Deep Sky



Aberdovey, Wales mid-August 2015

All of these images were taken using my modded Canon EOS 450D and 50mm, 135mm lenses.
Almost all are single exposures of around 2-6 mins @ 800 ASA, so pretty basic!
The limiting naked-eye magnitude was 6.4 on the night of 16/17 August and 6.2 on 17/18 August.




North America Nebula and Gamma Cygni nebulosity, with Deneb just above centre.











Rift in the Milky-Way near Aquila.










The Milky-Way in Cepheus: IC 1396 lower right with Mu Cephei 'the garnet star'.









IC 1848, IC 1805, IC 1795 in Cassiopeia









IC 1499 'The California Nebula'








M11, B111, Scutum Star Cloud, M16







Sagitta, 'Coathanger Cluster', NGC 6940 extreme upper left








'North America Nebula' NGC 7000; 'Pelican Nebula' IC5070; Deneb









Sagitta










'Andromeda Galaxy' M31










Cassiopeia and the Perseus 'Double Cluster'









NGC 281 near Alpha Cassiopeia ('Schedar'); NGC 457 'The Owl Cluster' very diminuitive left of centre.









Cassiopeia












'The Pleiades' M45 and 'California Nebula'









The Scutum Star Cloud and 'The Wild Duck Cluster' M11










M16, M17 and B312











B138 and B139 dark nebulae









B138, B139 (a diferent version)










'The Veil Nebula' and the open cluster NGC 6940









The giant dark nebula  Le Gentil 3








Le Gentil 3 and the 'North America Nebula'










Le Gentil 3 and the 'North America Nebula'









The dark nebula B168 with the 'Cocoon Nebula' IC5146 at its left end.






The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)




19th, 20th, 21st April 2015
Telescope: 20cm Meade LX200 SCT @ F6.3. 61 x 5 minute exposures with SXV-H9 CCD binned 2x2;
Trutek Type 1 L filter, Baader UV/IR rejection filter.








Starwave Bahtinov Mask used on the star Alkaid to achieve critical focus for M51 imaging






Beautiful nebulae in Auriga


 


(Lower) IC405 'The Flaming Star Nebula' with  the 'runaway star' AE Aurigae embedded in it.
(Upper) IC410 and open cluster NGC1893
The three 'bright' stars near centre are 19 Aur (mag. 5.05), IQ Aur (mag. 5.35) and 16 Aur (mag. 4.50).





The images above were obtained on the nights of 19/20 December 2014 and 24/25 December 2014.
Telescope: 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 focal reducer giving F4.8.
Camera: SXVR-H18 CCD at -30C. Filters: Baader 7nm H-alpha 4h 15m of data made of 17 x 15 min subs;
Baader 8.5 nm OIII 4h 30m of data made of 18 x 15 min subs. The final image was an H-Alpha:OIII:OIII combination.




Orion, the hunter



Barnard's loop shows up well as does the diminuitive Horsehead Nebula. Very surprisingly, the Witch Head
nebula is very faintly visible to the right of Rigel (lower right). This all despite having to contend with
significant extra light pollution due to the ultra invasive site lighting where Network Rail are locally upgrading
bridges for electrification of the line. Additionally, I cold not reach focus with the CLS filter in place so had to
improvise and crudely blu tack it to the front of the lens, losing about a quarter of the light due to
obscuration by the filter! No flats, bias or darks used!
Canon EOS 450D; Astronomik CLS-CCD filter; 13 x 8 mins plus 5 x 2 mins from the night of the Geminids used
to show the Orion Nebula without it being 'blown out'.



Closer look at the Horsehead.







M33, the Triangulum Galaxy


The image above were obtained on the nights of 24 November 2014, 13/14 December 2014 and 19/20 December 2014.
Telescope: 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 focal reducer giving F4.8.
Camera: SXVR-H18 CCD at -30C. Filters: Baader UV/IR rejection filter with Trutek Type 1 L, R, G and B filters.
LRGB: L = 6h 45m in 15 min subs; R = 6 x 10 mins 2x2 binned, G = 7 x 10 mins 2x2 binned, B = 6 x 10 mins 2x2 binned.









Luminance data only.





Below are slightly differently processed versions that emphasise different aspects of M33.













A nice dsiplay of the Geminids
13-14 December 2014




A 2nd magnitude Geminid streaked by the Orion Nebula. I saw it visually and luckily it was caught
with my Canon EOS 450D.







