M78 and the Monkey’s Head

Barnard’s Loop, Open Cluster NGC 2112, Reflection Nebula M78, Reflection Nebula NGC 2071, 62x120s (2h 4min), Astro-Professional 80mm f/7, 0,8x Astro-Prof. Red., Nikon D7000a, Optolong L-Pro Filter

Even after more than two hours of exposure the image of the reflection nebula M78 and it’s surroundings is quite grainy. This object needs much more exposure. When pushing the raw files to bring out the faint nebulosity the background becomes a bit streaky, therefore I kept the image quite dark.

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The Horsehead nebula (again)

B33, The Horsehead Nebula, 50x120s – 1h40m, ISO1600, Nikon D7000a, 80mm f/7 ED-Refractor, 0,78x Reducer, Baader 2″ H-alpha Filter 35nm

After a long spell of clouds, snow and rain, clear skies have returned. Apart from the streak artefacts in the background I like this image a lot, this is my first properly focused image with the Baader h-alpha filter.

Lightweight Astrophotography

M78 to the Horsehead Nebula, 86x30s, Nikon D750, Takahashi FS-60CB, Vixen Polarie.

On December 26th we were invited to christmas dinner at my sisters place. I brought the Vixen Polarie, the Takahashi FS-60CB and the Nikon D750 to do some astrophotgraphy during the evening.

The image above records some faint nebulosity across central Orion. From the horsehead nebula B33 silhouetted against IC434 to the flame nebula NGC 2024. In the upper left, the M78 nebula with its surrounding NGC objects is also visible. In the corner a hint of Barnards loops is discernible

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B33 – horsehead nebula

B33, Horsehead Nebula and NGC2024 Flame nebule. 102x30s (51 min.) 80mm f/7 ED refractor, Baader 1,25″ h-alpha filter, Nikon D7000a.

Barnard 33 is the horse-head shaped dark cloud silhouetted agains the glow of excited hydrogen which goes by the name of IC434. To the left is the Flame Nebula NGC2024, which is an odd nebula, because it is orange, and apparently a mixture between reflection and emission nebula.

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California Nebula NGC1499 in H-alpha

Today I used a break in the clouds to test how the astro-modified Nikon D7000 works with a h-alpha Filter. As the weather was very unstable, I didn’t set up the laptop for guiding, so some images were unusable due to trailing and passing clouds and full cloud cover at the end of the exposure resulted in oly 83x30s unguided exposures. Which way too short, but I am happy with the result under these circumstances.

NGC1499, Baader Planetarium, 1,25″ h-alpha Filter, 83x30s (41,5m) exposure, Astro-Professional 80mm f/7 refractor.

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Full spectrum modification of a Nikon D7000 – Part II

On November 5th I had the opportunity to do another test, this time using the 300mm lens, I also used the California Nebula as the target.

NGC1499, the California Nebula, 192x30s (1h 21min), Nikon D7000a, AF-S NIKKOR 300 mm 1:4E PF ED VR, calibrated in Regim, processed in Fitswork, Photoshop and Lightroom. Mount: Vixen Polarie.

The California nebula is hydrogen gas which is irradiated by the intense UV radiaton from Xi Persei, the bright star near the center of the image.  It is about 1250 light years distant and is one of the intrinsically brightest and hottest stars visible to the unaided eye. It weighs in at about 40 solar masses. The surface temperature is a whopping 35000 Kelvin.

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