Tag: Nebula

IC 2118 Witch Head Nebula IC 2118

The Witch Head Nebula is a striking and eerie interstellar cloud of dust and gas located in the constellation Orion. Its distinct shape, resembling the profile of a witch’s face in profile, is created by the illumination of nearby stars. This nebula spans about 50 light-years across and is primarily composed of hydrogen gas, which glows faintly in the presence of ultraviolet radiation from neighboring stars. The nebula is a site of ongoing star formation, with young, hot stars embedded within its dusty tendrils. Captivating and mysterious, the Witch Head Nebula is a captivating sight in the night sky, sparking the imagination of astronomers and stargazers alike.

TelescopeAskar ACL 200 F4
Aperture50 mm
Focal length200 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 6200MC @-10°C
Filtersnone
Exposure73x180s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2024-01-08

Sh2-91 supernova remnant in Cygnus

In my previous project, where I created a mosaic of the Cygnus constellation, I discovered a faint supernova remnant near the star Albireo. Recognizing the significance of this finding, I committed to giving this celestial object more attention. I directed my Askar ACL telescope to these coordinates and gathered additional data over several hours.

Sh2-91, also identified as LBN 147, is a supernova remnant situated close to Albireo. Unlike its more well-known visual neighbor, the Veil Nebula, Sh2-91 is infrequently captured in deep-space photography. According to available literature, this nebula spans 230 light-years in diameter and is approximately 20 thousand years old.

Aware of the complexity of this target, I understood that an extensive integration time was necessary to highlight its intricate structures. Hence, I dedicated seven clear nights to capturing data for this deep-space object, accumulating nearly 14 hours of valuable data.

TelescopeAskar ACL 200 F4
Aperture50 mm
Focal length200 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 6200MC @-10°C
FiltersAntlia ALP-T Dualband 5nm
Exposure167x300s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2023-09-15
2023-09-17
2023-09-19
2023-10-04
2023-10-06
2023-10-07
2023-10-08

Vela Supernova Remnant

The Vela Supernova Remnant Nebula emerged from the explosive demise of a massive star, scattering its outer layers across space. Filamentary structures, shaped by shockwaves and magnetic fields, intertwine throughout the nebula, painting an intricate cosmic tapestry.

Radiating vibrant hues of red, green, and blue, the nebula’s ionized gases create a stunning visual display. Observations reveal delicate wisps of gas, shock fronts, and remnants of the original star, including a pulsar emitting electromagnetic radiation.

The Vela Supernova Remnant Nebula showcases the grandeur of stellar cataclysms. Its intricate structure and vibrant colors captivate observers, urging us to ponder the forces that shape our universe. Explore this cosmic masterpiece and unlock the mysteries of our celestial past.

I had to revisit this deep-space object with a much shorter focal length and a much bigger CMOS sensor. Last year it simply didn’t fit in the field of view.

TelescopeSamyang 135 mm F2 @f2.4
Aperture67.5 mm
Focal length135 mm
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 6200MC @-10°C
FiltersIDAS NBZ 2″
Exposure88x300s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2023-05-15

NGC 3576 The Statue of Liberty Nebula

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Statue of Liberty Nebula, an ethereal masterpiece located 9,000 light-years away in the Carina constellation. Resembling the iconic symbol of freedom, this emission nebula captivates with its vibrant colors and intricate features.

The Statue of Liberty Nebula, or NGC 3576, showcases a cluster of young, massive stars at its core. Their intense radiation energizes the surrounding hydrogen gas, causing it to emit a mesmerizing red glow. Dark dust lanes intricately crisscross the nebula, adding contrast and creating a resemblance to the statue’s features.

The interplay of colors, from deep crimson to fiery orange and shimmering blue, adds depth and richness to the nebula’s allure.

The Statue of Liberty Nebula invites us to appreciate the universe’s splendor. Its resemblance to the symbol of liberty reminds us of our shared values. Gazing upon this celestial marvel, we are filled with wonder and inspired to explore the mysteries of the cosmos.

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia SHO 3 nm
Exposure134x300s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2023-05-15

Sh2-308 Dolphin Nebula

Discover the awe-inspiring Dolphin Nebula, a captivating celestial cloud located 15,000 light-years away in the Delphinus constellation. Resembling a graceful leaping dolphin, this planetary nebula enchants observers with its vibrant colors and intricate structure.

The Dolphin Nebula is formed from the outer layers of a dying star, leaving behind a white dwarf at its core. The intense ultraviolet radiation emitted by the white dwarf illuminates the surrounding gases, creating a breathtaking display of red, green, and blue hues. Delicate filaments of gas intertwine, sculpted by powerful stellar winds and radiant energy.

