California Nebula

 

The California Nebula (NGC_1499) is a HII emission region in the constellation Perseus, it was discoverd by E.E. Barnard in 1884 on long exposure plates.

Because of the red color and it’s faintness it is usually only visible in photographs.

California Nebula

I used my unmodified Nikon D7000 camera in combination with the Nikon AF-Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 for this photograph. 11 individual exposures of 120 seconds at f/2.8 were combined using Regim by Andreas Rörig. Additional adjustments were made in Adobe Lightroom.

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Polarie first test

In preparation for an upcoming trip I am doing some equipment tests to prepare for the opportunity to observe from a dark sky.

It turns out even with the very rough polar alignment that is possible with the built-in peephole of the Polaire tracking mount 30 second exposures are possible with 180mm focal length on an APS-C camera:

3 x 30s – f/4 – ISO 1600, no darks, no flats, stacked with DeepSky Stacker, Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8, Nikon D7000

This is the ful frame:

  

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Trying to catch ISON, got Lovejoy instead

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On November 17th I decided at 1:00 to try to take some pictures of comet ISON before it’s rendezvous with the sun.

To get above the fog in the Rhine valley I drove up a still-open (normally closed in winter) mountain pass.

I arrived early at the Furkajoch (a mountain pass in Vorarlberg), so I had the chance to take some pictures of the alpine landscape and of comet Lovejoy.

The full moon and a thin layer of high cirrus cloud made the process of locating and imaging the comet difficult.
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A Ring around the Moon

An incoming layer of high cirrus clouds announces a change in the high-pressure weather pattern. The ice crystals in the clouds create a highly visible 22° ring of light, also known as a halo around the first-quarter moon.

Lens: Tokina AT-X 12-24 f/f
Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: f/4 15s ISO 200
Date: 12th February 2011

 

The Milky Way

Lens: Tokina AT-X 12-24 f/f
Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: f/4 15s ISO 1600 – 5 images, stacked in IRIS
Date: 7th August 2010

Recently I spent a night in the Alps at 2000m height. I slept outside in a bivouac bag and enjoyed a very dark sky.
I took the picture above with the camera on a small tripod, and made 5 exposures which I later combined into a single picture using IRIS.