Messier 81 & 82, with surrounding IFN

This is M81 & M82, also known as Bode’s and the Cigar Galaxy. This is a pair of beautiful galaxies in Ursa Major. Also in this image, is NGC3077. This is my longest image to date. I spent most of the time with the luminance filter. I was trying to capture the IFN that’s surrounding the region in the sky.

This group of galaxies is the closest galaxy group to our own very local group of galaxies which include the Milky Way

This was a total of 43 hours and 4 minutes of exposure time.

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NGC281 (Pacman Nebula)

NGC281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula. This was my second attempt with this target, but my first with narrowband filters.

I tried to do a blend and get an RGB look with this. I, however, do not remember the exact pixel math formulas I used to get this result.

I’ll try again in the future to add more data to this and see if I can come up with more details on this image. Maybe even add some RGB data for star color.

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VdB 152 (The Cosmic Penguin)

This is my longest project to date—32 HOURS OF DATA over nine nights. I originally planned on taking 50 hours, but the weather and moon got in the way of what I aimed for. I’m still thrilled with the progress. I learned a lot during this image, and I’m glad I took on this challenge.

I got about 8 hours of RGB data supplemented by around 17 hours of Ha and 2 hours of Oiii, along with another 4 hours of luminance data. 

This is VdB152, it doesn’t have a common name, but a friend called it ‘The Cosmic Penguin.’ There are multiple nebulae in this image. A Dark nebula, LDN 1217, forms the thick pillar. There is the reflection nebula along the bottom called LBN538. Not to mention the whisps of Ha going along the corners of the nebula.

This will continue to be a project for me, and I’ll collect some data over the next couple of years and get more detail.

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IC63 (The Ghost of Cassiopeia)

IC63 Ghost of CassiopeiaJust in time for halloween. This is IC63 The Ghost of Cassiopeia. IC63 is 500 light-years away. The highly bright star Gamma Cassiopeia’s interaction with the nebula is slowly eroding the structure out.

This image was my second attempt at this target and I hope to try this again in the future to get more detail.

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Messier 31 (Andromeda Galaxy)

M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) is the galaxy closest to us. This is a very bright object which can be observed with our naked eye.

This is my third attempt at our closest neighbor. I took this while I was at Cherry Springs State Park for the Black Forest Star Party.

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IC1396 (The Elephant Trunk Nebula)

IC1396, also known as The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula, is a region full of installer gas and dust. Elephant’s Trunk Nebula is a star-forming region with several young stars.

This was my first attempt at a Hubble Palette false-color image. It’s not exactly a perfect representation of an SHO image, but I’m quite happy with how this came out.

I did not do a write-up on this target yet, but I will do it soon. This is my third attempt with this target, the previous attempts are documented below

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NGC 6888 (The Crescent Nebula)

NGC6888 Crescent Nebula This is NGC 6888 also known as the Crescent Nebula. I do not understand the name at all. Some people call i the Horseshoe Crab Nebula or Euro Sign nebula. I like the name Space Brain Nebula.

This was my first narrowband image. I processed it using an HOO Palette. I’m quite proud of the results I was able to achieve with this. I had originally planned on getting some RGB data for star colors, but time and the weather worked against me.

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Jumping into mono

I’ve made a lot of upgrades over the last year. The biggest upgrade I made recently was to make the jump to mono. This will have been my third camera upgrade as well (fourth if you count my initial jump from a DSLR to a cooled CMOS).

I first jumped from a Canon 7D (Unmodified) to a ZWO ASI071 MC Pro, then went to a ZWO ASI2600MC Pro and now finally a ZWO ASI2600MM Pro. This jump to mono required me to get a filterwheel and a set of filters.

This is going to be an interesting jump to a new chapter of imaging.

Messier 27 (The Dumbbell Nebula)

Messier 27 is also known as the Dumbbell Nebula or the Apple Core Nebula. M27 is a bright planetary nebula about 1227 light-years away.

This was my second attempt at this target. I was able to get about two hours of exposure time between clouds. I want to get more time with this, but I was eager to put my focal reducer on and start going for the Milky Way targets.

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Messier 51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)

Messier 51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy is a face-on spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici located about 30 million light-years away from us.

I took this in June over multiple times and was able to collect about 8 hours of data.

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