Essays / tag / astrophotography

Another one of the Heart Nebula. This time directed at the glowing center.

The full Nebula is actually a little too big to fit onto the small 10mm sensor of the Atik Camera. Maybe I'll add some additional images in the future and try to build a mosaic.

Heart Nebula in RedMore fitting processing for pictured subject
Center of Heart NebulaProcessed with Hubble Colors.

Winter is coming and this also means that Orion the Hunter is again showing up on in the sky.

After three weeks of mostly clouds skies I got my APO Refractor out to do some imaging. In the meantime I also learned that ma problems with guiding and blurry stars also seem to come from very poor seeing over Innsbruck.

The following images have a sharpness value (FWHM) of 7 arcseconds for stars. Astrophotographers in better regions of the world don't bother shooting if this value goes over 4. Looking back at old images I found out that the sharpest I got from my Garden location was 3 arcseconds.

But anyway here are the three images I processed from this session. The pictures were done in true RGB color.

The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42, M42, or NGC 1976) is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, being south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth. The M42 nebula is estimated to be 24 light years across. It has a mass of about 2000 times the mass of the Sun. Older texts frequently refer to the Orion Nebula as the Great Nebula in Orion or the Great Orion Nebula.

M42Orion Nebula - The Great Hunter
M42Orion Nebula - The Great Hunter

Just some quick shots during a clear night of the Moon and M13.

M13 was done with the APO, the Moon and the Sun are 2 image composites done with the EdgeHD. I'm still amazed of about the quality of the APO/Flattener combo.

HerculesM13 - The Hercules Nebula APO with flattener. 1 hour integration time.
Half MoonShot in the morning hours. Integration of 750 images
The SunSun with one prominent sun spot.

I decided to give the North American Nebula a try with my new APO.

First setup was my unmodified EOS M3 with the 480 mm APO and the flattener from my light polluted garden. The nebula was close to the zenith which makes the sky a little bit darker. Total integration time was about hour.

The signal was really weak. Below is the result after pulling all my post processing skills.

NGC 7000 ColorNatural color image of NGC7000 - the North America Nebula APO with Flattener 60 min integration time

Next night I tried it with my Baader H-alpha filter. As my current setup for the APO does not work with flattener AND filter, I had to make the pictures without the flattener which is painfully visible at stars in the corners.
The image below has almost 2 hours of integration time.

NGC7000 BWHa narrow band image of the North America Nebula APO with Ha fiter 1.5 hours integration time

Again it shows the bad sensitivity of the unmodified EOS M3 to H-alpha frequencies.

I'm now really considering getting one of the dedicated CCD cameras, even if you've to sell your house to get one.