M1 Crab nebula

It all started here. Crab nebula is the first catalogued deep space object. Charles Messier was searching for the comet (1758) but discovered his first deep space object. Crab nebula, also called Messier 1, is a supernova remnant – something like Veil nebula, but it’s much further from the Solar system – 6500 light years.

My first picture was made with pinched mirror, therefore I waited two years and captured it properly. Since I live in light polluted area, I chose narrow band filters, in order to get better contrast and composed this picture out of hydrogen alpha (red channel) and OIII (green and blue channel) narrow band pictures.


IC59 IC63 Gama Cassiopeia nebula

Is a reflection nebula located in constellation Cassiopeia, approximately 600 light years from Solar System. This nebula is very dim, therefore I used narrow band filters Ha, OIII and SII and composed two pictures. One is composed in real colors, second in fake (Hubble) color palette.


NGC6992 Veil nebula

The mostly photographed deep space object by me is Veil nebula. I simply love this supernova remnant. Previous mosaic picture revealed that the eastern part is slightly brighter, therefore I pointed my telescope with longer focal length there and made this bi-color picture.


M33 Triangulum Galaxy

Triangulum Galaxy is our neighboring spiral galaxy in distance only 3 Million light years from the Earth. It has diameter approximately 30 light years, which means that it’s 3 times smaller than our home – Milky Way Galaxy. Last year I tried to capture some photons coming from there, but the outcome was not so great, therefore I was waiting one year and here is the outcome:

m33-triangulum-galaxy-2016-10-31-30c-65l-300s-8rgb-200sb2x2-fl1000


NGC7380 Wizard nebula

Wizard nebula is an open cluster associated with nebulosity.  Visually, it has apparent size of the full Moon, but since it’s very far from the Earth (7200 light years), its real diameter is about 100 light years.

So, where is the wizard located? It took me a while to find him, but if you turn your head 90° counter-clockwise, you see two darker hands. It looks like he is trying to grab something. Then above the hands you see the wizard’s conical hat.

First picture is a composition of 3 narrow band pictures (Ha, OIII and SII) and composed in Hubble Space Telescope palette. Second one is more-or less visible spectrum.

ngc7380-wizard-2016-10-06-30c-600s-32x-haoiiisii-fl1000-dbe-proc ngc7380-wizard-2016-10-06-30c-600s-32x-haoiiisii-fl1000-dbe-rgbeq


M39 Open cluster

My god, it is full of stars! I think everybody knows this sentence and if not, you should watch probably the best movie from Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Anyway, my reaction when I processed this image was the same just like David Bowman, when he was traveling through the star gate created by the monolith orbiting the Jupiter. The reason why there are so many stars in the background is simple. M39 is an open cluster located in not far from constellation Cygnus (Swan). This constellation is lying on the plane of our home galaxy Milky Way, therefore we are now looking through the galactic disk.

m39-opencluster-2016-09-29-30c-31l-200s-13rgb-120sb2x2-fl1000


M29 Open Cluster

M29 is an open cluster located in constellation Cygnus (Swan) and it’s approximately 6000 light-years from the Earth. It can be observed even by the binoculars or small telescope.


M52 Open cluster

M52 open cluster was discovered catalogued by Charles Messier in 1774, from there stands the “M” letter. It’s located in constellation Cassiopeia and it’s visible even by small binocular.

m52-opencluster-2016-09-28-30c-12l-180s-8rgb-120sb2x2-fl1000


NGC6960 NGC6992 Veil nebula mosaic

Here is another picture of my favorite Veil nebula. First attempt here with long focal length (1000 mm), second attempt here with shorter focal length (730 mm) and finally third here with the shortest focal length I have (430 mm). Still I haven’t captured everything of the nebula last year and this year I focused my smallest telescope to the western part of the Veil nebula and created mosaic.

The picture, as well as the previous ones is bi-color images. I captured hydrogen alpha (Ha) and oxygen III (OIII) narrow band images and inserted Ha image into the red channel and OIII into green and blue channel.

ngc6960-veil-mosaic-2016-09-01-30c-600s-30haoiii-fl430


NGC6820 Nebula

NGC6820 Nebula doesn’t have a name, so let’s call it Hidden octopus nebula (because only one tentacle is visible). Hidden octopus nebula is a giant cloud (50 light years in diameter) of ionized hydrogen alpha gas, where new stars are born. The tentacle forms similar structure just like in more famous M16 Eagle nebula. It’s located in constellation Vulpecula (Little fox) not far from M27 Dumbbell nebula and it’s 6000 light year from Earth.

