Category: H II nebula

NGC2264 Cone nebula

The Cone Nebula is a molecular cloud of excited hydrogen gas, located in the constellation Monoceros. It belongs to the group of nebulae, which can be observed/photographed during the winter in the northern hemisphere. I tried to capture this object a long time ago without success. I must say, it’s a very difficult one, so I attempted this time with new equipment. Specifically new extra, super, mega narrowband filters, having a bandwidth of only 3 nm. Combined with a small 6″ Newtonian telescope I was able to generate a pretty decent picture.

Here is a fake Hubble palette edit:

And here is a more natural-looking bi-color edit:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length570 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorMaxField coma corrector
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure142x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-03-09

NGC2174 Monkey Head Nebula

Another nebula, which resembles a head of an animal is designated NGC 2174, sometimes called Monkey Head Nebula. After capturing the Horse Head Nebula in the constellation Orion, I waited for a few days for good weather and pointed my telescope again into the Orion, this time to its northern part. Monkey Head Nebula is an HII region, which is approximately 6400 light-years away from Earth. To find a monkey is not that difficult. There is a baboon’s head on the upper left side, which is looking into the constellation Taurus.

The best way to capture this nebula is by using narrowband filters. For this purpose, I ordered a new monochrome camera ZWO 2600MM with a 2″ filter wheel. The filters are equally important as a camera, so I decided on Antlia 3 nm. As a first light, I must say that this combination works really well. I made in total 90 exposures, 5 minutes each, which means over 7 hours of integration time.

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorMaxField coma corrector
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure90x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-03-06

B33 HORSEHEAD NEBULA

Horsehead nebula is IMHO the most beautiful deep space object. It is located in the constellation Orion. Everybody knows this constellation because it can be easily identified by three aligned stars (Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka), which forms the belt of the Orion.

The nebula is very dim. Therefore, visual observation is nearly impossible, unless you have a telescope, having at least 1 meter in diameter. To photograph it, one needs a very long exposure time. I used 5 minutes per image and I took 36 of them. The nebula complex is visually very large, so the optimal focal length should be shorter than 750 mm. I used a Newtonian telescope with a focal length of 1000 mm but reduced to 750 mm by the Nexus coma corrector. It turns the Newtonian into a light-collecting bucket, but the quality suffers from that. The stars in the corners are everything, but round. Moreover, I used dual-band filter Optolong L-eXtreme, which increased the contrast of the nebula, but also made the asymmetric halo around the bright stars. I played a bit with the white balance and pushed the colors into the orange tint, to reach the warmer feeling in cold February.

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length750 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorNexus coma corrector
FiltersOptolong l-eXtreme
Exposure36x300s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2022-02-09

IC2177 Seagull Nebula

I am not a huge fan of birding, but I captured this “Seagull” with pleasure. Initially, I noticed on my wide-angle photo, that there is a giant nebula north of Sirius. I checked in Stellarium what would be the optimal focal length and found out that this is a perfect target for William Optics RedCat combined with an APS-C sensor. Moreover, I was able to fit the M50 open cluster into the field of view (on the left side).

TelescopeWilliam Optics RedCat 51/250 f4.9
Aperture51 mm
Focal length250 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope 30/130 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
Correctorno
FiltersOptolong L-eXtreme 2"
Exposure85x180s, gain 95
Date2022-01-23

NGC1499 California Nebula

California Nebula is a cloud of ionized hydrogen gas (HII region), which can be found in the constellation Perseus. The nebula is 1320 light-years away from Earth and it is 100 light-years long. Visual observation is very difficult, due to very low brightness. The first person who spotted this nebula was Edward Emerson Barnard in 1885. Since it is an emission nebula, it can be relatively easily photographed even under the light-polluted sky, with help of a narrowband filter.

I always wanted to capture this nebula, but the focal length must be relatively short. This is a perfect opportunity to test the William Optics RedCat. This time not with Canon EOS 6Da, but I attached a cooled astro camera ZWO ASI071 and placed the Optolong L-eXtreme dual-band filter.

TelescopeWilliam Optics RedCat 51/250 f4.9
Aperture51 mm
Focal length250 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope 30/130 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
Correctorno
FiltersOptolong L-eXtreme 2"
Exposure105x180s, gain 95
Date2022-01-23

NGC2237 Rosette Nebula

A second deep space object, on which I tested the combination of Canon 6Da with WO RedCat was the NGC 2237 Rosette Nebula (a short description can be found in my previous post). The field of view of this telescope, combined with a full-frame sensor of 6Da is huge. The Rosette on the left can be simultaneously captured with the Cone Nebula NGC 2264 (on the left). I simply love this scope and I cannot wait to test it under the dark sky in broadband.

