IC 1318
This is an image of part of the diffuse emission nebula that surrounds the star Gamma Cygni (Sadr). Sadr is the bright glow just to the upper left of the image. This nebula also contains a number of dark nebulae as well.
IC 1318 - Black and White
This is a black and white version of the image to the left. Sometimes processing an image this way will show more contrast and thus more detail. Adding some star diffraction spikes may also give the image a little more visual appeal.
Messier 1 - The Crab Nebula
The Crab Nebula was first identified by John Bevis in 1731. It is a supernova remnant that was first observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054. It is about 6500 light years away and spans a diameter of about 11 light years. The star that went supernova is now known as the Crab Pulsar, a pulsar that spins 30 times per second.
                              Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                              Date: November 10, 2012
                              Mount: AP 900GTO
                              Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -28c
                              Exposure: 18x10min. subs = 3hrs.
                               Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                               Date: November 10, 2012
                               Mount: AP 900GTO
                               Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -28c
                               Exposure: 18x10min. subs = 3hrs.
                               Location: Lake San Antonio, CA
                               Date: February 3, 2011
                               Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                               Telescope: Meade 10" f/10 SCT
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -26c
                               Exposure: 3x20min. subs = 1hr.
ic1318h56-8-1 ic1318h56-8-2 m1




IC 1805 - The Heart Nebula
The Heart Nebula is an emission nebula consisting of dark dust lanes and glowing gas. It is about 7800 light years away.
IC 1805 - The Heart Nebula - Black and White
This is a black and white version of the image to the left.
Messier 8 - The Lagoon Nebula
The Lagoon Nebula is an immense cloud of interstellar gas and is an emission nebula. It lies about 6500 light years away and spans 110 by 50 light years.
                              Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                              Date: October 28, 2011
                              Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                              Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -14c
                              Exposure: 10x10min. subs = 1hr. 40min.
                               Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                               Date: October 28, 2011
                               Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                               Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/newt
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -14c
                               Exposure: 10x10min. subs = 1hr. 40min.
                               Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
                               Date: September 24, 2008
                               Mount: Losmandy GM-8
                               Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8" f/4
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000 OSC @ -23c
                               Exposure: 3x5min. subs = 15min.
ic1805 ic1805 m8




Messier 45 - The Pleiades
Messier 45, sometimes known also as The Seven Sisters, is an open cluster. It's made up of a number of very hot blue stars that formed within the last 100 million years. The cluster is moving through an interstellar dust cloud and illuminating the dust which makes the dust cloud a reflection nebula.
Messier 57 - The Ring Nebula
The Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula that lies 4100 light years away and is between 6000 and 8000 years old. As an average size star nears the end of its life it expands to a very large diameter. As the last of its fuel is expended it explosively sheds its outer atmosphere and then contracts to leave an expanding planetary nebula and a white dwarf star at its center. The ring is more than 1000 times the width of our own solar system (Sun to Neptune distance).
Messier 57 - The Ring Nebula
This is a cropped and zoomed version of the image of M57 to the left. Right near the center of the image you can see the very small and very faint spiral galaxy IC 1296.
                               Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                               Date: October 23, 2011
                               Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                              Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm @ -14
                              Exposure: 6x10min. subs = 1hr.
                               Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
                               Date: November 22, 2008
                               Mount: Losmandy GM-8
                               Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8" f/4
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -23c
                               Exposure:6x10min. subs = 1hr.
                               Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
                               Date: November 22, 2008
                               Mount: Losmandy GM-8
                               Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8" f/4
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -23c
                               Exposure:6x10min. subs = 1hr.
45 m57 m57




NGC 3587 - The Owl Nebula
The Owl Nebula is a planetary nebula discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1791. A drawing in 1848 by William Parsons served to give it the name Owl Nebula. It is 2600 light years away and about 8000 years old. This was the first image I took with my new Celestron 9.25" f/10 cassegrain telescope.
NGC 6960 - The Veil Nebula
Discovered by William Herschel in 1784, the Veil Nebula is a supernova remnant that formed about 15,000 years ago. Since it's so old it has expanded and dissapated enough that it no longer resembles a traditional looking planetary nebula. It is a nebula that has a number of brighter areas that astro photographers enjoy imaging.
NGC 6960 - The Veil Nebula
This is another view of the Veil Nebula taken two weeks after the previous image.
                               Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                               Date: March 9, 2013
                               Mount: AP 900GTo
                               Telescope: Celestron 9.25"f/10 Cassegrain
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC
                               Exposure: 18x5min. subs = 1hr. 30min.
                               Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
                               Date: September 15, 2010
                               Mount: Lomandy G11 Go-To
                               Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -12c
                               Exposure: 6x5min. subs = 30min.
                               Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
                               Date: September 29, 2010
                              Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                              Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -16c
                              Exposure: 5x10min. subs = 50min.
ngc3587 ngc6960 ngc6960




