North American Nebula, processed 8 different ways

This is the same data (27 exposures, 3 minutes each) as in the previous post.  Four different ways of combining the exposures, and two different methods of removing background coloration (an overwhelming green from the light pollution filter I was using) from the resulting image.

I think the second one (“integration-ABE1-“) is best, but I was a bit slapdash in preparing the images for posting, so that may be an issue…

Colorless North American Nebula

Faintly colored image of the North American Nebula

This is the North American Nebula, with a bit of the Pelican Nebula at the bottom.  A stack of 27 3-minute exposures.  I’m not sure why there isn’t more color; color still remains a bit of a mystery to me…

Veil Nebula wide view

Veil Nebule wide view
Both the Eastern and Western portions of the Veil Nebula

Remains of an exploded star. This is over an hour exposure total, through a 61mm telescope, in not so great suburban skies.

Veil Nebula

Part of Veil Nebula
This is part of the Veil Nebula, in Cygnus

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.)

M57, Ring Nebula

Ring Nebula, M57 in Lyra
The tiny greenish doughnut in the center is the famous Ring Nebula.

(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.

Beta Lyra

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…


Clouds around Sadr
Sadr is the bright star in the center. Evocative name…

Sadr is at the center of the cross in Cygnus.  600 second single exposure — the sky was very transparent last night.

NGC 4565 other browser test

NGC 4565 9 exposure integration
Stack of 9 exposures, each 15 minutes long…

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.


Airplane lightes wrecking an astrophoto
Airplane tracks…

I live in a heavily trafficked metropolitan air space.  NGC 4565 is dead center, again.

NGC 4565, redux

NGC 4565
NGC 4565 in its field of stars.

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.)


Edge on spiral galaxy
I don’t have any equipment that make this object visible by eye. Only a long exposure photo works…

(Click on the image to expand it — the default display size is difficult.)