TelescopeWilliam Optics RedCat 51/250 f4.9
Aperture51 mm
Focal length250 mm
MountiOptron SkyGuider Pro
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraCanon EOS 6Da
Correctorno
FiltersOptolong L-eXtreme 2"
Exposure42x180s, Iso 1600
Date2022-01-12

IC1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula

I have a new toy. Motivated by a quite bad experience with ASKAR 180 FMA and its chromatic aberration I started to search for a better pocket-size telescope. To decide which one was quite simple. I would say there is nothing sharper and nothing with a better reputation than William Optics RedCat 51mm. The detailed comparison with ASKAR will come a bit later. This is the first light, where I tested the portable setup – iOptron Skyguider on a tripod, Canon 6Da, and the RedCat. The Moon was shining like crazy, therefore I attached the dual narrow band filter Optolong L-eXtreme filter. After 3 hours of collecting the filtrated photons, a pretty nice picture came out of it. I took this DSO using the same camera combined with the ASKAR 180FMA (link) but in broadband. Therefore, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. However, the RedCat looks much sharper and it contains more details. I cannot wait to test the RedCat under dark skies.

TelescopeWilliam Optics RedCat 51/250 f4.9
Aperture51 mm
Focal length250 mm
MountiOptron SkyGuider Pro
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraCanon 6Da
Correctorno
FiltersOptolong L-eXtreme 2"
Exposure62x180s, Iso 1600
Date2022-01-12

IC1805 Heart Nebula and IC1848 Soul Nebula

One of the last deep space objects I captured on Crete are two visually large nebulae. And these are IC1805 Heart Nebula and IC 1848 Soul Nebula. Both are very dim objects, therefore I set the shutter speed of the Canon EOS 6Da camera to 3 minutes and let it capture the light shooting from the constellation Perseus the whole night long. Even NGC 884 869 Double Cluster fit in the field of view.

Technical details:

LensAskar FMA180 F4.5
CameraCanon EOS 6Da
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
Exposure50x180s, ISO 1600
Date2021-07-12

Cygnus

I went to Crete without a detailed plan on which deep space objects to capture. The primary target was Rho Ophiuchi, which I captured really well. Then I started to think about the next objects. Obviously, if you are in a dark place, you can point your camera nearly anywhere. However, there are some regions full of stars and deep space objects. For example constellation Cygnus, which is sometimes called the Northern Cross. It is located visually on the plane of the Milky Way galactic disk, therefore there are many deep space objects.

Let’s have a look at a wide-field picture captured by a 24 mm lens attached to Canon EOS 6Da:

Let’s zoom a bit by changing the lens to a 50 mm focal length. Here the constellation is perfectly centered:

Let’s zoom further to the central star Sadr by change of the lens to 180 mm focal length:

Let’s keep the focal length 180 mm and let’s have a look at the left star Deneb and very famous North America nebula:

Again, let’s keep the focal length 180 mm and change to perspective to the bottom (eastern) star Aljanah, where the beautiful supernova remnant the Veil nebula is located:

In total, the camera collected 15.5 hours of light and I am happy with the result.


IC1396 Elephant’s Trunk nebula

Elephant’s Trunk nebula is an emission nebula located in constellation Cepheus. I tried to capture this magnificent nebula in 2017 and in 2018, but it never fit in the field of view of my camera-telescope assembly. This time I used a focal length of only 180 mm, combined with a large full-frame sensor. Well, and finally it fits. Moreover, even the B174 dark nebula at the bottom left corner found the spot on the sensor. The picture was taken under a very dark Cretan sky.

Technical details:

LensAskar FMA180 F4.5
CameraCanon EOS 6Da
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
Exposure159x120s, ISO 1600
Date2021-07-08

Rho Ophiuchi region

Rho Ophiuchi is in my opinion the most beautiful assembly of the nebulae in the universe. Blue, red, and orange colors are combined to create this magnificent cloud complex. The dominant yellow star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) is a red supergiant, one of the largest visible stars. The star Alniyat (Sigma Scorpii) is surrounded by ionized hydrogen gas. Between these two stars is the M4 globular cluster, which I captured on Fuerteventura. The blue nebula is Rho Ophiuchi, also captured by me earlier.

In order to capture the whole beauty, one has to use a relatively short focal length (I used 180 mm), combined with a large sensor area (I used full frame 36×24 mm), and take the shots at a very dark location. This was my primary target during our trip to Crete 2021 and I am very happy that I finally got it framed. However, there is another beautiful nebula called Blue Horsehead in the visual vicinity and if I would turn the camera 90°, I would manage to capture it. So, there is a target for my next expedition.

Technical details:

LensAskar FMA180 F4.5
CameraCanon EOS 6Da
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
Exposure38x120s, ISO 1600
Date2021-07-07

M8 Lagoon nebula M20 Trifid nebula

Constellation Sagittarius is full of deep space objects. I think we all agree that the most beautiful one is the Lagoon nebula, accompanied by the Trifid nebula. I captured these nebulae already, but with a much longer focal length. This time I used a significantly shorter telescope – only 180 mm to reveal the other deep space objects. The bright star at the bottom left is the star Kaus Bolearis, where the archer has his head. This star is surrounded by the globular clusters: M22 Great Sagittarius cluster on the left and M28 on the top.

