The Veil Nebula

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The Veil Nebula (Narrowband).  The Eastern Veil (top) in its entirety, and about half of the Western Veil on bottom.  Captured with a Tak FSQ 106 and QSI683 with Astrodon 3nm filters.  15x900sec Ha, 15x900sec OIII, 10x900sec SII. HubbleSite.org recently published a fascinating article on the Veil, including some great Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images.  Here’s an excerpt from the … Read More

First Quarter Moon

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Quick shot of the moon at sunset with a hydrogen alpha filter.  The image was taken at 6:41pm, 5 minutes after sundown at 6:36pm.  It appears like it was taken in the middle of night due to the Ha filter, however the sky was still fairly bright at the time.

Markarian’s Chain

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Markarian’s Chain (named after the astrophysicist who discovered their common motion) makes up part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies — a grouping of thousands of galaxies. While the massive galaxy M87 (upper right) is not part of the chain, it was intentionally framed in this shot as it just fit within the field of view.  When looking at the annotated … Read More

M96 – Galaxy

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Although M96 is comparable to the Milky Way in terms of size, is a relatively small galaxy from our vantage point at about 35 million light years away (compared to Andromeda, for example, which is larger than our Milky Way and less than 3 million light years away). This image consists of 8 R, G, and B images of 10 minutes each taken … Read More

M78 and Barnard’s Loop

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M78 is a gorgeous reflection nebula near Orion. Barnard’s Loop, towards the right, forms a huge (relatively speaking) emission nebula ring around Orion’s belt and the Orion Nebula.  Captured with a QSI683 and Tak FSQ 106, this image contains about 12 ea of RGB at 600s, 6 hours total integration. While the galaxies would be easy to miss unless annotated, … Read More

M101 – The Pinwheel Galaxy

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M101 is a gorgeous spiral galaxy about 21 million light years away.  Roughly the same size as our own Milky Way galaxy, the gravity from all the companion galaxies distorts the symmetry of the galaxy. This is a wide-field version of M101 (The Pinwheel Galaxy), taken with a QSI683 and Tak106.  10 min exposures of LRGB, binned 1×1, about 3 hours … Read More

M13 – Hercules Globular Cluster

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M13 — the Hercules Global Cluster (so named as it’s in the constellation Hercules) — contains about 300,000 stars.  This object is quite easy to see in small telescopes, but generally not visible with the naked eye.  According to NASA’s APOD, near the core of the cluster, upward of 100 stars would be contained within a 3 light year sized cube.  … Read More

Caldwell 49 – The Rosette Nebula (Narrowband)

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5,000 light years away, the Rosette Nebula is striking in both narrowband and visible light (where it is primarily red in color).  Because of its large size, only small magnification is necessary to capture the nebula and visually, the central cluster is easy to see.  The central area houses cluster NGC2244 and NGC2237; the bright cluster of hot, young stars illuminates … Read More

NGC2359 – Thor’s Helmet

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Similar to the Crescent Nebula, at the heart of NGC2359 is a Wolf-Reyet star, a massive and hot star shedding material that happens to resemble Thor’s Helmet.  Captured with a QSI683 camera, Astrodon SII / Ha / OIII filters, and roughly 12 15-minute exposures of each filter.     Resolution …….. 0.572 arcsec/pix Rotation ………. -171.105 deg Focal …………. 1948.93 mm … Read More

IC434 – The Horsehead Nebula (Ha)

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Located near Orion’s belt (specifically, the easternmost star in the belt, Alnitak), the Horsehead Nebula is about 1,500 light years away.  While the Horsehead Nebula itself is quite large, the entire region contains many nebulae — the Flame Nebula, the Orion Nebula, Barnard’s Loop, and many others. This image is only Ha (Hydrogen Alpha).  18 15-minute exposures with a QSI683 camera, 11″ Edge SCT with … Read More

M81 – Bode’s Galaxy

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M81 (Messier 81, also known as Bode’s Galaxy) is a grand spiral galaxy about 12 million light years away.  It’s about the same size as our Milky Way, containing roughly 200 billion stars.  Because it’s somewhat close as galaxies go, it’s one of the best objects to observe and photograph; however, it’s a bit too dim to see with the … Read More