Remains of an exploded star. This is over an hour exposure total, through a 61mm telescope, in not so great suburban skies.
It is really much dimmer than this image would indicate. I boosted the contrast and brightness a great deal. The Veil Nebula is another chestnut image…
Update: Slightly better version of the photo, rotated to match the Wikipedia article on the Veil Nebula, which has some stunning images. This is NGC6992, or the “Eastern Veil”. Weather permitting, I will try to image the rest of it soon. (Cygnus is actually not quite in the best position for me now.)
(If you click on the image to expand to full size, the ring will become more clear.) Constellation Lyra.
The rightmost of the three bright stars along the bottom edge is Beta Lyrae, an eclipsing binary system with what seems to me to be a very short period — about 13 days. The next minimum brightness is on June 21, so it’s on the dimmer side at this moment.
I think the smaller of the pair is kissing at the upper left edge. Weather and attention span permitting, I will take another picture in a few days to see if the position has changed. I will be absolutely amazed if my tiny telescope can actually show two stars orbiting each other over a span of a few days!
Further research says: Nope. Wikipedia has a great article about Beta Lyrae, and the eclipsing binary cannot be resolved by optical telescopes. However, there are separable companions of Beta Lyrae that are undoubtedly captured above. Unfortunately, I can’t identify them…
Sadr is at the center of the cross in Cygnus. 600 second single exposure — the sky was very transparent last night.
On my desktop monitor, the needle of NGC 4565 is quit clear, and if I expand the image I can clearly make out the dark lane across the galaxy. But on other systems, it is just too faint.
Still, pictures like these are a much more accurate representation of what the view is through even a fairly big amateur telescope. These objects are far away and small and dim, and that is part of the appeal.
I live in a heavily trafficked metropolitan air space. NGC 4565 is dead center, again.
It’s the tiny needle dead center in the photo. Hard to see unless you view it on a large screen, maybe with the brightness turned up. Space is an extremely lonely place…
(This image needs a lot more processing — maybe I will post a better version later.)
(Click on the image to expand it — the default display size is difficult.)
M97 is upper center right — you can make out the 2 “eyes”; M108 is upper right; NGC 3656 is barely visible in the lower left corner, and NGC 3549 is barely visible in the lower right. About the limit of the conditions, the equipment, and the image processing skill.
Here I try to bring out the noise that I worked so hard to eliminate in the first photo. As a photo, I think this one is better…
For comparison, here is the definitive Hubble view.