The picture was processed in bi-color technique. This means: two narrow band pictures, one H alpha and OIII. H alpha inserted into the red channel, OIII into the green and blue one.

ngc6823-nebula-2016-08-04-300s-30c-22ha-20oiiii-fl1000-gpu


M11 Wild Duck Cluster

Wild Duck Cluster is one of the biggest known open star cluster. It’s located in constellation Aquila (Eagle), it contains approximately 2900 stars (you can count them on the picture) and it’s very far – 5500 light years from the Solar system. The name “Wild Duck” comes from the observation of Admiral Smyth – he saw wedge-shape group of stars. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any V-shape formation, maybe Admiral Smyth was observing during very cold night and tried to warm up by grog or something.

M11 Wild Duck Cluster


NGC7023 Iris nebula

Iris nebula is one of the most difficult deep space object to capture. Not the nebula itself, but the dark clouds around it. In order to capture these clouds you have to be under very good skies – with minimal light pollution. The reason is simple – the clouds are dark, but the background as well, therefore if you want to visualize the contrast between something which is dark and something which is even darker, good skies are essential. Since I live in sub-urban area, I had to wait till 1 o’clock at night. At this time nearly all street lamps are switched off and the light pollution drops to acceptable level.

Anyway back to the nebula – it’s reflective nebula (similar to Pleiades) located in constellation Cepheus. It’s 1300 light years far from the Solar system and it has 6 light years in diameter.

NGC7023-Iris-2016-08-08-30C-17x300sL-14x120sRGBb2-FL1000-GPU


M17 – Omega Nebula

Omega Nebula is a giant cloud of the hydrogen gas where new stars are born. It’s around 5000 light years from Solar system and it has 15 light years in diameter. The nebula is located in constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) and it’s the most massive star-forming location in our galaxy. Visual observation is possible, but only with the telescope (medium or big aperture) and from the place with low light pollution.

Since this nebula is visible in summer, there is not enough time to collect enough photons during one night (short nights in summer). Therefore I had to photograph this deep space object several nights (4 in total) and I collected 7.2 hours of the exposure time. Since the light pollution is quite high on the south, I used narrowband filters to collect three channels (H alpha, OIII and SII). I was playing with pixel math and placing partially some narrowband images into Red Green Blue channels and here are the results of my experimentations:

M17-2016-07-05-22Ha32OIII32SII-300s-30C-FL1000-01 M17-2016-07-05-22Ha32OIII32SII-300s-30C-FL1000-RGB M17-2016-07-05-22Ha32OIII32SII-300s-30C-FL1000-SCNR


M5 Globular Cluster

M5 is a globular cluster discovered by Gottfried Kirch and Maria Margarethe Kirch in 1702. It’s located in constellation Serpens and it’s 24500 light-years far from the Solar System. This globular cluster has diameter 165 light-years and contains more than 100 000 stars, which makes it one of the biggest globular cluster in our Milky Way galaxy.


M101 – Pinwheel Galaxy

Pinwheel Galaxy is similar to our own homeland Milky Way Galaxy. It has 170 000 light years in diameter (it takes 170 000 years till the light from one side reaches the other) It’s 21 million light years from Solar system and located in constellation Ursa Major (Big Dipper or Great Bear).

This galaxy is characterized by high population of H II regions and therefore I adjusted the image acquisition in the way to highlight it. In total I used four nights to capture this image. The Moon was not bothering and surprisingly, the weather was excellent in first half of May.  The first night I used just for luminance channel, second and third one for RGB channels and finally the last one for narrow band image of hydrogen alpha. Ha channel was merged with R channel and therefore the intensity of H II regions was increased. It’s probably my longest total integration time of any galaxy and it was worth it. See for yourself:

M101-2016-05-05-30C-42xL300s-26xHa-27xRGB200s-b2x2_FL1000_02


NGC 6888 – Crescent Nebula

In an emission nebula located in constellation Cygnus (swan), 5000 light years from Earth. The nebula has 25 light years (!) in diameter. This constellation, as well as the nebula is lying on the plane of our home galaxy Milky Way. Therefore there are so many stars visible.