NGC 7293 - The Helix Nebula
The Helix Nebula is a planetary nebula that was discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding sometime before 1824. It is about 700 light years away. Its estimated age is around 11,000 years.
NGC 2264 - The Christmas Tree Cluster and H V.27 - The Cone Nebula
NGC 2264 is the bright area near the center known as the Christmas Tree Cluster. The Cone Nebula is in the upper right and is part of the star making nebular cloud that surrounds the central cluster. It is about 2600 light years away.
NGC 7635 - The Bubble Nebula
The Bubble Nebula is an emission nebula that was discovered by William Herschel in 1787. It is about 7800 light years away.
                               Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                               Date: September 6, 2010
                               Mount: Losmandy G11 GO-To
                               Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -12c
                               Exposure: 9x10min. subs = 1hr. 30min.
                               Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                               Date: March 15, 2013
                               Mount: AP 900GTO
                               Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -30c
                               Exposure: 6x10min. subs = 1hr.
                               Location: Sun River, Bend, OR
                               Date: July 24, 2011
                               Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                               Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -18
                               Exposure: 8x20min. subs = 2hrs. 40min.
ngc7293 ngc2264 ngc7635




Messier 20 - The Trifid Nebula
This is one of my favorite images. The red portion is the more visible area and seems to be divided into three lobes, thus the name Trifid. The lower, red portion is an emission nebula. The upper, blue portion is a reflection nebula, and the dark areas that separate the sections are dark nebula. It is about 9000 light years away.
Messier 27 - The Dumbbell Nebula
One of the more popular objects of visual astronomers and imagers alike, The Dumbbell Nebula is a planetary nebula located about 800 light years away. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.
NGC 1977 - The Running Man Nebula
The Running Man Nebula is another of my favorite images. It is a reflection nebula with a shape that looks like a running man, and is located just north of the Great Orion Nebula. This image has been flipped horizontally.
                               Location: Golden State Star Party, Adin, CA
                               Date: July 6, 2013
                               Mount: AP 900GTO
                               Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -18c
                               Exposure: 20x10min. subs = 3hrs. 20min.
                               Location: Golden State Star Party, Adin, CA
                               Date: July 8, 2013
                               Mount: AP 900GTO
                               Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                               Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -18c
                               Exposure: 26x10min. subs = 4hrs. 20min.
                              Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                              Date: December 17, 2011
                              Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                              Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -24c
                              Exposure: 14x5min. subs = 1hr. 10min.
m20 m27 ngc1977




Barmard 33 - The Horsehead Nebula and NGC 2024 - The Flame Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula within the emission nebula IC 434 in the constellation Orion. It was first detected on a photographic plate by Williamina Fleming in 1888. It is nicely contrasted by the cloud of red hydrogen gas behind it. The bright star to the left of center is Alnitak. The bright area to the lower right of Alnitak is a star making region behind the dark nebula that is shining through from behind. The Flame Nebula to the bottom left is an emission nebula that lies about 1500 light years away. It is gas that is illuminated and excited by the star Alnitak above it. There are clouds of dark gas and dust in front of the nebula that gives it its flame appearance.
Messier 42 - The Great Orion Nebula
The Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula located about 1600 light years away and is about 24 light years across. The bright central region known as the Trapezium is an active star making area. This nebula is just part of a larger cloud of gas and dust that encompasses most of the constellation Orion.
Messier 42 - The Great Orion Nebula
This is another image of the Great Orion Nebula. It was taken for practice out on the back deck. I had just purchased an SBIG AO-8 adaptive optics unit for improved guiding.
                              Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                              Date: November 22, 2008
                              Mount: Losmandy GM-8
                              Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8" f/4
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -23c
                              Exposure: 6x10min. subs = 1hr.
                              Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
                              Date: November 22, 2008
                              Mount: Losmandy GM-8
                              Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8' f/4
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -23c
                              Exposure: 4x5min. subs = 20min.
                              Location: Watsonville, CA
                              Date: March 2, 2012
                              Mount: Losmany G11 Go-To
                              Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -28c
                              Exposure: 10x5min. subs = 50min.
b33 m42 m42




