Monthly Archives: September 2015


Buy a Print Taken in June of 2013 at Wa-chur-ed Observatory, this is one of the few LRGB images done from my home observatory.  Generally speaking, galaxies are too dim to be photographed in such light-polluted skies and this probably would have shown more detail and color if I had done it at a dark sky site. Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.6 Mount: AP Mach1 GTO Camera: QSI 583 at –15C Exposure: LRGB, 4.5 hrs total


Triangulum Galaxy

Buy a Print M33 is located in the Triangulum constellation. It is sometimes called the Pinwheel Galaxy, but that name is also used for M101, so Triangulum is preferred. It is about 2,700 light years from Earth. This image is a combination of LRGB data captured at a dark sky site and hydrogen-alpha data captured at Wa-chur-ed Observatory. The H-alpha data enhances the bright red regions. Scope: AP 142 at f/7.5 Mount: AP Mach1GTO Camera: QSI 583 at –15C Exposure: LRGB+H-a, 4 hrs 50 mins total


Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

Buy a Print This was captured on the first night of the 2011 Oregon Star Party and there was smoke in the air, especially to the west. So I chose a bright target to the east, even though I couldn’t fit it all in the frame. Andromeda is a spiral galaxy that is fairly similar to our own Milky Way galaxy and our closest neighboring galaxy of similar size. Of course, “neighboring” may seem like a strange word to use, since it is over 2 million light years away! That means that this is actually a photograph of what Andromeda […]

Fish Head & Heart Nebulae (IC1795/1805)

Buy a Print The Fish Head (IC1795) is the bright region in the upper left.  The Heart (IC1805) is the entire right side. This Heart Nebula image is a mosaic of 2 frames, captured at Wa-chur-ed Observatory using narrowband filters (hydrogen-alpha, sulfur-2, and oxygen-3).  The OIII and SII filters used have a bandwidth of 12nm, which is not very narrow for these spectral lines, so there is only a small variation in the dominant red (hydrogen) color. The Heart is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia and about 7,500 light years from Earth. It does look like a heart, […]


Crab Nebula (M1)

Buy a Print In 1054 astronomers in the middle east and Asia recorded the appearance of a supernova.  The star was so bright that for several weeks it could be seen in the daytime.  The Crab Nebula is the remnants of that supernova and its relatively young age explains why it is more dense and complex than most such nebulae.  It is approximately 6,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation  Taurus.  The image consists of H-alpha, OIII, and SII narrowband images, so the color is not exactly true, but I adjusted it to optimize color accuracy and differentiation between the […]

California Nebula

Buy a Print (Updated Dec. 2017) This nebula contains all 3 of the target spectral lines, hydrogen-alpha, sulphur-2, and oxygen-3. But the O-3 signal is so weak that you could literally count the photons by hand as they arrived!  To provide some color in the processed image I could have (largely) ignored the O-3 and made a bi-color image of H-a and S-2.  Instead, I used a slight variation on a commonly used process; creating a bi-color image from S-2 and O-3 (S-2 as red and O-3 as green and blue), then applying H-a as a luminance layer over the […]