Orion Wide-field

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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, is also one of the brightest and easiest to see with the unaided eye, making up part of the Sword of Orion.  In this image, the three stars of Orion’s belt can be see on the right side, … Read More

NGC281 – The Pacman Nebula

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NGC281 gets its name as it resembles the video game character Pacman.  This object is particularly striking in narrowband (currently on the to-do list), and is one of the few areas scientists have been able to study high-mass stars (stars much more massive than our sun).  From NASA: High-mass stars are important because they are responsible for much of the … Read More

NGC1499 – The California Nebula Wide-field

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NGC1499 is a huge nebula resembling the state of California (hence the name).   At roughly 2.5 degrees wide, a full moon could fit about 4 times across the nebula.  This image is a wide-field shot in natural light, so the nebula glows its natural red color.   A more recent image in narrowband can be seen here.  While the nebula is quite … Read More

The Heart & Soul Wide-field

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Located in Cassiopeia at about 7,500 light years away and 200 light years wide, IC1805, The Heart Nebula gets its name from its heart-shaped appearance.  Its neighbor, IC1848, The Soul Nebula, is its nearby neighbor.  This natural visible spectrum image, the nebulae shows their red glow characteristic of emission nebulae. NASA’s WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) has captured some fantastic imagery and explains: … Read More

NGC7000 – The North America Nebula Wide-field

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This wide-field image of the North America Nebula region shows the North America Nebula, the Pelican Nebula, several other smaller nebula, and a huge number of stars.  Located in Cygnus, the nebula is an emission nebula located near Deneb, the tail of the Swan. This image was consists of 30 300s exposures with a Canon T4i and 200mm EF-L lens … Read More

IC1805 – The Heart Nebula

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Located in Cassiopeia at about 7,500 light years away and 200 light years wide, the Heart Nebula gets its name from its heart-shaped appearance.  The nebula makes a terrific narrowband target, though this image is in more natural visible spectrum where the heart shows its red glow characteristic of an emission nebula.  The brightest part is NGC896, at the left … Read More

M76 – The Little Dumbbell

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M76 is an extremely small and faint planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus.  Planetary nebulae are different from standard HII or diffuse nebulae in that they are formed from red giant stars as they die; the nebula is the ionized gas ejected from and surrounding the star. While many HII nebulae can be photographed with little magnification, planetary nebulae require high magnification and … Read More

NGC7023 – The Iris Nebula

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The Iris Nebula is an reflection nebula located in the constellation Cepheus.  Unlike emission nebula that are glowing ionized gas, reflection nebulae are clouds of gas and dust reflecting light from nearby stars. Because blue light reflects more efficiently off the dust and gas, it’s typically the predominant color of reflection nebula (the same reason why our sky is blue). This image consists of … Read More

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

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

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

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