Wales: August 2014



IC 1396
The large red nebulosity right of centre is IC 1396, with Herschel's red 'garnet star' sitting on top of it. The red patch far left of centre is Sh2-132.
The dark nebulae upper centre are B169-71 and the bright bluish white star upper left is Delta Cephei, the prototype Cepheid Variable. The other
bright reddish star is Zeta Cephei with red emission nebulosity Ced 199 extending above it.

26th August 2014, nr Pennal, Wales
Modded Canon EOS 450D DSLR, 135mm lens @ F3.5
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Total exposure: 40 mins made from 5 x 8 min subs.







Altair and central Aquila
Notice the 'E' shaped dark nebulosity upper right (near the star Tarazed). This is the 'Triple Cave Nebula', fittingly attributed to E.E.Barnard!!!

26th August 2014, nr Pennal, Wales
Modded Canon EOS 450D DSLR, 135mm lens @ F3.5
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Total exposure: 48 mins made from 6 x 8 min subs.






The Rosette Nebula: NGC 2244

9th, 11th and 19th January 2014
SXVR-H18 CCD, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Baader H-alpha filter 4h from 20 min and 10 min subs, OIII 4h 20m from 20 min subs, H-beta 3h 40m from 20 min subs.

H-alpha view shown below ...















The Pleiades: M45

30th December 2013 in quite poor and deteriorating transparency
SXVR-H18 CCD, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Baader UV/IR rejection filter only 25 x 10 mins = 4h 10m.



















The California Nebula: NGC 1499

22nd and 28th December 2013
SXVR-H18 CCD, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Baader H-alpha filter 46 x 10 mins = 7h 40m.








Andromeda Galaxy, M31


Andromeda Galaxy, M31
4th, 7th-9th November 2013
Modded Canon EOS 450D DSLR, 80mm Orion ED apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F6; Astronomik CLS CCD filter.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Total exposure: 4h 55m 59s made from 59 x 301s subs.








The Veil Nebula

The Veil Nebla in Cygnus is the remnant of a supernova that exploded between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago and
could well have been a spectacular event witnessed by prehistoric people. It is about 1,470 light years away
and has a diameter approaching 100 light years. This spectacular nebula was discovered by William Herschel
on 5th September 1784.



Eastern Veil: NGC 6995 and NGC 6992


Bi-colour


Eastern Veil: NGC 6995 and NGC 6992

5th and 6th October 2013
SXV-H9 CCD, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Baader H-alpha filter 18 x 10 mins = 3 hrs; Baader OIII filter 21 x 10 mins = 3.5 hrs.
HA[g]OIII composite.






Bi-colour


H-alpha:OIII:OIII combination







H-alpha








OIII





Tri-colour


Eastern Veil: NGC 6995 and NGC 6992

5th, 6th and 16th October 2013
SXV-H9 CCD, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Baader H-alpha filter 18 x 10 mins = 3 hrs; Baader OIII filter 21 x 10 mins = 3.5 hrs; Baader H-beta filter 20 x 10 mins = 3h 20m
HAOIIIHb composite.







Western Veil: NGC 6960



Western Veil: NGC 6960

23rd October 2013
SXV-H9 CCD, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Baader H-alpha filter 18 x 10 mins = 1h 40m; Moon and wind issues.









06.09.13
M27 'The Dumbbell Nebula'
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 20cm Meade LX200 x0.63 focal reducer; just 3 x 5 mins
Autoguided by Lodestar through Orion 80mm f=600mm refractor piggy-backed
on the Meade.











Perseus Double Cluster: NGC 884 and NGC 869

30th September 2013
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8; Atronomik CLS CCD filter.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Total exposure: 59m 53s, made from 3 - 6 minute subs.
No dark frame applied: just flat and bias!







As above, but showing the central portion in more detail.








North America (NGC 7000) and Pelican Nebula (IC 5070)
14th-15th September 2013
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 80mm Megrez apo refractor with x0.8 reducer/flattener giving F4.8; Astronomik CLS CCD filter.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Total exposure: 2h 55m 20s, made from 5 - 10 minute subs.
No dark frame applied: just flat and bias!










M13 and the galaxy NGC 6207
9th September 2013
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 80mm Orion ED apo refractor @ F7.5.
Autoguided by Lodestar through 20cm Meade LX200 with 0.33x reducer.
Total exposure just 26.5 mins, mainly of 1 min subs.
No darks, flats or bias used!










