Tag: Gemini gf53

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

IC443 Jellyfish nebula

Jellyfish Nebula is a supernova remnant in the constellation Gemini. A very long time ago a supermassive star exploded and emitted a lot of material into space. It is not clear when exactly it happened, but the latest research dates the explosion between a few thousand years and 30’000 years. The shape definitely resembles a jellyfish, having the head at the top and tentacles at the bottom and overall it looks like it floats in the space. It’s interesting how many nebulae have names related to an animal. For example the Seagull Nebula, the Elephant Trunk Nebula, the Eagle Nebula, the Lobster Nebula, the Horsehead Nebula, etc.

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
Exposure48x300s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2022-02-06

Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas

The comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas was possible to spot in the constellation Lynx nearly two years ago (April 2020). This comet was discovered on 28th December 2019 by Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System. The trajectory of the comet is suspiciously similar to another comet C/1844 Y1, which visited us nearly two centuries ago. Most probably it’s a fragment of the old visitor and the next opportunity to see this comet will occur in the year 2194.

It looks like a droplet drifting through the space. The picture was taken as the first light of the new telescope TS-Optics 150 mm f/2.8 hyperbolic Astrograph. This telescope disappointed me in its optical quality. So, don’t look at the stars in the corners. Postprocessing was quite tricky, but I somehow learned how to do it. In total, I stacked 44 exposures, each 3 minutes long, which means slightly more than 2 hours of integration time.

TelescopeTS-Optics 150 mm f/2.8 hyperbolic Astrograph
Aperture150 mm
Focal length420 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
Corrector2.5" coma corrector
Filtersno
Exposure44x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2020-04-15

Comet C/2017 T2 PANSTARRS

I missed the most prominent comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) in 2021 due to permanent, constant, ever-lasting bad weather. In the last 3 months, I was able to see the star only through the holes in the clouds (except one night during our winter vacation in Laax). At least I have time to process the old data I took a long time ago. In 2020 I took pictures of two comets and here is one of them. It’s called C/2017 T2 (PANSTARRS) and on the 25th of May 2020 was possible to spot it, roaming in the constellation Ursa Major.

I was postponing the processing very long time because the comets are the most difficult object to process. There is a fixed background of the stars and deep space objects and the comet is slightly moving across the field. This means that the pictures must be registered twice and merged together afterward. Since I have plenty of time now, I was able to experiment, and here is the final image:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
Filtersno
Exposure34x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2020-05-25

M81 Bode Galaxy M82 Cigar Galaxy

I already captured these magnificent galaxies some time ago (short description here), but with a different camera. Moreover, I upgraded the primary mirror of my Newtonian telescope and the difference is noticeable. My current camera has a slightly bigger sensor, therefore I managed to squeeze an additional galaxy NGC 3077 The Garland Galaxy (upper left corner) into the field of view.

The image was captured during two nights and in total it’s a stack of 100 pictures each 180 s long. Unfortunately, the light pollution in my area doesn’t allow me to capture a better picture.

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorMaxField coma corrector
FiltersNo
Exposure100x180s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2021-04-09

M99 Galaxy

This beautiful spiral galaxy is listed under number 99 in Messier’s catalog. It can be visually located during the spring months in the southwest corner of the constellation Coma Berenices. The galaxy has several spiral arms, which are the product of the interaction with another galaxy. This interaction also induced very high angular velocity, which is the highest in Messier’s catalog. Specifically, the outer parts move with a velocity of 1200 km/s with respect to the center of the galaxy.

I dedicated two nights to this galaxy. The telescope was collecting two whole nights the light traveling 45 million light-years. In total, the picture is a stack of 130 single shots, each 3 minutes long.

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorMaxField coma corrector
FiltersNo
Exposure130x180s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2021-04-05

Mars

I have been waiting for this planet very long. It doesn’t mean that Mars hasn’t been visible, it was, but not from my backyard. I live in central Europe, specifically on the 47 parallel. This means that all planets should be 43° above the horizon during the conjunction (when Sun, planet, and observed planet are in one line). Well, this would be true, if the Earth would be spinning perfectly perpendicular to the plane of the Solar System. In reality, the Earth has a tilt, which causes that some years are much better than the others. A better year for a certain planet means that the planet raises a lot above the horizon, a bad year means that it stays close to the horizon.