The picture was processed by bi-color technique – this means that the picture is assembled from two narrow band images: hydrogen alpha (Ha) and ionized oxygen (OIII). Ha was inserted into red channel and OIII into green and blue.

NGC6888_2015-08-23_600s_22Ha_8OIII-30C


Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet in solar system; however the weight of this gas giant is only 1/1000 of the Sun. It has more than 60 moons, which were very important for formulation of modern way how we understand the universe. Four biggest moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are visible even by small telescope. Galileo was the first who saw them and noticed that next night they are on different position, thus they must be orbiting the Jupiter. This led to the confirmation of Copernicus heliocentric theory. Obviously this was not accepted very well at that time and Galileo had to face the problems with the inquisition.

Planetary photography is completely different to deep space imagining. Since the planets are bright, the exposure time doesn’t have to be long, however the planets are small, therefore the seeing (turbulences in the atmosphere) is the biggest enemy. One needs: long focal length, short exposure times (aperture, aperture, and aperture) and as many pictures as possible.

This picture is a stack of 2000 pictures together. It’s one year old, because this year the seeing hasn’t allow me to do better pictures with my latest equipment. The red spot is visible as well as the eclipse cause by the moon Io.

jup5m_1_80s_g956_0019 23-39-31-2AP-74per_res


Moon – closer encounter

Well, as I wrote before, I hate Moon. It is a big bright monster, polluting the skies by the light. However it has its beauties. For instance the terminator – the transition between bright and dark side of the Moon can show some interesting shadows of the craters. The Moon is relatively easy to photograph, one just have to have a long focal length and any camera. The pictures were taken by my new scope Celestron EdgeHD C14 with “guiding” camera ZWO 174 MM. Each picture is a stack of approximately 1000 frames, done in AutoStakkert and sharpened further in RegiStax.conv_Moon_180316_Gain=180_Exposure=1_regi02_FS conv_Moon_180316_Gain=180_Exposure=2_1ms_regi_FS conv_Moon_180316_Gain196_Exposure2_7ms_regi_fs conv_Moon_Gain196_Ex2_FS conv_MoonGain188_Exposure2_2ms_regi_FS


NGC2237 Rosette nebula

Another place where the stars are born is called Rosette nebula. It is a cloud of hydrogen gas, located 5000 light years from Earth in constellation Monoceros (unicorn). The diameter of this nebula is 50 light years.

This time I processed collected data by two different ways. Basic data are three monochromatic pictures captured through narrow band filters: Hydrogen alpha, Oxygen OIII and Sulfur SII.

First technique is called Hubble pallet – natural color of H alpha is red, but it’s inserted into green channel, oxygen is blue, therefore ends in blue channel and sulfur is even more “red” than the red color, therefore lands in red channel. After many different post-processing steps the final picture looks like this:

NGC2237-Rosette-2016-02-10-360s-40C-17Ha-19OIII-10SII-FL730-Hub

Second technique is more realistic for the human eyes and brain, and requires pixel math. H alpha is red, SII even more, therefore the combination of this pictures (SII + 0.8*H alpha) will end up in red channel. Green channel is a combination of 0.075*H alpha + OIII. Finally blue channel is just OIII.

NGC2237-Rosette-2016-02-10-360s-40C-17Ha-19OIII-10SII-FL730-Tri

I am quite curious which picture you like more…


B33 Horsehead Nebula

Horesehead nebula is a dark nebula located in constellation Orion, approximately 1550 light years from Earth. The bright star is on the picture is called Alnitak (eastern star of Orion’s belt). Horsehead shape is a cloud of cold gas, blocking the light coming from ionized hydrogen in the background.

This nebula is my favorite, but it’s not so simple to photograph, due to its dimness. Even with very fast telescope (f-stop 2.8) I had to use quite long exposure times – 6 minutes. The picture was postprocessed by bi-color technique, which means putting 27 H alpha pictures into red channel and 17 OIII pictures into green and blue channel. This was done in Pixinsight software.

B33-2016-02-05-FL730-40C-360s-27Ha-15OIII-LHa