Technical details:

LensAskar FMA180 F4.5
CameraCanon EOS 6Da
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
Exposure50x60s, ISO 1600
Date2021-07-03

NGC 6559 Nebula

f we look in the middle of the night during the summer months (on the northern hemisphere) into the Milky Way’s core, we can find many prominent deep space objects, like Lagoon, Omega, Eagle, or Trifid nebulae. However, there are also not so well known, but also very beautiful, objects. For instance emission nebula NGC 6559, which can be located in constellation Sagittarius. The star-forming region is surrounded by the dark nebula B 91 in the shape of a heart. At the bottom left corner, a part of the Lagoon Nebula is visible.

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length570 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-0°C
CorrectorTS MaxField
FiltersNo
Exposure54x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2020-09-21

IC 1318 Sadr Region

Sadr Region, sometimes called The Gamma Cygni Nebula is a giant cloud of ionized hydrogen, located in the constellation Cygnus (Swan). The picture shows only a part of the whole complex. In order to capture the whole nebula, I would need a telescope with a much shorter focal length of the much bigger sensor of the camera. This is actually my second attempt. The first one from Milos Island was quite nice, but this time I dedicated a significantly longer time for this deep space object. Specifically, the picture is an integration of 405 minutes, which means nearly 7 hours in total.

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length570 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-0°C
CorrectorTS MaxField
FiltersNo
Exposure135x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2020-09-11

NGC6888 Crescent Nebula

Another cloudless night and I decided to test the IDAS NB1 filter again This time on Crescent Nebula, located in constellation Cygnus. The nebulosity was captured well and it’s comparable to the narrowband image I captured a long time ago. However, the bright stars are surrounded by ugly reflections. I am not sure it’s due to the MaxField coma corrector or the filter. Next time I will try with ExploreScientific coma corrector and we will see.

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-5°C
CorrectorMaxField coma corrector
FiltersIDAS NB1 Nebula Filter
Exposure103x180s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2020-08-20

NGC7000 North America Nebula

After capturing the Eagle Nebula, I was searching for another nebula to test the new IDAS NB1 filter and I picked NGC7000 North America Nebula, switched on autoguiding, and went to sleep. The next morning I processed 138 pictures, each 3 minutes long. Well, I must say that this filter is a very good option for astrophotography in light-polluted locations.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-5°C
CorrectorMaxField coma corrector
FiltersIDAS NB1 Nebula Filter
Exposure138x180s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2020-08-10

M16 Eagle Nebula

Eagle Nebula is probably the most known deep space object, due to one picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. The pillars of creation were detected, where the new stars are born. I already captured this nebula by using narrowband filters and a monochrome camera. This time I used a different approach – a one-shot color camera + a new IDAS NB1 Nebula Filter. This filter should completely suppress the light pollution from sodium lamps and partially from LED lamps, passing the most interesting wavelength of H-alpha, OIII, and H-beta. In my opinion, it works well even in my light-polluted home.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-5°C
CorrectorMaxField coma corrector
FiltersIDAS NB1 Nebula Filter
Exposure82x180s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2020-08-09

NGC6357 Lobster Nebula

Lobster Nebula is a HII region (giant cloud of excited hydrogen gas) located in the constellation Scorpius. The nebula rises only 8° above the horizon in Central Europe, which means, it is submerged in light pollution caused by nearby towns, villages, or cities. The situation is completely different on the Canary Islands, where the nebula rises 27° above the horizon. Therefore, this nebula was the primary target of my expedition to Fuerteventura. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate and strong winds caused bad seeing and didn’t allow me to capture more frames. So, next time it will be better.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length570 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-0°C
CorrectorTS MaxField
FiltersNo
Exposure40x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2020-07-22

M8 Lagoon Nebula, M20 Trifid Nebula

These two magnificent nebulae are located visually close to each other in the constellation Sagittarius. This means we are looking in direction of the galactic core of the Milky Way. Trifid Nebula (up left) is a combination of a reflection nebula (blue part), a dark nebula (brown clouds), an emission nebula (red part), and a star cluster. On the other hand, the Lagoon nebula (right side) is an emission nebula – a giant cloud of ionized HII gas. Due to very low southern declination, it’s very difficult to photograph these deep space objects from my home place in Central Europe. Therefore every time I travel south, I take the opportunity and recapture these nebulae. My first attempt of M20 was done with focal length 917 mm, the second one with 630 mm and now I used a gentle focal reducer. Focal length 570 mm allowed me to fit both nebulae into the field of view of APS-C sensor size. The picture is an integration of 213 minutes, taken under the dark skies of Fuerteventura.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length570 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-0°C
CorrectorTS MaxField
FiltersNo
Exposure71x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2020-07-18

NGC 2237 Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula is a giant cloud of hydrogen gas. The gas is ionized by the star cluster located in the middle and therefore emits the light. Circular shape and the color correspond to the name – the rose. The cluster in the middle can be observed even by using small telescope, but the nebulosity is very dim, therefore in order to see it, one would need perfectly dark sky and very large telescope with low magnification. It’s definitely easier to photograph the nebulosity. My previous photo was done through the narrow band filters, which suppress the light pollution and increases the contrast of the picture. Now I tried it with normal one shot color camera and I must conclude that it went quite well.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure16x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-03-30