Perseus: Algol in primary eclipse

2nd April 2013
13 x 11s unguided exposures with Canon EOS 450D (modded)
50mm Olympus OM lens







Reprocessing some images from South Africa









The Lagoon Nebula, M20








The Helix Nebula, NGC 7293








M83 in H-alpha







The Pillars of Creation, M16










The Eagle Nebula, M16








Eta Carinae







The Southern Cross






The Jewel Box








The Gem cluster







Images from the Dyfi (Dovey) Valley, Wales












12.08.13  22:00 UTC
Cygnus through drifting cloud. Deneb is the bluish star towards the top, with the North America Nebula NGC 7000 and the Pelican
Nebula IC 5070 to its right. The extensive red nebulosity surrounding the central star (Gamma Cygni - Sadr) is IC 1318, 1311 and
NGC 6910, 6914. Portions of the Veil Nebula (NGC 6992 and 6995) are just visible as purple nebulosity (well to the left of bottom centre).
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, median stack of 94s, 67s, 81s frames



Larger version ...










12.08.13  22:38 UTC
Southern Aquila
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, 82s












12.08.13  22:49 UTC
Sagitta and down through Aquila
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, 196s



Larger version ...











13.08.13  00:06 UTC
The 'water jar' of Aquarius
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, 68s








13.08.13  00:41 UTC
Cepheus. The red nebulosity (lower centre) is the emission nebula IC 1396, with Herschel's Garnet Star (Mu Cephei) near its edge.
Just visible is a faint arc of red nebulosity a bit above and to the right of IC 1396: this is Sh2-129.
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, 201s









13.08.13  02:01 UTC
Cygnus almost eclipsed by a tree!
The large dark nebula (Le Gentil 3) above the red North America Nebula was a distinct naked-eye chunk out of the milky-way under
these dark skies. Deneb is the bright star (lower centre).
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, 349s










13.08.13  02:27 - 02:52 UTC
Cassiopeia. "Double cluster" NGC 869 and 884 (left, just below centre). IC 1805, 1795 and 896 red nebulosity (left, just above centre).
IC 63 and 59 purple nebulosity near central star of the 'W'. NGC 281 to left of golden yellow star Alpha Cass (Schedar). Open cluster
NGC 7789 appears to right of the 'W' (golden yellow colour). The red nebulosity at the top of the image is Ced 214 and NGC 7822.
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, average of four exposures, each of just over 6 minutes



Larger version ...











Nova Delphinus 2013


20.08.13  01:31 UTC
Nova Delphinus 2013 shining at about magnitude 5.5 in strong moonlight
Modded Canon EOS 450D, 50mm lens @ f4, 800 ASA, 6s unguided







Sirius



Sirius with a possible faint meteor.
Open cluster M41 visible below Sirius at about "7 o'clock" position.
02.04.13; Canon EOS 450D with IR blocker removed
800 ASA, 50mm lens @ f4











Jupiter in Taurus  29.03.13
Canon EOS 450D with IR blocker removed
800 ASA, 4 secs, 50mm lens






Microsoft Excel Worksheet

The graph above shows my naked-eye estimates of the brightness of the star Epsilon Aurigae. The drop in brightness is thought to be due
to a giant dust cloud passing in front of the star. This dust disk has a star buried within it that is much less luminous than the star it orbits.
The dimming is periodic and occurs every 27.1 years, corresponding to the orbital period of the binary system.






Emission nebulae


Gamma Cygni: IC 1318 emission nebula and  NGC 6910 open cluster

The brilliant star is Gamma Cygni and below it and to the right is the open cluster
NGC 6910. The red nebulosity is part of the extensive emission nebula, IC 1318.

Megrez 80mm fluorite triplet apo refractor @ F4.8; SXV-H9 CCD; Baader UV/IR blocker; Trutek RGB filters.
R = 46 x 1 min.; G = 36 x 1 min.;  B = 46 x 1 min. RRGB blended image.
Mediocre transparency: limiting naked-eye magnitude about 5.5.






North America and Pelican Nebulae

135mm F2.8 lens with Astronomik 13nm H-alpha filter mounted in front.
Total exposure of 3h 07m with an SXV-H9 CCD.






Orion Nebula, M42
SXV-H9 CCD on Orion 80 ED Apo refractor @ F4.8
Blend of 43 x 1min H-alpha, 43 x 15sec Luminance, 34 x 30sec Blue, 42 x 30sec Green



H-alpha only version



NGC 2264  Christmas Tree Cluster  and Cone Nebula
Can you spot the Christmas Tree arrangement of bright  stars in the centre?! The brightest
star is the 'trunk' and the Cone Nebula is about where the fairy might sit at the top of the tree.
Telescope: 80mm Megrez fluorite triplet apo refractor
F-ratio: 4.8
Camera: Starlight Xpress SXV-H9 CCD
Filter: Astronomik 13nm H-alpha
Exposures: L = 101 x 2 min
Conditions: substantial crescent moon nearby but fairly
transparent skies





Planetary nebulae


M27 'The Dumbbell'
80mm Megrez triplet fluorite apo refractor @ F4.8.
Exposures of H-alpha 30 x 2', Green 11 x 2 min and Blue 10 x 2' with an SXV-H9 CCD.



