Low in the southern sky I captured the Eagle Nebula on the 26th with 300 second subs. This image combined exposure time was 1 hour 50 minutes at ISO 800 on a nice dark night. The crop image details the core of this nebula while the wider view is only slightly cropped from my full image at scale.
From Wikipedia edited:
The Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula. This region of active current star formation is about 7000 light-years distant. A spire of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula in the northeastern part is approximately 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers long.
The cluster associated with the nebula has approximately 8100 stars, which are mostly concentrated in a gap in the molecular cloud to the north-west of the Pillars. The brightest star is actually a binary star with a mass of roughly 80 solar masses, and a luminosity up to 1 million times that of the Sun.
Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 greatly improved scientific understanding of processes inside the nebula. One of these photographs became famous as the “Pillars of Creation”, depicting a large region of star formation.
This is a faint Nebula and the scale of it is much larger than my current telescope can fit in, but I managed to push what data I captured into some reasonable representation. Located in Scorpius, this is a blue reflection nebula powered by the bright star “Nu Scorpii” in the eye of the horsehead.
Almost one year ago to the date I imaged this nebula with twice as many sub exposures but at a shorter exposure time. In this case I stacked 10 subs at 6 minutes each on a dark night with a bit of a breeze. Tracking was nothing to brag about but the stacked image seemed decent. I have learned much more in the processing side of this hobby and my third run through Photoshop resulted in a nice image shared here. Not a lot of the surrounding dark parts brought out in this version but a vibrant and detailed core I think.
Below is the original stack image pre processing for comparison.
“Messier 96 is an intermediate spiral galaxy about 32 million light-years away in the constellation Leo. It was discovered by French astronomer Pierre Méchain on March 20, 1781”
M96 is the one in middle, M95 to the right and M105 to the left top are all around the same distance from us.
NGC 3384 is 26 million light years, and finally NGC 3389 classified as a magnitude 12.4 and the farthest at 80 million light years.
I captured this group last night and this image was made from the later and darker sub exposures representing just one hour integration time. It seems I included a frame with something running diagonal through the lower left. Surprised it was not processed out in stacking, and it only showed up in the image at the last curves adjustment as I was finishing up. Oh well, it adds something of realism I suppose!
Thought it was going to be warmer but not by much!
Some trouble getting things started and one of the imaging programs decided to not cooperate with the guide camera. The guiding software itself connected without problems but guiding was very poor. Not sure if there were some light clouds or what. Still many mysteries in this business for me! Only a little over an hour of data on this one. Because the guiding was so wonky I felt it was not worth continuing. I tossed four subs, one with a satellite going right through it!
From the web: First recorded in 1785 by William Herschel, the Needle Galaxy is an edge-on spiral galaxy about 30 to 50 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices with a visual magnitude of approximately 10. A small companion galaxy (NGC 4562) can be seen to the right. For those curious, the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (NGC) is an extensive catalogue of astronomical deep sky objects that was compiled by John Louis Emil Dreyer in 1888.
Another year and back for another run at NGC 2403. I did not crop this image as I did before, but comparing full size the image scale is similar. Compared to a year ago I am dithering now and using longer exposures on the subs. Definite improvement!
Just over two hours imaging at 5 degrees below zero. All the gear still working and I get to monitor from inside the house! A rare clear day and then night had me intrigued to see if I could get all the gear running. It has been a while and was glad to see it worked!
Discovered by William Herschel in 1788, it is thought to be about 8 million light years away. Located in the sky not too far south from the north pole in the constellation Camelopardalis.