NGC 6888 - The Crescent Nebula
The Crescent Nebula is an emission nebula that lies about 5000 light years away. It was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 1792.
NGC 6888 - The Crescent Nebula
Here is another image of the Crescent Nebula taken two years after the one to the left. This was also imaged at the Nightfall Star Party at Borrego Springs, CA
NGC 6995 - The Veil Nebula East
A section of the Eastern Veil Nebula. Taken at the Golden State Star Party. The Veil Nebula is a very feint cloud of hot gas that is a supernova remnant. It is estimated to be approximately 1500 light years distant. I combined 5 subs at -18c and 10 subs at -20c.
                              Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                              Date: October 28, 2011
                              Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
                              Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -12c
                              Exposure: 6x10min. subs = 1hr.
                              Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                              Date: October 31, 2013
                              Mount: AP 900GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain w/6.2 FR
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -20c
                              Exposure: 22x10min. subs = 3hr. 40min.
                              Location: Golden State Star Party, Adin, CA
                              Date: June 28, 2014
                              Mount: AP 900GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain w/6.2 FR
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -20c
                              Exposure: 15x10min. subs = 2hr. 30min.
ngc6888-1 ngc6888-2 ngc6995-East




NGC 6888 - The Crescent Nebula
Here is my first real attempt at imaging with my new SBIG STF-8300m camera with filters. This first image is 6 hours of color data. The other two to the right demonstrate how incorporating a Hydrogen Alpha image into a color image changes the end product.
NGC 6888 - The Crescent Nebula
This second image is the Hydrogen Alpha. This was just one 30 minute image that was really noisy and took a lot of effort to get cleaned up. That's why we take as many images of an object as we can.
NGC 6888 - The Crescent Nebula
Here are the color and Ha images combined. The Ha really brings a lot to the image and the new camera adds a tremendous amount of resolution. This is a vast improvement over the One-Shot-Color (OSC) camera. The trade-off is that it takes considerably longer to acquire all the sub frames for a finished image.
                       Location: Golden State Star Party, Adin, CA
                       Date: June 20, 2017
                       Mount: AP 900GTO
                       Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                       Camera: SBIG STF-8300m w/filters @ -14c
                       Exposure: R,G and B = 12x10min. subs each = 6.0 hrs.
                              Location: Golden State Star Party, Adin, CA
                              Date: June 20, 2017
                              Mount: AP 900GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                              Camera: SBIG STF-8300m w/filters @ -14c
                              Exposure: Ha 1x30min. = 30min.
                              Location: Golden State Star Party, Adin, CA
                              Date: June 20, 2017
                              Mount: AP 900GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                              Camera: SBIG STF-8300m with filters @ -14c
                              Exposure: Combined Color and Ha = 6.5 hrs.
ngc6888 ngc6888 ngc6888




Barnard 33 - The Horsehead Nebula
The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula located right next to the star Alnitak, which is the left-most star in Orion's belt. It is about 1200 light years away from us. More information is listed above with the wide-field view. This is the color version with a B&W version next door to the right. The nighttime temps. were pretty warm, so, even though I managed to get 4 hrs of exposure time there were considerable amounts of noise to deal with in processing.
Barnard 33 - The Horsehead Nebula
This is the B&W version. Sometimes a color image that has some noise problems like the one to the left can be improved simply by converting to grayscale. Which do you like better?
NGC 7635 - The Bubble Nebula in Hydrogen Alpha
This is a re-make of the Bubble Nebula - this time with my new camera, the SBIG STF-8300m with a Hydrogen Alpha filter. This is a one hour exposure. The next image is a combination of this image and an RGB image (Red, Blue, Green). The Bubble Nebula is an emission nebula that was discovered by William Herschel in 1787. It is about 7800 light years away.
                              Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                              Date: March 9, 2015
                              Mount: AP900 GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain/
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -12c
                              Exposure: 24x10min. subs = 4hr.
                              Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                              Date: March 9, 2015
                              Mount: AP900 GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                              Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -12c
                              Exposure: 24x10min. subs = 4hr.
                              Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                              Date: October 17, 2017
                              Mount: AP900 GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                              Camera: SBIG STF-8300m @ -14c
                              Exposure: 2x30min. subs = 1hr.
b33 b33 Bubble Nebula




