Messier 78 (Casper the Friendly Ghost)

Messier 78 or NGC 2068, also known as Casper the Friendly Ghost (not sure how it applies, I don’t see a ghost), is a bright blue reflection nebula in Orion. The nebula can be found between Betelgeuse and closer towards Alnitak.

This is the first multi-night imaging session that I planned. I captured this over three nights totaling a little over 14 hours of data.

I also learned some new techniques in PixInishgt while processing this target.

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Messier 45 (The Pleiades Cluster)

The Pleiades is one of my favorite objects to stare at. It’s bright and can be observed from anywhere, all you need are your eyes. Binoculars and a telescope help, but is not necessary. I imaged this a few years ago and wasn’t too happy with it, and I’ve always wanted to revisit this.

This is my second attempt at the Pleiades. I took this the same night as The Horsehead Nebula as I was waiting for Orion to rise.

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Barnard 33 (The Horsehead Nebula)

For Diwali, I present the Flame and the Horsehead Nebula. This is Barnard 33, a dark nebula in the constellation of Orion. The dark nebula which forms the horse’s head is illuminated from behind by the bright emission nebula IC 434

Right next to the Horsehead Nebula is the Flame Nebula and a small blue reflection nebula NGC 2023. 

The Horsehead and the Flame are right by Alnitak, the first star in Orion’s Belt.

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IC 1805 (The Heart and Fish Head Nebula)

This is IC1805, also known as the Heart Nebula. This is a large nebula about 7500 light-years away from us.

The nebula shines bright red due to all the hydrogen gas excited by the nearby stars. The center of the nebula has a cluster of stars that contribute to this as well.

The other significant part of this nebula is NGC896, also known as the Fish Head Nebula. I captured this a few days ago in incredible light-polluted skies in my apartment complex.

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NGC 7380 (The Wizard Nebula)

Sometimes it’s fun to work with bad data because you’re not expecting much and it turns out OK.

The Wizard seems to be my arch-nemesis so far. This is the second time I’ve tried this target with little luck. I had issues with flats and I was able to crop in and salvage some of the data.

I will be trying this again later this month. The third time is the charm.

This is NGC 7360 The Wizard Nebula. This is a star cluster/emission nebula in Cepheus.

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IC 1805 (The Elephant Trunk Nebula)

IC1396, also known as The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula, is a region full of installer gas and dust. This isn’t as colorful as my previous images, but it’s a fun target to image. Elephant’s Trunk Nebula is a star-forming region with several young stars.

I took this at Cherry Springs State Park, PA, over the last new moon weekend.

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Messier 33 (The Triangulum Galaxy)

Messier 33 also known as the Triangulum Galaxy is one of the most beautiful face-on galaxies in the night sky. This is part of our local group of galaxies which includes, Andromeda, The Magellanic Clouds, and our own Milkyway.

I took this image at Cherry Springs State Park a truly dark site in Pennsylvania.

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