NGC 6992 – The Eastern Veil Nebula

The brightest portion of the Easter Veil Nebula is the region of NGC 6992. This is just a small section of the entire Cygnus Loop. The Cygnus Loop consists of the Western Veil , Eastern Veil, and Pickering’s Triangle. Discovered on September 5, 1784 by William Herschel, he described the western end as ex extending through the star 52 Cygni and roughly 2 degrees in length. He also described the eastern veil as branching nebulosity stringing and coming together towards the southern end. This nebula is large, but relatively faint, and it is a supernova remnant. The source of the supernova is estimated between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago. The entire Cygnus Loop covers and area of 3 degrees in diameter with an estimated distance of 1,470 light years from Earth. Analysis by the Hubble Space Telescope indicate the presence of oxygen, sulfur, and hydrogen.

Location of the Eastern Veil Nebula

Location of the Eastern Veil Nebula

Through the eyepiece I couldn’t see the nebula, and even a 2 minute photo it was very faint and hard to spot. The 5 minute images brought out more of the nebula and showed hints of the blues tucked into the red. Maybe the ¾ moon played a roll in washing it out so it was hard to see in the eyepiece.

Eastern Veil Nebula taken June 08, 2014

This image is 18 shots at 5 minutes each ISO 800. 33 Flat frames, and 20 dark frames. Stacked in deep sky stacker and post processing in Photoshop.

Equipment:
Omni XLT 150
CG-5 Advanced Series Go-To
PHD autoguiding
Orion Starshoot autoguider
Modified Canon 350D

M13 – The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

Messier object 13 is a large globular cluster in the constellation, Hercules. It is one of the most prominent globular clusters in the Northern celestial hemisphere. Discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714 who observed that the cluster can be seen with the unaided eye in dark enough conditions (back then, that meant without a large moon washing out the sky, not so much city lights). Charles Messier cataloged M13 on June 1, 1764. It lies approximately 25,100 light years away from Earth with a diameter of 20′ (20 arcminutes) or 145 light years visually. There are several hundreds of thousands of stars in the cluster where most of them are highly concentrated in the core of the cluster.

Location of M13 in Hercules.

Location of M13 in Hercules.

With the unaided eye in a clear dark location you can easily spot the faint fuzzy look of M13 in Hercules. With binoculars or a small telescope the core becomes quite prominent, and with a larger scope still you can begin to focus some of the stars away from the dense core. Excellent object for any beginner to look at and is relatively easily to find.

M13 – The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules taken in the early hours of June 8, 2014.

This image is 13 images at 5 minutes and 24 images at 2 minutes for a total of 2.8 hours, all images taken at ISO 800. 33 flat frames, and 44 dark frames. Stacked in deep sky stacker and post processing in photoshop. I did the two exposures as separate stacks and combined them in Photoshop. I was attempting to bring out some detail in the core with the shorter exposures while trying to get the dimmer outer stars of the cluster using the longer exposures. Didn’t quite work the way as planned, but I’m still pleased with the final restuls.

Equipment:
Omni XLT 150
CG-5 Advanced Series Go-To
PHD autoguiding
Orion Starshoot autoguider
Modified Canon 350D

IC 405 – Flaming Star Nebula

IC405, also known as the Flaming Star Nebula in the constellation Auriga. This nebula is an emission/reflection nebula which seems to surround the bright star AE Aurigae which shines at a magnitude of 6.0. AE Aurigae is an irregular varriable star. IC 405 lies about 1500 light-years away and a width of 5 light-years across. The central star can be traced back to the Orion’s belt area.

IC 405 Location in Auriga

IC 405 Location in Auriga

This nebula was not visible through the eyepiece of the telescope, and was only showing in some of it’s brighter areas in the 5 minute images.

IC 405 images on the nights of March 3, 5, and 6, 2014

Taken on the nights of March 3, 5, and 6, 2014. A total of 90 images stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and post processing in Photoshop. This was my first multiple night imaging session, and only my second imaging session with my new CG-5 mount with PHD guiding. Each image is a 5 minute exposure at ISO 800. I need a bit more practice with my image acquisitions over a course of many nights, but for my first attempt this wasn’t too bad.

M13 – The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

M13 discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714 and then added to Charles Messier’s catalog on June 1, 1764, is a bright globular cluster in the constellation Hercules. This globular cluster is one of the largest visible in the northern hemisphere and on a clear dark night without a moon to interfere it is visible to the unaided eye. M13 is 25,100 light years away with an angular diameter of 20′, or 145 light years. The cluster contains hundreds of thousands of stars, and towards it’s dense core the stars are more about 500 times more concentrated than in the solar neighborhood. The age of the cluster is estimated to be around 14 billion years which was the revised estimate in 1962. There is a peculiar young blue star located within M13 named, Barnard No. 29.

'X' marks the location of M13

‘X’ marks the location of M13

I imaged and viewed this while there was an nearly full moon present and through the telescope it still stood out visually, although it seemed to wash out everything but the core for visual observing, and made resolving individual stars more difficult. Despite having a nearly full moon I was still able to get some pretty good images showing off this large northern hemisphere globular cluster.

M13 04-28-13

This image is 45 images at 1 minute a piece at ISO 800 with 34 dark frames. Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, and post processing done in Photoshop.

I get all my Messier list Deep Sky object information from The Messier Catalog.

Equipment:
Omni XLT 150 with CG-4 mount
Modded Canon 350D
T-ring and adapter
Intervalometer
Polar Scope for alignment

M101 – Pinwheel Galaxy

I have posted a picture of M101 in the past with a description, but since this is a new picture I will give you a new description.

M101 discovered on March 27, 1781 by Pierre Méchain was one of the last Messier objects added to Charles Messier’s catalog. Identified as a “spiral nebula” before they knew there were other galaxies in the Universe. This relatively faint galaxy can be quite a challenge to spot, and the central core is the most visible portion of it in smaller telescope with the possibility of spotting hints of the spiral arms from dark sky sites. The exact distance of the galaxy isn’t set in stone it is somewhere around 24 +/- 2 million light-years away, and has a linear diameter of over 170,000 light-years making it one of the biggest disk galaxies.

'X' Marks the spot for M101

‘X’ Marks the spot for M101

Visually from my backyard I was able to barely make out the core of this galaxy. It could have easily been mistaken as a very dim comet, or a small dim star with a slight nebulosity around it. The easiest way I found it is the surrounding stars in my finder scope. To ensure that I had this galaxy in my field of view I had to take a 30 second exposure.

M101 The Pinwheel Galaxy 03-16-13

This image is made from 39 images at 2 minutes a piece for a total of 1 hour and 18 minutes total exposure time, shot at ISO 800 – like most of my images since it seems to be the sweet spot for the Canon 350D giving me the least amount of noise per frame. I had shot a total of 45 images, but threw out a few due to a bit of star trailing caused by gear slip on my mount.

These images were extremely hard to work with considering the light pollution. I spent many hours trying everything I could to remove light pollution and preserving as much detail and color as I could.

Equipment:
Omni XLT 150 with CG-4 mount
Canon 350D
T-ring and adapter
Intervalometer
Polar Scope for alignment