12/25/2020 The Rosette Nebula

This is the Rosette Nebula in the constellation of Monoceros. It is a so-called HII region, the stars inside the nebula are exciting the hydrogen causing it to glow on its own (as opposed to a reflection nebula that, well, reflects the light that hits it). It is about 5000 light years away, about 130 light years across, and about a degree of arc across from where we live. The Moon is about a half a degree across. I shot this Christmas night at the River Ridge Observatory with my 11″ SCT and Hyperstar shooting at f/1.9 and ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera. Since the Moon was 81% illuminated, I used an L-eNhance dual narrowband filter which lets just two narrow bands of light through to somewhat negate the Moon’s impact. This was made from 14 separate five minute subs for a total of 70 minutes. You might be able to a gradient horizontally. That may be from the Moon and I had to work to remove it.

12/10/2020 The Pacman Nebula

This is the so-called Pacman Nebula in Cassiopeia. Also known as NGC 281. I collected 22 five minute subs over two nights with my 11″ SCT at f/1.9 using a dual narrowband filter. I’m trying a borrowed ASIAIR Pro device for image capture instead of my trusty laptop.


From Wikipedia:
NGC 281, IC 11 or Sh2-184 is a bright emission nebula and part of an H II region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Milky Way’s Perseus Spiral Arm. This 20×30 arcmin sized nebulosity is also associated with open cluster IC 1590, several Bok globules and the multiple star, B 1. It collectively forms Sh2-184, spanning over a larger area of 40 arcmin. A recent distance from radio parallaxes of water masers at 22 GHz made during 2014 is estimated it lies 2.82±0.20 kpc. (9200 ly.) from us. Colloquially, NGC 281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character.

12/4/2020 The Pleiades

This is probably the first successful image of the Pleiades that I have ever taken. They are surprisingly difficult.

The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45, is an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars in the north-west of the constellation Taurus. It is among the star clusters nearest to Earth, it is the nearest Messier object to Earth, and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky.