The Monkeyhead Nebula (NGC2174)

ngc 2174 2015-2Sometimes there are those nights, where everything goes wrong. Well, last night was such a night. After trouble with the autoguider, the Canon camera started acting up. It took me over an hour to straighten things out. But after allmost one and a half hour of imaging, I noticed that the settings of the camera had been althered; It was recording in JPG, not RAW. This makes processing the images a lot harder. I had no Darks to callibrate so I had to make a lot of adjustments to get something decent out of the data. Well, this is it: 15 frames, 330 sec. on ISO800. Have to get this object for a third time :-).

Messier 35 & NGC 2158

M35 and NGC2158 2015After way too long I finaly had a chance to set up the scope again. To get started I picked an easy target: Messier 35. With an exposure time of just over 1h15m (17 frames) it came out just fine. Messier 35  lies at a distance of 2800 lightyears from Earth. To the right NGC 2158 is visible. This cluster resides at nearly four times that distance.

Gassendi area

grimaldi area 31-01-2015Still cold, but also good seeing. This is the Gassendi area, while the moon is nearing full moon. Gassendi is the big crater, noth and left from the centre of this picture. It is a panorama of 6 frames. Each frame is a stack of 2000 out of 6000 frames. Frames were stacked in Registaxs and final toutch-up in Photoshop. The smallest details in this image are estimated at 1 kilometer.

Imaging the moon before the snow came in…

Capture 2015-01-30T18_36_32

At a little after six o’clock it was cold but clear. Time to put the telescope outside. It had been way too long since I used it. But I had to hurry, there was snow in the forecast.

The sky was suprisingly steady and clear when I took this picture at 06:37. In total I took 6000 frames and used 2000 of them to stack. Did some final tuning in Photoshop (smart sharpen and contrast).

The smallest visible details are about 2 km!

Comparing Messier 20 with Hubble images

m20 - and HubbleThis is an image of Messier 20 that I took in the summer of 2011 while on vacation in Bedoin, France. On the internet I found images of this fine nebula, made by the Hubble Space Telescope and wondered how they would “fit in” into my own image. So in a Photoshop “copy-paste”action, I placed the Hubble images on top of my picture. Not that I caugth as much detail as the Hubble Space Telescope did, but I came pretty near :-).

Maping Messier 31

m31 kern 2010 - bwinverted&taggedNot only making images can be fun, also trying to get the most out of them can realy exciting. This is an image of Messier 31; The Andromeda Galaxy. It has an exposure time of over 3 hours. To have a better contrast, this image is desaturated and inverted. This galaxy is our “next door neighbour”. Because it is so close, it should be able to photograph some of the many globular clusters, swarming this galaxy. So, with this image at hand, I started to search the internet for relevant information. Finaly I found a site with detailed maps that I could compare with my own image. This way I was able to fint almost 100 clusters, allthough they where very faint. The globular cluster are marked by G and a number. Also Messier 32 and NGC206 are marked. NGC206 is a giant OB association of stars.

The power of Deconvolution

20140126-083316.jpgOn the internet Ifound a technique called “deconvolution” in Photoshop. With this technique it is possibble to sharpen my images without introducing too much noise. First, always copy your image into a new layer. Next, the image is converted into a smart object. From the filter section choose “smart sharpen”. I usualy try to sharpen the layer as much as possible. Bij blending the two layers, the best result can be obtained. The Jupiter images are getting better :).


The Jellfish Nebula

20140222-084040.jpgIC443 or The Jellyfish nebula, a supernova remnant in the constelation of Gemini. This is an image from last month.  The total exposure time is just over an hour. Made with my 8″ inch Skywatcher Newton, camera Canon 400D. Baader mod.).


The Cresent nebula


The Crescent Nebula (also known as NGC 6888, Caldwell 27, Sharpless 105) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, about 5000 light-years away. It was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 1792. It is formed by the fast stellar wind from theWolf-Rayet star WR 136 (HD 192163) colliding with and energizing the slower moving wind ejected by the star when it became a red giant around 250,000 to 400,000 years ago. The result of the collision is a shell and two shock waves, one moving outward and one moving inward. The inward moving shock wave heats the stellar wind to X-ray-emitting temperatures.

It is a rather faint object located about 2 degrees SW of Sadr. For most telescopes it requires a UHC or OIII filter to see. Under favorable circumstances a telescope as small as 8cm (with filter) can see its nebulosity. Larger telescopes (20cm or more) reveal the crescent or a Euro sign shape which makes some to call it the “Euro sign nebula”.

The total exposure time is 3h35m (taken on several nights).