Archive for the Planetary nebula Category

The Owl Nebula

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Galaxy, Nebula, Photo, photography, Planetary nebula, Solar, Space, Star, Uncategorized on April 22, 2015 by Andrew

Here is a image of Messier 97 a.k.a The Owl Nebula,located in Ursa Major. It is a planetary nebula caused by a star that shedding it’s layers as it slowly dies. Much like what our sun will be like in 5 billion years.


Ghost of Jupiter

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Galaxy, Nebula, Open cluster, Photo, photography, Planetary nebula, Space, Star, Technorati, Uncategorized on April 21, 2015 by Andrew

Ghost of Jupiter , NGC 3242. Located in the constellation Hydra. It is really small in the eye piece. It is only 1,400 light years away!. I suspect that when it was discovered,it resembled the planet Jupiter,due to it’s central star. It also looks like a eye in the sky.

Messier 15

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Globular cluster, Photo, photography, Planetary nebula, Space, Star on August 6, 2008 by Andrew

One of the first globular clusters that I  ever saw through my big scope was Messier 15,which is located in the constellation Pegasus.I Had seen similar objects like this through my other scope but,the resolution through the smaller scope is quite bad so, at the time I didn’t know what I was actually looking at!.All I could see was a tiny, faint fuzzy blob of light.How do I know it was M15 that I was looking at?.I don’t 😛 !.I just remember that it was in about the same area of sky during mid summer.I guess my little scope is better suited for objects in our solar system rather than deep space!.

At about 33,600 light years distant,Globular cluster M15 can be found in the constellation Pegasus and has a visual mag of +6.2 under dark skies.M15 was dicovered in 1746 by Jean-Dominique Maraldi while comet hunting,had described it as a “nebulous star made up of many stars” and was cataloged in1764 by Charles Messier who had described it as “nebula without stars”.It wasn’t until amost 20 years later in 1783 that William Herschel was able to resolve the many stars in this cluster.M15 is only one of four known globular clusters in the Milkyway to have a planetary nebula.

 Information credit: SEDS

Image credit: Me

NGC 7662 (Blue snowball nebula)

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Photo, photography, Planetary nebula, Space on November 17, 2007 by Andrew

As I mentioned in the last post,one of the objects that I observed and imaged was the Blue Snowball nebula.This was quite a tough neb to see let alone image.At the time that I took the shot,the neb was almost directly above.Despite the lousy seeing and transparency,I looked for it anyway.After spending 5-10 minutes searching (and almost giving up),I finally detected a very tiny fuzzy speck that didn’t compare with the other sharp stars in the area.Obviously it was just a super tiny gray smudge due to how small it is but,don’t let the size of it in the eye piece fool you,it is more than 2 light years across.This puny neb can be found in the constellation Andromeda and is almost due west of the big galaxy.At 4,000 light years this nebula shines at a +9.2 visual mag.According to SKYHOUND this neb can be seen with any telescope under any sky.Hmmmm…..any telescope….any sky?.Well,perhaps under dark skies but,under moderately light polluted and hazy skies it is a tough one to find even with a 10″ scope!.I think I was lucky just to find it.

Once I did find it ,I zeroed in on it with the Meade DSI.Below is a better than expected shot that I took.It is a stack of 40 images at 20 seconds per exposure.No filters were used….I don’t own a neb filter and am hoping Santa will bring me one for Christmas 🙂 !. The image was processed with PS Elements and Astronomy tools for Elements was also used.The image was color,contrast enhanced,noise reduced,cropped and resized.


Lets have a Snowball fight!!!

NGC 7009 (Saturn nebula)

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Photo, Planetary nebula on October 21, 2007 by Andrew

What a nice weekend we are having here in NewHampshire. The temps are unseasonably warm and the skies are clear for perhaps a night of observing.I have had a unexpected change in my life which will temporarily give me more time for stargazing 🙂 .

