NGC7635 – The Bubble Nebula

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The Bubble Nebula, NGC7635 and Sh2-162, is an emission nebula in Cassiopeia.  It’s near the cluster M52 (I’m working on a wide-field image now that has both the Bubble and M52).  The bubble itself (about 10 light years across) is formed and pushed out by a massive star in the middle of the bubble — its stellar wind irradiating the gas … Read More

Star Trails

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Taken July 11th, 2014, near an outdoor pergola in my backyard.  The sky is bright due to the full moon. The camera is set up on a stationary tripod pointing at Polaris, the North Star.  30 second exposures were taken over roughly 4 hours; the images were then stacked to show the motion of the stars.  Polaris, as the North Star, … Read More

M82 – Cigar Galaxy with Supernova SN2014J

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M82, the Cigar Galaxy, is a starburst galaxy 12 million light years away in Ursa Major, very close to M81 and often seen in the same shot with a wide enough field of view.  It’s considered part of the M81 group, and the high activity in the galaxy is thought to be due to the interaction with galaxies in the … Read More

M97 – The Owl Nebula

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M97, The Owl Nebula, is a planetary nebula in Ursa Major.  At a distance of 2,500 light years, it’s roughly 1 light year wide and expanding at roughly 20 miles per second. This image was taken as a test image between two different targets, comprised of 10 180s exposures with a Canon T4i and 11″ Edge SCT at f/10.  (I’ll … Read More

M42 – The Orion Nebula

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Orion is one of most well known constellations and one of the easiest to recognize in the winter sky.  M42, the Orion Nebula, can easily be spotted with the unaided eye as part of the Sword of Orion.  An active stellar nursery (an estimated 700 stars in various stages of formation are believed to be inside) and only about 1,500 light … Read More

M33 – Triangulum Galaxy (Wide-field)

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M33 gets its name from the Triangulum constellation in which it can be found.  At magnitude 5.7, it can be seen with the naked eye under the right conditions and is located about 3 million light years away — slightly farther than the larger and more prominent neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, and quite a bit smaller, too — about 40 … Read More

M31 – Andromeda Galaxy

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The Andromeda Galaxy is one of the most impressive galaxies to observe because of its size and distance — only about 2.5 million light years.  While comparative sizes have changed over the years, recent data suggests the Andromeda Galaxy is only slightly larger than the Milky Way in total mass, but contains about 1 trillion stars compared to our 200 … Read More

NGC7000 – The North America Nebula

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Located in Cygnus, the North America Nebula is an emission nebula located near Deneb, the tail of the Swan.  It’s a large nebula, getting its name from its resemblance to North America; although this image is somewhat wide-field, an even larger wide-field shot shows the sheer volume of nebulae and stars in the area, including the Pelican Nebula which is … Read More

M51 – The Whirlpool Galaxy

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M51, named the Whirlpool Galaxy, is one of the most recognized galaxies in the sky, mainly due to its interaction with NGC5195, a dwarf galaxy that likely passed through M51.  A tidal bridge of dust can be seen between the two, formed by their interaction. This was one of the first astrophotos taken and while my equipment and technique have … Read More

Caldwell 49 – The Rosette Nebula

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5,000 light years away, the Rosette Nebula is striking in both narrowband (see this more recent version) and here in 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 … Read More

Jupiter

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A quick shot of Jupiter, taken with a 11″ Edge SCT and Powermate 4x and TIS DBK 21AU618.AS color camera and stacked with Registax.  While the conditions were briefly pristine for this unusually clear shot from my home, I had the debayering misconfigured — so, no color data was recorded.  This is often desirable when using a monochrome camera because … Read More