC @ -15C
Corrector:Astro Physics CCDT67
Filters:UV, IR cut
Exposure:116x 180s Gain 139

M27 Dumbbell nebula

Here comes another comparison between two cameras, telescopes and mounts. ZWO 1600 MC competes with Moravian G2 8300. Ritchey-Chrétien 154 mm competes with Newton 254mm f4 and Gemini G53f is challenged by iOptron CEM25P. I know it is incomparable aperture, price and portability, moreover the integration time is in favour of Newton, but I am very positively surprised by the outcome of the portable setup (ZWO, RC, iOptron). The nebula is logically better captured by the Newton, but RC telescope has definitely more regular star shapes (except the corners, there is quality quite poor).

Brief description of the Dumbbell nebula is here. Upper picture was made by heavy equipment (MII G2, Newton 254mm and Gemini G53f) and the lower picture was captured by portable setup (ZWO, RC 154 and iOptron).

Technical details

Telescope:Newton 254/1000 mm
RC 154/1370
Aperture:254 mm
154 mm
Focal length:1000 mm
917 mm
MountGemini G53f
iOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingTS 60 mm, FL240 mm, ZWO 174 MM
Camera:Moravian instruments G2 8300M @-30C
ZWO 1600 MC @ -15C
Astro Physics CCDT67
Filters:Baader Ha, OIII, SII
Exposure:46xL 180s bin 1x1, 20xRGB 120s bin2x2
30x 180s Gain 300

M27 Dumbbell nebula

Dumbbell nebula is a planetary nebula located 1360 light-years from solar system in constellation Vulpecula (fox or little fox). Dumbbell was the first discovered planetary nebula by Charles Messier. It’s very popular deep space object for amateur astrophotographers, including me.

Actually, this is my second attempt of this planetary nebula. This time I concentrated on bi-color image composed of hydrogen alpha (Hα) and oxygen (OIII). This is because of the fact that the planetary nebulae contain these two gases. Hα was inserted into red channel and OIII into blue and green channel. Post processing was done in PixInsight software.


M97 Owl nebula

Here is another planetary nebula called Owl nebula. It is approximately 2000 light years far from solar system and its diameter is approximately 1 light year. Here I played with the composition, in order to capture another deep space object – M108 Surfboard galaxy (left bottom).