Moon – Jupiter conjunction 03.01.2019

Moon Jupiter Conjunction – 03.01.2019, Takahashi FS-60CB, Nikon D750, 1s at f/6, 6:14UT

When my wife noticed the beautiful thin crescent moon in a gap in the clouds I rushed to the deck on our roof, to take a picture of the conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. At first I went bare-footed, but after a few seconds I couldn’t stand the snow under my bare soles, and put on some slippers. But I was still only wearing my sleeping attire, boxer shorts and a worn-out T-shirt. Temperature was -5°C.

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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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Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels

I was actually heading to bed when I noticed, that the sky cleared up enough to try to photograph Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels.

As I wanted to create an image that included the Andromeda Galaxy, I used the 70-200 zoom and set it at about 130mm.

Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels, 33x30s exposures, AF-Nikkor 70-200 f/4, at 130mm, ISO 2500, Nikon D750, Vixen Polarie.

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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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NGC 281 – The Pacman nebula

GC 281 an emission nebula in Cassiopeia

The Pacman nebula, as NGC 281 is also called becaue of it’s shape, is special for me, as I stumbled upon it in an image I took of coment Hale Bopp in 1997. Since that time I wanted to make close-up image of this small emission nebula.

NGC 281 – Emission nebula in Cassiopeia, 56x180s, Astro-Professional 80mm f/7 ED refractor, QHY163c cooled CMOS camera. Cropped.

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NGC 891 is a beautiful spiral galaxy which is seen perpendicular to it’s rotational axis, so we see it edge on.

It is located in Andromeda, so there are many foreground stars.

I have seen it in telescopes as small as 15cm aperture, in my 250mm the dust lane becomes visible, but in a larger scope, like the 40cm I recently observed with, it is a really beautiful sight. But of course not as detailed as in this image.

NGC 891, Galaxy in Andromeda, distance: ~30 million light-years- 45*180s (2h 15min), QHY163c, Astro-Physics 127mm f/8 refractor.

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