Its mesmerizing colors indicate the presence of hydrogen, ionized oxygen, and helium. This celestial oasis serves as a reminder of the vastness and wonders of the universe, inspiring a sense of awe and exploration.

The Dolphin Nebula showcases the beauty and complexity of the cosmos, inviting us to contemplate the mysteries beyond our world. Its celestial symphony of colors and structure leaves us humbled by the grandeur of the universe and eager to explore its secrets.

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia SHO 3 nm
Exposure98x300s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2023-05-13

SH 2-240 Spaghetti nebula IC 405 Flaming star nebula

The Spaghetti nebula (upper left corner) is a supernova remnant. This means, roughly 40’000 years ago, there was a massive star in the middle of the spherical conglomerate of filaments. The star ended its life in a spectacular explosion and turned into a new form – a pulsar. I knew from the beginning, that I would be chasing the ghost. Cosmic Spaghetti are a very dim nebula and to capture them one needs a wide-angle telescope, fast optics, narrow band filter, and a lot of patience. I didn’t use a telescope, but a lens Samyang 135 mm f 2.0 slowed down to f 2.8, combined with a brand new dual-narrow band Antlia filter, optimized for high-speed optics, and in total, I collected the photons for nearly 10 hours.

The much brighter nebula in the bottom right corner is called Flaming Star Nebula, cataloged under IC 405. Compared to the Spaghetti Nebula, which represents the death of the star, the Flaming Star Nebula represents the vital part of the life of the star AE Aurigae. This star radiates so strongly, that it excites surrounding hydrogen gas. Therefore it is called an emission nebula.

Visually not far away, the comet C/2022 E3 ZTF was passing around Mars, but I was not distracted by that, because I was concentrating to capture as many pictures of the Spaghetti as possible. Besides, I already captured this comet recently.

TelescopeSamyang 135 mm f2.0 @ f2.8
Aperture48 mm
Focal length135 mm
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope 30/130 mm
CameraZWO ASI 6200 MC @-10 °C
FiltersAntlia Dualband High speed
Exposure113x300s, gain 100
Date2023-02-12

IC1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula

Elephant Trunk Nebula is my favorite nebula in the constellation Cepheus. I photographed it many times using many different telescopes. The focal length was either too short or too long. Now I tried a focal length of 414 mm and an APS-C sensor, to frame it. I photographed this nebula for two nights, the total integration time is nearly 11 hours.

And here are the stars processed out:

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure129x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-10-05

NGC 6888 Crescent nebula

The Crescent nebula is an HII region in the constellation Cygnus. I photographed this deep-space object before with a relatively long focal length. The Crescent nebula is not the only nebula in the constellation Cygnus. In fact, this constellation is overpopulated with either emission or planetary nebulae. This is the reason why I picked a shorter focal length than before (wider field of view), positioned the Crescent nebula in the corner of the CMOS chip, and let the photos be collected for 3 subsequent nights. In total, I exposed 153 photos, each 5 minutes long. This means nearly 13 hours of integration time, which makes it one of the longest total exposure I spent on a single deep-space image.

Hubble palette image (SHO):

Bi-color image (HOO):

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure153x300s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2022-09-06

NGC7000 North America Nebula

I am back from a very intensive trip to Namibia. The report is still pending because I post-processed the data the whole summer. Please stay tuned. Anyway, a few days in August was nice weather, so I took the SharpStar 94 EPDH telescope and pointed into the constellation Cygnus. There are many deep-space objects in this constellation because it is on the galactic plane. Probably the brightest and the most spectacular is North Americal Nebula, sometimes called the Cygnus wall. Since I live in a light-polluted area, I used narrow-band filters to create this image, which is a combination of Hydrogen-alpha (Ha) in the green channel, oxygen III (OIII) in the blue channel, and sulfur II (SII) in the red channel.

And here is a simplified bi-color variant (red – Ha, green OIII, blue OIII):

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure96x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-08-26

M16 Eagle nebula

I am back home from Namibia, so I took the opportunity of a cloudless, moonless night to take my big Newtonian for a spin. The most prominent summer deep space object is obviously the Eagle nebula, so I pointed the telescope in the constellation Serpens and photographed this DSO whole night long. In total, I captured 64 images, each 5 minutes long.

