Tag: Nebula

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).


NGC2264 Cone nebula

Cone nebula is a giant cloud of ionized hydrogen gas, which includes the Christmas Tree Cluster. It’s located between two bright winter stars Betelgeuse (constellation Orion) and Procyon (Canis Minor) and it’s 2700 light-years far from the Solar System. There is a famous picture from Hubble Space telescope of the tip of the cone – star forming complex.

Bi-color picture didn’t look as I expected, therefore I decided to publish only mono version of hydrogen alpha channel.


M42 Great nebula in Orion

I don’t want to repeat myself, therefore the description on the most famous nebula visible from northern hemisphere can be found here.

The previous picture has some strange halo around the bright Hatsya star and I was thinking why. Recently similar picture came out of my telescope and I realized that this strange halo is caused by the frost on the secondary mirror. I manufacture home-made dew shield and I don’t have these problems anymore.

This picture is, as usual, composed out of narrow band pictures. When I look at it I am still not happy, therefore I hope next year will be better weather and I will make a better picture.


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.


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


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


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


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


M42 Great nebula in Orion

I think everyone knows constellation Orion, but only few people know that there is Great nebula in Orion, visible even by naked eye. It’s located between his belt and legs. The nebula is approximately 1300 light years from earth and it has 24 light years in diameter. Red color shows a lot of hydrogen gas, which is essence for star formation. In fact, the Orion nebula is the closes location from Earth, where the stars are born.

Since this nebula is visible by naked eye, with help of telescope even with sub-urban area, it’s not necessary to use long exposure times. I used just 3 minutes exposures and the picture yielded in nearly overexposed photo. Small nebula on the right side is NGC1973 Running man nebula.

M42-OrionNebula-2015-12-13-30-20x180sL-12x120sRGB2x2-FL730


NGC6960 Veil nebula

For the third time I am trying to capture whole Veil nebula, but again, there is part missing. This time I used the smallest telescope, I have at home – newton 150/600, reduced to focal length 438 mm, by ASA 0.73 reducer. This picture contain the first picture in left top corner and the second picture in right bottom corner. Anyway, there is still something missing, therefore next time I have to reduce the focal length even more or do a mosaic.

NGC6960_Veil_2015-11-09-30C-600s-9HaOIII-FL430


NGC6960 Veil nebula

Previous picture of Veil nebula was done by using focal length 1000 mm. Since this nebula is huge, I wanted to capture also the other parts. This time I reduced the focal length to 730 mm, by ASA corrector/reducer.

NGC6960_Veil_2015-09-09-30C-600s-15HaOIII-FL730


NGC6960 Veil nebula

Veil nebula is a supernova remnant – hot and ionized gas and dust floating in the universe, as a remainder of a mighty star, which once shined (roughly before 5 – 8 thousand of years), locate in constellation Cygnus (swan). This nebula is relatively close to Earth – only 1470 light years, therefore the visual angle is huge – approximately 3 degrees, which is six times the diameter of the Moon.

The picture is composed by bi-color technique. Two narrow band pictures were taken (Ha and OIII). H alpha was used for red channel and OIII for green and blue. Since I used quite long focal length (1000 mm) the whole DSO didn’t fit in the field of view of the camera. Next time I will try to use shorter one.

NGC6960_Veil_2015-08-23-30C-600s-7HaOIII-FL1000


M1 Crab nebula

Crab nebula is the first discovered supernova remnant in history. It’s approximately 6500 light years from Earth and has diameter 11 light years. Letter M1 stands for first position in the catalogue of deep space objects, created by Charles Messier. This guy started to work as an assistant for French Navy astronomer Joseph Nicolas Delisle. He had lovely job – comet hunting. Almost every evening, just observing the skies would be my dream job. During year 1757 his supervisor calculated the return of Halley’s Comet. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, monsieur Delisle was wrong and poor Messier was observing wrong part of the sky at wrong time. However he saw something, the object which was not moving, compared to comets. He discovered Crab nebula. Later on, he pointed this telescope to other directions and created probably the most popular catalogue of amateur astronomers and astrophotographers living on northern hemisphere, containing more than 100 objects.

I am not particularly proud of the image I am showing here. Triangular stars, not fully sharp. I can do better than this. So M1, you will meet my telescope in the future again.

M01-2015-02-10-N-30C-480s-17L-7RGB-pixi