The Pleiades (aka Subaru or Seven Sisters, M45)

Buy a Print This open cluster of very bright, young stars is one of the best known objects in the night sky. It is significant in the mythology of many cultures, and therefore is known by many names. Yes, the Japanese automobile manufacturer takes its name and logo from the Japanese name for the cluster, Subaru. M45 is only about 400 light years from Earth – one of the nearest star clusters. It is located in the constellation Taurus. The stars themselves shine bright blue because they are so hot. The surrounding dust reflects this blue light to form the […]

Eagle Nebula (M16)

Buy a Print The Eagle Nebula is the home of one of the best known of all astro images, the “Pillars of Creation” from the Hubble Space Telescope. The HST image is at much higher magnification than this and uses a color palette that shows the structure more clearly (although it is not color accurate). But you can make out at least 2 of the pillars near the bright center. Located in the constellation Serpens, M16 is about 7,000 light years from Earth. The image was captured at ITS in September of 2012 using a hydrogen-alpha filter.  Scope: AT111EDT at […]

Dumbbell Nebula (M27)

Buy a Print This image from August of 2013 replaces one from 2 years ealier, adding an S-2 plane and more exposure time. Although it is fairly small, the Dumbbell is bright and easily seen through a small telescope. Located in the constellation Vulpecula, it is about 1,400 light years from Earth. If you look at just the blue-green portion of the image you might see why it is called the “dumbbell”. That is how it appears through a telescope. Human vision shifts in color response with the brightness. Specifically, in dark conditions our eyes are much more sensitive to […]

Veil Nebula

Buy a Print Like many nebulae, the Veil is the remnants of a supernova, the material ejected when a star exploded. It is in the constellation Cygnus, but its distance from Earth is not precisely known. The red portions are hydrogen and the blue-green is ionized oxygen. Captured at Wa-chur-ed Observatory in July of 2011 using hydrogen-alpha and oxygen-3 narrowband filters to reduce the effects of light pollution. This is a wide-field image using a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 camera lens. See “Western Veil” and “Eastern Veil” for close-ups of the right and left portions. Right of center is an area […]

IC 1318 (Sadr Region)

Buy a Print This is a large region of nebulosity (mostly hydrogen) around the star Sadr in the constellation Cygnus. From Wa-chur-ed Observatory in May of 2011. As is usual for this observatory, this is a narrowband image, consisting of a hydrogen-alpha image for the red channel and oxygen-3 for green and blue channels. Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.6 Mount: Orion Atlas/EQMOD Camera: QSI 583 at –25C Exposure: 10 x 480 seconds H-a, 7 x 480 seconds O-3 (2 hrs 16 mins total)

Pelican Nebula (IC5067)

Buy a Print Right next to the North American Nebula (and included in my photo of No. Am. Neb.) is the Pelican Nebula. It is also a hydrogen region and also contains some thick dust, creating dark areas where the light is blocked. Not everyone sees the pelican shape, but it’s clear to me and I’ve rotated this image (relative to the No. Am. Neb. image) to make it upright. The image was captured at Wa-chur-ed Observatory in July of 2011 using narrowband filters. Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.6 Mount: Orion Atlas/EQMOD Camera: QSI583ws at –15C Exposure: 10 x 900s H-a, […]

North American Nebula (NGC7000)

Buy a Print The very bright star, Deneb, which is the tail of the swan in the constellation Cygnus, is just outside the field of view in this image. Unlike most of my astro-photos, this was captured not with a telescope, but with a camera lens of just 200mm focal length (less than 1/3rd the focal length of my AT111EDT telescope). That means that the area shown is 3 times as wide as in most other images here. NGC7000 is about 1,600 light years from Earth. The Pelican Nebula is just above the N.A. Nebula. The image was captured at […]

Cocoon Nebula (IC5146)

Buy a Print From the 2011 Oregon Star Party, the Cocoon Nebula in Cygnus both emits and reflects light. The red, flower-like main part is mostly hydrogen, but there is also bluish light around the edges that is caused by reflections of light from the central star. The dark path leading to the main part is a “dust lane” that partially blocks the light of stars behind it. The nebula is about 4,000 light years from Earth.  Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.6 Mount: AP Mach1 Camera: QSI 583 at –15C Exposure: 10 x 480s H-alpha, 30 x 120s L, 10 x […]

Iris Nebula (NGC7023)

Buy a Print This combined image was made by stacking luminance frames at 2 different exposures for the background plus a third, shorter exposure just for the bright central region. The red, green and blue frames were then stacked and combined in the usual way, but filtered more than usual to remove noise. Finally, the color image was blended with the luminance image using Photoshop’s “color” blend mode. This produces an image that gets its sharpness from the luminance frames, with minimal color noise. The nebula is about 1,300 light years from Earth in the constellation Cepheus. It was captured […]