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Deep Sky Nebula

New camera

I finally took the plunge and ordered a Moravian G3-16200 camera. This is a monochrome camera and whilst the pixels are slightly larger than the KAF-8300 equipped QHY9 there are also a lot more of them. Setting up has been rather a long process that still isn’t completed but at least it’s attached and able to take pictures. The increased sensor size and weight has highlighted some issues with my Takahashi FSQ85-ED Baby-Q. There is some tilt in the optical train and stars are elongated in the corners. Hopefully, I’ll be able to work out solutions for these problems.

One of my purchases was a Baader 3.5nm Ha filter and this image was taken with it last night. The night’s are still very short here so only 2 hours in 20 minute sub-frames of the emission nebula IC1396 in Cepheus.

IC1396

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Deep Sky Nebula

The Iris revisited

On a wet and windy bank holiday Monday I finally got back to this subject for another attempt at processing. Having dedicated about 23 hours acquiring the images and spending countless more hours processing the data I still felt that there was more in this image than I’d managed to extract.

I’ve learnt a lot about the Pixinsight tools I regularly use on other projects and added a few more to the toolbox. Overall, I’m very happy with this result.

Iris

Astronomy Now magazine were kind enough to use this image in their June 2016 edition.

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Deep Sky Nebula

NGC 281 – The Pacman

This is an image from last December when I gathered 6 hours worth of 10 minute subframes over several evenings. This is a large colourful emission nebula in Cassiopeia and is part of the Perseus spiral arm of our galaxy.

Pacman Nebula
Pacman Nebula
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Deep Sky Nebula

22 hours on the Iris

With some favourable nights back in October I increased the number of 15 minute subframes I’d acquired of the Iris nebula and the final tally was around 23 hours. A few were rejected and the remainder stacked and processed in Pixinsight.

This is the latest version.

NGC 7023

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Deep Sky Nebula

Barnard 150

This has been another of those longer projects gathering 10 minute frames overĀ  3 nights in September for a total just short of 15 hours. Processing has been done entirely in Pixinsight.

B150 is located in Cepheus and isn’t often seen in images. Here’s my attempt to redress the balance.

B150-2_web

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Deep Sky Nebula

The Iris nebula

This is a wider field of view around the Iris nebula in Cepheus (vdB139) and shows the extensive dust clouds that surround the reflection nebula itself. This is another of those objects that I’m in a constant state of gathering more frames for; so far this is up to 8 hours in 15 minute subframes.

vdB139

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Deep Sky Nebula

Abell 31

This has been my longest imaging project to date coming in at over 17 hours of RGB data in 10 and 20 minute subframes. The reason for this has been the very faint nature of the target against the light pollution here. To reduce the noise to acceptable values it’s been necessary to acquire rather more images. Contrasted with the pristine skies of Tivoli, Namibia it’s bought home the difficulties and additional work required to successfully target faint objects from UK skies.

Abell 31

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Deep Sky Nebula

The Rosette nebula

Having pollarded a willow in the garden and removed an Alder I now have a much clearer view across the southern horizon and for objects above Sirius I don’t have to worry about obstructions. Having also replace the Observatory Netbook with a dual core Atom embedded PC board this was a convenient test target to ensure that all was working as it should be.

This is 200 minutes of exposure in 10 minute sub frames, processed in Pixinsight.

NGC2244

Bob Samuel had also imaged this object with Ha, SII and OIII filters using his ED80 and combined them with my colour data for this result:

Image26

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Deep Sky Nebula

Barnard 7

Another New Moon and another dark, dusty nebula; this time in Taurus. Barnard 15 is listed in the catalog with this note: “Large, irregular, with brighter condensation (B 10) in SE part“.

I was lucky enough to get 6 hours worth of images on the first night and I followed this up with another 3 a couple of days later. Individual sub-frames are the usual 10 minutes and both stacking and processing are done exclusively in Pixinsight.

b7_WEB

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Deep Sky Nebula

Barnard 15

I haven’t posted here for a while now. I post most initial looks at data sets on the Breckland Facebook page so this is the place to visit for the most up to date information. However, I will endeavour to keep this page reasonably current.

Last Saturday evening was crisp and clear with a waning moon. As I have an interest in dark dusty things I selected Barnard 15 as the target. Outside of the main plane of the Milky Way, this dark nebula is very black and sharply defined against a background of uniformly bright stars. Also in the frame are Barnard 16 & 17 along with much fainter dust clouds.

The lack of stars in front of B15 indicate that it’s pretty close to us. These clouds are dark due to the presence of sub-micrometre dust particles coated in frozen nitrogen and carbon monoxide. Also present is molecular hydrogen, atomic helium and C18O along with a cocktail of exotic molecules.

This is an update of the image I posted on Facebook with a more aggressive noise reduction process early in processing. Consequently, I’ve been able to stretch the contrast more to emphasise the fainter dust structures and apply a stronger colour saturation to the stars.

37 individual exposures of 10 minutes each were gathered before the moon rose for a total of a little over 6 hours.

Barnard 15