The newer images (those above the horizontal line) were taken with my Orion Atlas 11 and Meade Deep-Sky Imager or DSI Pro II at about f/5, giving about 150x magnification. The older ones were taken with my ETX-105. A few were taken with a 135mm SLR lens (about 10x magnification) adapted to my DSI and mounted piggy-back on the ETX-105 or Atlas 11 for guidance. For more on how they were taken and processed, read my blog. [click to enlarge]

Not without its faults, but this may be my best picture to date. It is the Horsehead and Flame nebulas, in the constellation Orion. the bright star is Alnitak, the left-most of the three stars in Orion's belt. The picture is laying on its side to better fit your screen. It is two panes, stitched together, each 10x2min R, 10x3min G/B, 10x3min Ha (Hydrogen's red glow) for a total of about 6hours exposure on 1/30 and 2/2/08. The image covers about 1.5 degrees (3x the width of the moon). M42, the Orion Nebula. this is located in the center of his sword, with the bright area in the center looking like a fuzzy star to the naked eye. This is only about an hours worth of total exposure, 30 and 45 sec RGB and 5, 30, and 45 sec Ha. I was pleased with the result despite the short exposures and light polluted skies. The center is a composite mixing exposures of different brightness - the first time I've attempted that. Note the focus problems with the stars. That's due to the use of a focal reducer to expand the field of view.
Blue Snowball (NGC7662), planetary nebula, taken 1/10/07. Planetary nebulae are the outer layers of stars, blown off when their heat output vaires as they die. There are a lot of this type of nebula, since around 90% of all stars (including ours) will end up this way. This one is about 4,000 light years away and 1,800 years old. 50x20s, lrgb The Clown/Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2392. It is a thousand years old and 5,000 light years away. When first discovered 200 years ago, its discoverer gave it the unfortunate description "planetary nebula", because it reminded him of the planet Uranus. The name stuck, thoug these objects have nothing to do with planets. 30x30s, lrgb. The Veil Nebula (west). This is one half of a 15,000 year old supernova remant, 2,400 light years away. 8x4min R, 8x6min G/B. Taken 9/12/07.

This is M1, the Crab Nebula, 1-10-07. It is a supernova remnant, 6,300 ly away. It was created when a star exploded in 1054. The explosion was visible during the day for a month. 20x60s, lrgb. M1 agian, with the old one-shot color DSI. 25x60s. 11-10-06. The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635 and
open cluster M52
4 hrs exposure.
M27, the Dumbell Nebula, planetary nebula.
9/27/06 (Taken with DSI Color)
M27, 11/24/06. Big improvement! And again, 6/20/07. Big, BIG improvement!

(I misplaced this one temporarily...)


M57, the Ring Nebula (planetary nebula), luminance only.   M57, the Ring Nebula. 20-30 sec LRGB, 11-24-06.

This is The Great Orion Nebula, M42, taken through my ETX-105. It's an enormous, backlit cloud of hydrogen gas and dust. The 4 stars in the center (bleeding together here) appear as a single, fuzzy star in the middle of Orion's sword to the naked eye. This is a stack of 5 second exposures, taken 1/1/05. Also M42. Processing of this is tough, trying to bring out faint details without washing-out the center. Taken 2/19/05 This is the North American Nebula, taken through my 135mm lens on 11/2/05, 90 second exposures. I'll get Canada later... This is Orion's sword - visible to the naked eye as 3 relatively dim, fuzzy stars, but actually containing many stars and nebulae. The bright nebula in the middle is the Great Orion Nebula, M42. 60 seocond exposures taken on 11/2/05.