Monthly Archives: December 2019

Flaming Star from California

My second image from our Winter in southern California is the Flaming Star Nebula (cataloged as IC405, Caldwell 31, and Sh2-229).  This was captured with the new Stellarvue SVX80T with 0.74X reducer/flattener, yielding an effective focal length of about 350mm at f/4.4.  With such fast optics a lot of information can be captured in a relatively short time.  In this case, I captured 4 hours of H-alpha, and 2 hours each of O-III and S-II.  The downside is that the optics are very sensitive to spacing and tilt.  Stellarvue recommends a spacing of 55mm +/-0.75mm from the reducer to the […]

Spaghetti All Night

My first image of the Winter in Borrego Springs, CA is the Spaghetti Nebula, cataloged as Simeis 147 and Sharpless 2-240.  This is a very large, dim supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation Taurus.  It’s about 3,000 light-years from Earth, but the more interesting question is its age, and I couldn’t find any information about that.  Generally, as SNRs evolve they expand, become dimmer, and more diffuse.  This certainly is large and dim, but still has amazingly well defined structure. This is also my first image with the William Optics RedCat 51 telescope/lens.  Paired with the ASI1600 camera, it gives […]

Off to California

Above is a photo of IC405, the Flaming Star Nebula, in hydrogen-alpha.  This was captured as part of a test of a new telescope, the Stellarvue SVX80T-3.0.  Although this image looks pretty good (and I particularly like this framing of the object), I found some technical issues with the optics, and spent a good portion of the last month doing further testing and analysis.  I was able to improve it, and am on the verge of deciding that I was too critical in my first analysis.  It’s a very nice ‘scope overall, and the part I’ve been unhappy about is […]