This year was one of the best years for the planet Mars. The next opportunity will occur in 15 years.

The picture is a stack of 750 best frames, each 7.3 ms long. The focal length of the Celestron C14 telescope was extended from 4000 mm to 6400 mm by the Siebert Barlow lens.

Telescope:Celestron EdgeHD C14
Aperture:354 mm
Focal length:6400 mm
MountGemini G53f
Autoguiding-
Camera:ZWO ASI228MC
Corrector:Barlow 1.6
Filters:UV IR cut
Exposure:3000xRGB (25% used), 7.3 ms, Gain 219
Date:2020-10-25

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

M5 Globular Cluster

Messier 5 is a globular cluster located in the constellation Serpens. I revisited this cluster after four years. Such a spectacular deep space object simply deserves more attention, than I was able to spend four years ago. At that time I used the same telescope but now I have a different coma corrector and camera. Moreover, this time I dedicated significantly longer integration time, specifically I was collecting the photons 2.7 hours, which were traveling to us 24 500 years.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersNo
Exposure54x180s, Gain 95, bin 1x1,
Date2020-05-21

M72 Globular Cluster in Aquarius

Messier 72 is a globular cluster, which can be located in constellation Aquarius. The cluster is approximately 55 light-years from us, which makes it one of the distant objects from Messier catalogue. M72 is very special deep space object for me, because it’s the last object of Messier catalogue captured by me. Now I am thinking, shall I continue and try to capture NGC catalogue? Or shall I move to southern hemisphere? I am definitely sure that some of the Messier’s objects need to be recaptured.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure60x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-08-09

M13 Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

In my opinion, Messier 13 is the most beautiful globular cluster in our galaxy. Last time when I photographed this cluster, I used focal reducer (don’t ask me why), therefore I decided to recapture it with focal length 1060 mm. Small galaxy in upper right corner is called NGC 6209.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure55x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-07

M10 Globular Cluster

Messier 10 is a globular cluster located in constellation Ophiuchus. This cluster belongs to one of the closest to the Earth – the distance is “only” 14 300 light-years. It has visually many globular neighbors: M12 northwest, M14 east and M107 southwest.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure38x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-02

M12 Globular Cluster

Messier 12 is a globular cluster located in constellation Ophiuchus. The cluster is 15,700 light-years away from Earth and contains approximately 200,000 stars. There are another two globular clusters in the vicinity: M10 south-east and M14 east.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure32x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-01

M40 Double Star

Messier 40 is a double star located in constellation Ursa Major (in the middle of the picture). Charles Messier was searching for the nebula in this part of the sky, which was observed by Johannes Hevelius. He was unable to locate any nebulous object, but he found this double star and catalogued them under the number 40. Double star should be a system of two stars, which are bonded by the gravity, but the latest measurements demonstrated that these two stars are close to each other only visually and they are completely unrelated.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure40x120s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-01

M101 Pinwheel Galaxy

Messier 101 is a beautiful spiral galaxy, which can be located in constellation Ursa Major. If I look back to my older picture, I must smile, how I overdone the saturation and whole post-processing. Such beautiful galaxy deserves to be re-captured and processed again:

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure31x300s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-06-01

M102 Spindle Galaxy

Galactic season continues. After capturing M64 galaxy, I pointed my telescope to another one. Specifically to Messier 102 called Spindle Galaxy, which is a lenticular galaxy in constellation Draco. Afterwards I went to sleep and the telescope was collecting the photons coming from there. The light had to travel very long distance, because this galaxy is approximately 40 million light-years from Earth.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure55x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-05-24

M64 Black Eye Galaxy

Messier 64 is a galaxy, which can be located in constellation Coma Berenices. The name “Black Eye” or sometimes “Evil Eye” got from the central dark cloud, which blocks partially the light coming from there. This galaxy is relatively close to us – only 17 million light-year, which is significantly less compared to visually neighboring galaxies in constellation Virgo.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length1060 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure24x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,
Date2019-05-23