Tag: ZWO ASI6200MC

Dark nebulae in Taurus

Constellation Taurus is full of deep space gems. Probably everybody knows the Pleiades open cluster. There are many dark nebulae next to it, which I intended to capture during our winter vacation in Flims-Laax. Three and half hours of total exposure revealed 3D structures of the dark clouds floating in space. The darkest cloud on the left side is B 22 Taurus Dark Cloud Complex, the small one on the left B 207 Eagle’s Head, and the central part B 18 Kutner’s Cloud.

TelescopeAskar ACL 200 F4
Aperture50 mm
Focal length200 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 6200MC @-10°C
Filtersnone
Exposure72x180s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2024-01-11

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

Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex

The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex orchestrates a stunning cosmic symphony, blending dark dust lanes, reflection nebulae, and young stars in a mesmerizing display. This celestial masterpiece unfolds approximately 460 light-years away, captivating observers with its intricate dance of stellar birth and evolution. Two notable celestial gems within the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex are the Serpent Nebula (Barnard 59) and the Crown Nebula (IC 4592). The Serpent Nebula winds through dark dust lanes, while the Crown Nebula emits a soft celestial glow akin to a cosmic crown. These nebulae, along with their stellar companions, add a touch of enchantment to this cosmic masterpiece.

This deep-space object is surrounded by other space marvels. Specifically by the Blue Horsehead Nebula on the upper side, IC 4591 on the right side, and there is a galactic bulge on the left side.

This picture is a panorama of two frames. The initial plan was to continue toward the left into the Milky Way, but this plan was ruined by the weather, so it can be considered an unfinished project.

Technical details:

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
Filtersno
Exposure165x300s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2023-05-19

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

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

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

This comet is all over the internet right now. Even mainstream media are reporting about the “Neandertal” comet with the poetic name C/2022 E3 (ZTF), which visited us last time 50’000 years ago. I was somehow losing hope to see or take a picture of this comet because the weather was constantly cloudy since October. However, on Sunday 30.1.2023 the sky cleared and I had a time window till 2 o’clock when the clouds rolled in. Unfortunately, the whole event was partially ruined by the Moon in the first quarter, so the best conditions occurred after midnight when the Moon was setting. Anyway, if you want to know why it has such a name, which resembles the password of the wifi at a hotel lobby? In fact, the comet’s naming follows the conventions. The letter C stands for a non-periodic comet, 2022 is the year of discovery, E refers to the month of discovery (first half of March), number 3 means a third comet discovered in this part of the month and ZTF stands for who or what discovered the comet. This specific comet was discovered by Zwicky Transient Facility. And why the nucleus of the comet glows green? Because most of the comets contain dicarbone (C2) molecules, which break apart by solar radiation, and during this process, the energy in form of light is released at carbon specific wavelength of 518 nm, which is a green visible light.

TelescopeSharpstar 94EDPH
Aperture94 mm
Focal length414 mm
MountRainbow Astro RST 135
AutoguidingZWO 178MM, QHY Mini Guide Scope
CameraZWO 6200MC @-10°C
CorrectorF4.4 Quad Reducer
Filtersno
Exposure51x120s, Gain 100, bin 1×1,
Date2023-01-30

And here is an animation, which goes back and forth. For half of the animation (forward movement) I used 38 frames, each 2 minutes long, which means 76 minutes in total. This gives you an idea of how quickly the comet moves with respect to the background.