Here is the “fake” Hubble color palette (SII, Ha, OIII):

And here is bi-color version (Ha, OIII, OIII):

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
Exposure64x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-07-03

NGC 6188 Rim Nebula

NGC 6188 is sometimes called The Fighting Dragons of Ara. As a fan of Game of Thrones or Hobit, I simply had to capture this beauty. Two dragons are clearly visible in the middle. Their heads are illuminated by the open cluster NGC 6193. I knew that this nebula is dim, so I dedicated a lot of time to it. Specifically, I stacked 86 narrow band pictures, each 5 minutes long.

Update 9.2.2023. I am happy to announce that this photo won Czech astrophotography of the month. I submitted several pictures already and finally, I managed. I am very happy.

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure86x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-05-30

And here is a photo of the same object, just with a shorter focal length.

TelescopeWilliam Optics RedCat 51/250 f4.9
Aperture51 mm
Focal length250 mm
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope 30/130 mm
CameraZWO ASI071 MC Pro @-10 °C
FiltersAntlia Dual Band 5 nm
Exposure72x300s, ISO 1600
Date2022-06-01

NGC 6357 Lobster Nebula NGC 6334 Cat’s Paw Nebula

Both Lobster and Cat’s Pas nebulae are located in the constellation Scorpius, both are approximately 5’500 light-years from us. I tried to photograph the Lobster Nebula before, but it wasn’t an easy target due to very low southern declination. From the southern hemisphere, it is much easier. So I took the opportunity when I was in Namibia and tried to capture both nebulae in one shot.

The composition of this picture was not correctly selected, but in the end, both are in the field of view. Here is the picture processed in the “fake” Hubble palette:

And here is the bi-color version (R-Ha, G-OIII, B-OIII)

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure62x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-06-01

Vela Supernova Remnant

Supernova Remnant in the southern constellation Vela is the closest remnant to Earth. It is “only” 800 light years away from us and it has a diameter of 100 light years. This is the reason why this deep space object didn’t fit in the field of view of my portable 250 mm focal length RedCat.

The initial plan was to make a panorama of two pictures, but the pictures are not perfectly aligned. At least I have one more reason to come back to Namibia ,’-)

TelescopeWilliam Optics RedCat 51/250 f4.9
Aperture51 mm
Focal length250 mm
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope 30/130 mm
CameraZWO ASI071 MC Pro @-10 °C
FiltersAntlia Dual Band 5 nm
Exposure36x300s, gain 95
Date2022-06-01


IC 4628 Prawn Nebula

IC 4628, also called Prawn Nebula is an HII region in the constellation Scorpius. Due to very low southern declination, it is poorly visible even from southern Europe. The southern hemisphere is obviously a better place to observe/photograph this deep-space object for example in Namibia, where this beautiful nebula rises very high in the sky. The open cluster on the left side is called the Northern Juwel box cluster.

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure39x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-05-31

IC 2944 Running Chicken Nebula

IC 2944 Running Chicken Nebula is an H II region located in the constellation Centaurus. It’s a galactic neighbor of the Carina Nebula because they both belong to the Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. I must admit that this was my secondary nebula target for my trip to Namibia. Therefore, I didn’t dedicate much time – only 3 hours. However, the details popped out, so overall, I am happy with this “fake” Hubble palette picture.

And here is an even more “fake” picture, where the stars are completely removed. However, the nebulosity gained a 3D-like look.

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure36x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-05-29

NGC 3372 Eta Carina Nebula

Eta Carina Nebula is the southern hemisphere’s most prominent deep space object. In fact, this nebula is the reason why I packed all my portable astro-gear and flew to Namibia. Carina is approximately 4x brighter than the Orion nebula, which could be considered a highlight of the northern hemisphere. Moreover, it’s much larger. The nebula is a combination of emission and dark nebulae, located in the constellation Carina and it’s roughly 8500 light-years away from us.

It was a struggle to get the rig working in Namibia, but after two nights I managed and the next day, when I processed the pictures, a big smile appeared on my face. Well done, mission accomplished.

During our stay at Kiripotib Namibia, the other guest rented a 14.5-inch Dobsonian telescope and allowed us to have a look at the Carina (thank you so much, Peter). It was a simply spectacular view. Such a huge aperture combined with TeleVue eyepieces – WOW effect was there. Moreover, the Dobsonian had a filter wheel with OIII, UHC, and H-beta filters. Just by turning it, one could see a completely different nebulosity. I was really happy to see this beautiful deep space object with my own eyes.

Here is the processed picture in the Hubble color palette.

And here is bi-color version (R-Ha, G-OIII, B-OIII)

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 2600MM @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
FiltersAntlia Ha, OIII, SII 3 nm
Exposure87x300s, Gain 100, bin 1x1,
Date2022-05-27

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

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