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Open Cluster NGC 2264, the Cone and Fox Fur Nebula1830 viewsNGC 2264 in the Constellation Monoceros is an open cluster known as the Christmas Tree Cluster (middle and upside down). The Cone Nebula (bottom) and Fox Fur Nebula (just above and to the right of the blue reflection nebulosity) are included in the image. Total of 3 hoursrs 45 minutes exposure (modified Canon 40D, Takahashi Epsilon 180 astrograph, Images Plus 4.0, and Photoshop CS5).
The Zeta Orionis Region1477 viewsImage of the Zeta Orionis Region in the constellation Orion, which contains both the horsehead and flame nebula. This is a visible light image taken with a modified Canon 40D and a Takahashi Epsilon 180 f/2.8 astrograph (3hr 15 min total exposure). It is interesting to compare it to Jim's Narrowband Image (6th previous image) of the area which essentially maps the concentration of Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur.
The Flaming Star Nebula1348 viewsThe Flaming Star Nebula, IC 405, is located in the Constellation Auriga. The nebula is illuminated by the variable star AE Aurigae that is slowly passing thru the nebula but in fact did not condense from the surrounding nebula. The image acquired with a Canon 20Da DSLR (ISO 800) and a Takahashi E 180 astrograph. Total exposure time of 2.5 hrs (30 X 300 seconds lights calibrated, aligned, stacked, and stretched (DDP) in Images Plus 3.80 and further processed in Adobe Photoshop CS4).
Narrowband Horsehead region1766 viewsThis is a narrowband image of the Horsehead nebula (B33) region in Orion taken with the Tzec Maun telescope in Mayhill. The "Horsehead" is actually a cold, thick, dark gas that is blocking the light from the bright (emission) nebula behind it. Hydrogen is indicated with red, sulfur is in green (yellow is a combination of hydrogen and sulfur) and Blue is Oxygen. The dats was collected back in January 2011 (3.5 hours worth) and processed by Steve. Thanks Steve !
Partial Lunar Eclipse 6/4/20121347 viewsOrbital dynamics of the Earth-Moon system are on display with the latest two pictures on our gallery page. On May 20th the Moon passed between the Sun and the Earth at its furthest point and created an annular solar eclipse. Steve caught a beautiful image from Albuquerque. Two weeks later on the morning of June 4th, the Moon passed partially through the shadow of the Earth creating a partial lunar eclipse. Venus will transit the Sun on the afternoon of June 5th.
Messier 27 through Ha, OIII, and SII filters1146 viewsMessier 27 is a nebula found in the constellation Vulpecula, often shown in the summer and early fall at our Oliver Lee star parties. This image is through narrowband filters, where Hydrogen alpha is mapped to green (2 hr 25 min combined exposure); Oxygen, OIII, is mapped to blue (3 hr 15 min combined exposure), and Sulfur, SII, is mapped to red (5 hr 40 min combined exposure); taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED and SBIG ST2000xm camera with Baader filters.
Messier 37933 viewsMessier 37 is an open cluster found in the constellation Auriga. The brightest star is a red giant (the cluster contains about 35), which is visible in the image near the center of the cluster (magnitude 9.1 – 9.2). The distance to this cluster is about 4500 light-years, although it may be a bit further. Image taken with a TeleVue 140 f/5 refractor and a SBIG ST2000xcm camera at – 20 degrees on an Astro-Physics 1200 mount (6.5 hr total exposure; 39 x 600 sec lights, 20 darks, 64 flats, 64 bias; Image acquisition with MaxIm DL and processed with PixInsight Ripley (x64).
M 45 and associated Nebulosity1011 viewsMessier 45, commonly known as the Pleiades, is an open cluster found in the constellation Taurus. Messier 45 is surrounded by a dusty reflection nebula, which accounts for its blue coloration, along with some pinkish-red coloration due to an ionized gas component. The small 17.3 magnitude galaxy PGC 13696 can be seen to the right of the star Electra (17 Tau), which is the bright star to the right of center.
The data was previously obtained on the nights of November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 2013 with a OSC SBIG STF-8300c camera and Takahashi E-130D f/3.3 Astrograph on a Paramount (Mayhill, NM). Total integration time was 4 hr 20 min (26 x 10 min lights @ -20 degrees C; 20 darks; 64 flats, 64 bias). Calibrated, registered, integrated, and processed in PixInsight
Some comments on processing: The calibrated, registered, and integrated OSC image was duplicated and the R, G, and B channels extracted. The R, G, and B channels were combined with the Integration Tool to prepare a synthetic luminance (SynL). Dynamic Background Extraction ( DBE) and Deconvolution applied to the SynL image. DBE, Background Neutralization, and Color Calibration was applied to the original RGB image. Both the RGB and SynL images were stretched (Masked Stretch tool). The luminance (“lightness” using L*a*b*) was extracted from the RGB image and the Linear Fit tool was used to match the stretch of the luminance to the SynL channel (SynL as reference). The fitted luminance was added back to the RGB image using the Channel Combination tool in L*a*b* mode. The SynLRGB image was made using LRGB Combine tool. Further processing included noise reduction, multiscale processing to bring out faint structure, color saturation, sharpening, and contrast enhancement.
White Light Sun714 viewsSunspot AR2403 is almost 200,000 km long and is easily visible in this image taken from Maryland on 8/25/2015 using an Orion ED80T Triplet refractor and a color Atik 414ex camera. The telescope was equipped with a white light filter and the exposure was set to 0.001 sec. Light was further reduced by using a Moon filter in fromt of the camera. Great shot Chuck!
NGC 2264781 viewsNGC 2264 in the constellation of Monoceros consists of the Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster. The Cone Nebula is an H II region and a dark absorption nebula. The Christmas Tree cluster (upside down) is the open cluster above the nebula. The bright star towards the top center (S Mon) represents the center of the trunk while HD 47887 above the cone nebula, represents the top. Not officially part of NGC 2264 is the Fox Fur Nebula, the blue and red furry like area next to S Mon. 200 min total exposure.
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