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 […]

Crescent Nebula (NGC6888)

Buy a Print (Updated Dec. 2017) The Crescent Nebula in Cygnus is an emission nebula with interesting surface patterns and wisps of oxygen (in blue) around the shell. This is a much longer exposure than I had previously done on this target, and that plus extensive processing reveals some details not often seen in this nebula, such as the white cylindrical structures seen in the upper left portion of the Crescent. Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.7 Mount: AP Mach1 Camera: QSI 683 at –20C Exposure: 12 x 1800s H-a, 6 X 1800s O-3, 6 x 1800s S-2 (12 hrs total)

IC 1318 (Sadr Region)

Buy a Print (Updated Dec. 2017) This is a large region of nebulosity (mostly hydrogen) around the star Sadr in the constellation Cygnus. From Wa-chur-ed Observatory in June of 2016. As is usual for this observatory, this is a narrowband image, processed to yield a false-color image in which the yellow represents S-2 and the blue represents O-3.  Both colors are then modulated by the brightness of the H-a channel. The bright star near the center is Sadr, which is the central star in the constellation Cygnus. Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.7 Mount: AP Mach1 Camera: QSI 683 at –20C Exposure: […]

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 (Updated Dec. 2017) 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.  The colors are “false”, as is usually the case with narrowband images, but perhaps especially so here, since the real color would be predominantly red because there is so much hydrogen.  Instead, the H-a channel was used as luminence (defining the brightness of each pixel), while the S-2 channel is assigned to red and the O-3 channel to both blue and green. The image was captured at Wa-chur-ed […]

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 (Updated Dec. 2017) I have photographed the Iris Nebula many times – probably more than any other target, partly because I like it so much, but also because it’s difficult to capture.  Each of my attempts has been a little better than the last, so I will probably continue to shoot it. In this case I used LRGB capture, with far more emphasis on the L.  That provides a lot of information in the dim dust areas, but it’s not quite as sharp as I would like it to be, and that’s partly because the AT111EDT telescope […]