NGC7635 Bubble Nebula: second image

In constellation CEPHEUS. 30 – 90sec lights @ 800 ISO. One dark. 10″ Schmidt-Newt w/ Cannon T3. Optolong L-Pro filter.

Stacked with Nebulosity, edited in GIMP. I need more images (more data) to get a better (and more detailed) image.

By Steve J Posted in Main

First image of NGC7635 – Bubble Nebula

In constellation CEPHEUS. 10 – 20sec lights @ 800 ISO 10″ Schmidt-Newt w/ Cannon T3. Optolong L-Pro filter.

First image of the Bubble Nebula. Edited in GIMP. I need more images (more data) to get a better (and more detailed) image.



By Steve J Posted in Main

M1 from 2010

Observing With NASA

I have been digging out old images and re-editing them. This image was captured via Observing with NASA – a public education site in which one can send schedules to robotic telescopes in Arizona and obtain selected images via email. This is a project in collaboration with Harvard University and is part of the MicroObservatory Robotic Observatory Network. This is used in primary education. I have used it in the past.

Here is an old image of the Crab Nebula from ten years ago that I have edited in GIMP.

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In the control room

A screenshot of operations and the home office. I operate it all from inside over WiFi. Each telescope has its own on-board mini PC: I then remote desktop into each one.

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M57: Ring Nebula

M57 – The Ring Nebula. 30sec x20 @ISO800. Optolong L-Pro. DSLR. sn-10 OTA. 

Getting better at using the dark light levels in GIMP.

The Ring Nebula (also catalogued as Messier 57M57 or NGC 6720) is a planetary nebula in the northern constellation of Lyra.[4] Such objects are formed when a shell of ionized gas is expelled into the surrounding interstellar medium by a star in the last stages of its evolution before becoming a white dwarf. (Wiki

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M27 – The Dumbbell Nebula. 30sec x20 @ISO800. Optolong L-Pro. DSLR. sn-10 OTA

The Dumbbell Nebula (also known as Apple Core NebulaMessier 27M 27, or NGC 6853) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 1227 light-years.[1] This object was the first planetary nebula to be discovered; by Charles Messier in 1764. At its brightness of visual magnitude 7.5 and its diameter of about 8 arcminutes, it is easily visible in binoculars,[5] and a popular observing target in amateur telescopes. (Wiki

By Steve J Posted in Main

Tonight’s targets


…Processing images.

Next targets:

*IC342 spiral galaxy in Camelopardalis
*NGC 869 double cluster in Perseus
*IC 348 star-forming region in the constellation Perseus


10″ Schmidt-Newtonian telescope with Canon T7 DSLR w/ Optolong L-Pro.

By Steve J Posted in Main

Session Aug 19 2020

Deneb – IC1805 – NGC6884. Yes, I need to start using flat frames. Filter: Optolong L-Pro. Images are 180Sec @ 800ISO: Canon T7 DSLR. Also below is the heart of IC1805 and NGC6884.

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By Steve J Posted in Main

IC1805: Combined image – Take 1

Using GIMP to process images. I have not yet become skilled in gradient removal but I am improving somewhat. Here are some rough Ha images of IC1805 combined with images taken with the Optolong L-Pro filter: my first attempt at stacking different images with at various wavelengths – I do see the advantage of this; however primitive my process is now. Some of these images are sharpened; but I do prefer the un-sharpened images. BTW: Shooting with Canon T7 DSLR: 180sec, 1600ISO. Telescope: Meade LXD75 SN-10.

So what’s next? I will continue to learn with this object IC1805. My next exposures will have a lower ISO setting to bring down the brightness that is causing the vignette – 180 or 300 seconds with ISO 800 (using the Optolong L-Pro), and the same with the Ha. Anything higher than ISO 800 is just too bright with the light pollution at my location. I have been considering trying out the Optolong L-enhance filter:

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By Steve J Posted in Main

IC1805: Heart Nebula

Next target: IC1805. I have started to image this nebula in Ha the other week. I have decided to switch filters over to the Optolong L-Pro – a multiband filter in OIII (496 nm and 500 nm), H-beta (486 nm), NII (654 nm and 658 nm), H-alpha (656 nm), as well as SII (672 nm). Optolong_L-Pro-transmission-lines_grande

I use this filter frequently, as my location is at a Bortle 7 – high on the light pollution scale. I do aim to have my images completed this month in August 2020.

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Shooting in Ha

Shooting in Hydrogen Alpha. I am finding out that to get a good image (particularly in narrowband) one has to take a LOT of images. Here are a couple for a start. The first is IC1805 the Heart Nebula in Cassiopeia. While a large number of additional images are needed to create a descent stack, we can start to see the detail in the heart IC1805. I also stacked about 15 lights of M57 for some fun. Canon T7 DSLR: 180sec, 800ISO.

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Current targets

I plan on shooting in Ha and OIII. Shooting in Hydrogen Alpha and Oxygen III will bring out the fine details of these planetary nebulae. The Moon is waning but these filters should cut out that ambient light.

As the Northern part of the sky is the most accessible from my location in my little neighborhood, filters are a must.

Using the Mead LXD75 sn-10 with Skywatcher EQ6-r.

Current targets: 

Cats eye nebula in Draco (c6/ngc6543 9mag) in Ha and OIII.

Owl nebula in Ursa Major (9.90mag M97) in Ha and OIII. I have imaged this often, but never got a decent image, and there is so much light pollution in this location. These filters and image stacking should fix that. See:

IC3568 Lemon Slice in Ursa Minor. Mag 11.10.


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Images of Jupiter last night. Some are slightly out of focus to enhance the moons. One shot is a focus/calibration shot. Better images with greater magnification on the way tonight.

New WiFi focuser: nFOCUS from Rigelsys

I am beta testing the new WiFi nFocus from Rigelsys. I have set it up on the Celestron C6. The people at Rigelsys have worked with me to find the right fit for the C6 focuser base and have sent out this one. It installed easily with two screws and I am controlling it via the on-board PC: I use remote access to the PC via Windows RDP.

I use APT (Astro Photography Tool) for my imaging and via ASCOM, the nFocus interfaces well with APT. Upon connecting to the focuser in APT, it calls the installed nFocus software.

For an official announcement from Rigelsys on this new WiFi nFocus product, see this link to here.

By Steve J Posted in Main

April 2-3 2020

Sprint weather is back: clear skies for two days and temperature is around 45deg F. Moon is over half phase. Bright, but I managed to capture these two images of it on April 2nd and M37 on the 3rd. No filters. The first image of the moon is a little over processed – sharpened. Exposure: 1/125 sec. ISO 100. Imaged with a Canon T3 and Celestron C6 on Skywatcher EQ6-r mount.

M37 is a stack of 10 images during this moon – lights only. It is not a good image, but this was a quick take with no filter during Moon. Messier 37 is the richest open cluster in the constellation Auriga. It is the brightest of three open clusters in Auriga and was discovered by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna before 1654 (Wiki, 2020).

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Return of the Refractor

Tinkering in the basement with the Explore Scientific AR152: I had installed it on the older Meade LXD75 mount. I am currently calibrating the telescope, as it has severe astigmatism.

The AR152 will be used for visual use only as the optics (a doublet) have not passed my tests for astrophotography – Stars have blue edge and are just not sharp.

In the background is the next project: a restore of a vintage Meade 6600 – a 1986 6″ Newtonian reflector with original stained wood tripod. The mount has no drive; just adjustment knobs. There are plenty of dents and scratches on this one – I have used it over the decades in the field and it shows.

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