NGC 7635 - The Bubble Nebula (RGB + Ha)
This is a combination of the preceeding Hydrogen Alpha image with an RGB image. I was only able to get 30 minutes of exposure time on this object due to operator error with my guide scope. Will do better next time.
NGC 2359 - Thor's Helmet
Thor's Helmet is an emission nebula located in Canis Major. It lies 12,000 light years away from us and its central star is a Wolf-Rayet star which is thought to be in a pre-supernova stage of evolution. This image is my first experience with using a remote rental telescope. https://app.telescope.live has a number of telescopes located around the world that you can sign up to use for imaging sessions (for a fee of course). The rates are pretty reasonable for the quality of the images. This object was imaged from an observatory in Chile. For an image that is only a total of 30 min long, I think it turned out great. It was a lot of fun to process an image that came to me as high quality raw data.
NGC 2070 - Tarantula Nebula
In our local group of galaxies, the Tarantula Nebula is the largest star forming regions as well as the largest Hydrogen II regions. It is so bright that if it were as close to us as the Orion Nebula (1600 Ly), it would produce visible shadows in in daylight. it is 160,000 light years away and is 931 light years in size. This nebula will probably evolve into a massive globular cluster.
Processing this image was a bit difficult. The core region is extremely bright while the outer regions are much dimmer. To partially solve the exposure problem I used 10-minute exposures for the outer region and 5-minute exposures for the core.
                              Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                              Date: October 17, 2017
                              Mount: AP900 GTO
                              Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain/
                              Camera: SBIG STF-8300m @ -14c
                              Exposure: 3x10min. subs = 30 min.
                              Location: El Sauce Observatory, Chile
                              Date: December 16, 2019
                              Mount: Mathis MI-1000
                              Telescope: Planewave CDK24 f/6.6   (CHI-1)
                              Camera: FLI PL9000 @ -25c
                              Exposure: 3 x 10min each for LRGBHa. Total: 30min.
                              Location: El sauce Observatory, Chile
                              Date: March 22, 2020
                              Mount: Mathis MI-1000
                              Telescope: Planewave CDK24 f/6.6   (CHI-1)
                              Camera: FLI PL9000 @ -25c
                              Exposure: 9 x 10min abd 5 min each for LRGB. Total 90min.
Bubble Nebula ngc 2359
tg




Sharpless 2-136 (Sh2-136) The Ghost of Cepheus
The Ghost of Cepheus is a reflection nebula located in Cepheus on the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex. There are several new stars embedded in the nebula itself which give it a brownish color. It is usually referred to as a Globule. This nebula spans about 2 light years across and lies about 1470 light years away. The star right in the middle of the nebula is a proto-star.
SpaceX Starlink Satellite Effects on Astrophotography
This was my first encounter with the Starlink satellites. This is a 10 minute image from a group of six through a red filter that are part of the image to the left.
Software developers are going to have to come up with some very powerful programs that can handle these issues. Using CCDStack, it took almost three hours to get this streak processed out enough to be able to use the image.
If the streak is so bright that it saturates the pixels in the camera, then all of the data underneath the streak is lost. That's the problem for both amateur and professional imagers and astronomers.
NGC 2239 (Caldwell 49) - The Rosette Nebula
The Rosette Nebula is a HII region in Monoceros and lies about 5200 light-years away. It is 65 light-years in diameter which is about half the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy. The stars in the center are an open cluster (NGC) 2237) which is made up of 36 new stars. If you zoom deep into this image and scroll through it you'll find at least an additional 45 galaxies.
This image is different in that the colors are not what we usually see in an image. This object, the Rosette Nebula is very difficult to see in our normal visible light, but taken through different filters, in this case - Hydrogen, Oxygen and Sulphur, we can bring out details of an object that might not normally be visible.
                              Location: El Sauce Observatory, Chile                              
                              Date: July 17, 2020
                              Mount: Officina Stellare EQ Mount
                              Telescope: Officina Stellare Pro RC 700 (27" f/8) (SPA-2)
                              Camera: FLI PL16803 23' x 23'   @-25c
                              Exposure: LRGB 6 x 10 min each Total: 1 hr
                              Location: El Sauce Observatory, Chile                              
                              Date: July 17, 2020
                              Mount: Officina Stellare EQ Mount
                              Telescope: Officina Stellare Pro RC 700 (27" f/8) (SPA-2)
                              Camera: FLI PL16803 23' x 23'   @-25c
                              Exposure: LRGB 6 x 10 min eachTotal: 1 hr.
                              Location: El Sauce Observatory, Chile CHI-2
                              Date: February 20, 2021
                              Mount: ASA DDM85
                              Telescope:  ASA 500N
(CHI-2)                              
                              Camera: FLI PL16803 @-30c
                              Exposure: SHO 6 x 600 sec each Total: 1 hr.
Sh2-136
Sh2-136
ngc2239