Although we had clear skies last night, this object has proven to be a lot harder to image as thought. The image consists of 10 frames, making the total exposure time of 1 hour at ISO800. The region photographed holds an emission nebula (orange, on the left hand side), an open starcluster and a reflection nebula (blue, on the right hand side). Have to visit this object again to add more data.
Sometimes 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 :-).
After 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.
This 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 :-).
Not 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.
IC443 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 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).