NGC 2392 'Eskimo'     IC5148


M57 'Ring'    M76 'Lttle Dumbbell'


M97 'Owl'    M27 'Dumbbell'




Reflection nebulae

NGC2261    NGC7023    NGC 1975





Stars and Star Clusters




Open Cluster M7, Scorpius from England

This was sketched on the nights of 11th and 12th August 2010 from Charmouth, Dorset whilst
on holiday with the family. The altitude of this southern cluster varied from 4.2 to 2.9 degrees
during the course of the drawing, and the sky was not fully dark either! At the caravan park in Dorset,
I was almost as far south as you can get in England at +50 44' 07". You may know that M7 is at a very
low declination of -34 49', so even from this site it does not attain an altitude greater than 4.4 deg.!

Telescope: Megrez 80mm triplet apo refractor, x24, on simple camera tripod.

I thoroughly enjoyed four clear nights, just lapping up the dark skies by naked-eye and through the
80mm refractor! On the night of the Perseids maximum, the limiting naked-eye magnitude at the
zenith was 6.6 - 6.8, with Uranus and M33 glimpsed without optical aid. My 13 year old son, Jack
and I counted exactly 100 meteors between 22:10 and 23:10 UTC and a further 89 between 23:10
and 24:10 on the night of 12/13 August - we were both facing in mostly, but not entirely, the same
direction.










NGC 457: The Owl Cluster

27.10.08  RGB  R = 11 x 1 min; G = 10 x 1 min; B = 10 x 1 min
Megrez 80mm Apo Refractor @ F4.8; SXV-H9 CCD; Baader UV/IR rejection filter; Trutek R,G and B.









Open clusters M35 and NGC 2158 in Gemini
The cluster on the left (M35) appears larger than the one on the right (NGC 2158) because
at a distance of a 'mere' 2,700 light years, M35 is  less than a sixth of the distance to
NGC 2158. M35 is believed to be 'only' 95 million years old and so it is dominated by 'young'
brilliant blue-white stars. NGC 2158 has been around for more than a billion years and so
a far higher proportion of its stars have evolved into red giants, giving this cluster a more
mellow hue. Technical details: stack of a total of 64 x 2 min exposures through R, G and B
filters using a SXV-H9 CCD on a Megrez 80 Apo refractor @ F4.8. Cloud meant it took three
nights to complete!




   
 'Owl cluster'                                               M67

    
M11 'Wild duck cluster'                             


Omega Centauri - the largest globular star cluster in our galaxy
~ 15min exposure Elitechrome 200 colour reversal film, 25cm Meade LX200 SCT @ F6.3






       
Arcturus through a net curtain!
49cm Newtonian f4.64



Galaxies



  NGC 4565

   Telescope: 30cm Meade LX200 SCT
   F-ratio: 6.3
   Camera: Starlight Xpress SXV-H9 CCD
   Filters: Trutek LRGB, Baader UV/IR blocker,
   Astronomik 13nm H-alpha
   Exposures: L = 102 x 1 min  2 x 2 binned;
   R = 11 x 1 min in H-alpha 4 x 4 binned,
   28 x 1 min in R  4 x 4 binned; G = 20 x 1 min
   4 x 4 binned; B = 33 x 1 min 4 x 4 binned.
   Conditions: crescent moon throughout L
   exposures. Good transparency for most of
   the time, but deteriorated as I progressed
   through to the B filter.


M81, M82 and NGC 3077 - a galaxy trio (quintet if you look carefully)


Megrez 80mm fluorite triplet Apo refractor @ F4.8; SXV-H9 CCD; Trutek LRGB filters and Baader UV/IR
blocker. L = 130 minutes total exposure 1x1, R = 29 minutes 2x2 binned, G = 29 minutes 2x2 binned,
B = 30 minutes 2x2 binned.





M31 'Andromeda Galaxy'
Orion 80 ED Apo refractor @ F4.8 with SXV-H9 CCD.
60 x 2mins Luminance: 8 x 2mins 2x2 binned for RGB.




 NGC253      NGC4038/9     NGC55   

NGC7814     NGC891      M83
          
                M104                                                                M51         



Orion Nebula photographed through my 0.5m Newtonian, c. autumn 1997