One the few objects that I imaged the other night was NGC 7009 also known as the Saturn nebula.Through the eyepiece,this neb doesn’t offer much in the form of detail due to light pollution but,when I got it centered on the monitor all I can say is WOW!.I could see more detail than I have ever seen before.I can now see why it was named after the sixth planet.

 Located in the constellation Aquarius,NGC 7009 is approximately 2,400 light years distant and appears as a very small, faint and fuzzy patch.According to SEDS ,it has a visual mag of +8.0,which is being rather generous in my opinion.The 11.5+- mag star can be seen in this image which I have never actually seen before in any of my previous images.Actually,my other images kind of look like green footballs?!.

The image below was shot using a 10″ Meade LXD75 , Meade DSI color and 2x barlow.It is a stack of 85 images at 11.5 second exposure each with darks subtracted.Processing was performed using PS Elements where noise was reduced and contrast and brightness was slightly increased.The image was also cropped and resized.

Image credit:Andrew

Saturn Nebula 

M57 (The Ring Nebula)

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Constellation, Photo, Planetary nebula on October 18, 2007 by Andrew

It isn’t too often that I bring my scope out during the week but,last night I made an exception.The skies were almost crystal clear which is what makes fall my favorite season.Knowing that my observing time would be limited (4am comes early)I quickly set up and was aligned by 6:45pm.My main goal for the night was to get more practice with the DSI and it’s settings.I seemed to have some minor issues the last time out with the new camera and wanted to solve the problems.For all intense purposes,I think I made a lot of forward progress *WHEW!*.Things were were going so well in fact,that I lost track of time and before I knew it,it was almost 11pm.Did I mention that I had to be awake by 4am to ready myself for work?.11pm… and I still had to break the equipment down and of course after everything was indoors I had to take a peek at my handy work from the observing session.This peek lasted for almost a hour and it was well after midnight when I came to my senses at which point I finally went to bed.As you might have guessed,my day seemed to last for what seemed like a week!.

 Below is one of two different objects that I targeted and was thrilled to get to see it on the monitor.It did take a bit of time to get it centered though.Not because it was so small or faint but,because I didn’t use the eye piece with the parafocal ring that I normally use to focus the DSI.So the focus was so out of whack that even the brighter stars in the area of the neb were washed out.Have you ever slapped yourself in the head and say”I could have had a V-8″?….hahahaha,I did!.

Located in the constellation Lyra,M57 is approximately 2000 light years distant and shines at a mag 8.8 .

Image is a stack of 100 images at 11.5 seconds exposure each.Cropped,resized and enhanced using PS Elements.


Messier 27 and the DSI

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Photo, Planetary nebula on October 7, 2007 by Andrew

In case you were wondering,yes I am still here.I have been doing the normal life thing but,also I have been playing with a new toy that I was able to take for a test run last night.A fellow amateur astronomer/blogger was kind enough to give me a laptop PC!.In this day and age I was under the impression that kindness and generosity was all but lost in this world?!.So I would like to thank Peter from Top of the lawn and dedicate the image below to him.I must say,that having the ability to tweak the focus and keep the object centered on the screen was somthing that I was never able to do in the past.My normal LPI/DSI imaging sessions usually included me running up and down the stairs to my second floor apartment a couple hundred times a night.Doing this made for a long and tiring night with seemingly few images to show for it.Hehe,all of that has changed now.I set the scope up last night at around 8pm and was imaging by 8:30 under strangely dark skies…or at least darker than normal thanks to the renovations of the courthouse next door.I guess the city has finally realized that if nobody is in the building,then the lights don’t need to be on!.I didn’t tour much of the sky as I was trying to teach myself  the different functions of the DSI controls.A ability that I was limited at doing before.One of the objects that I practiced on was M27 a.k.a the Dumbbell nebula.What a thrill it was to center in in the eye piece and then connect the camera and see it on the monitor!!!.The image below is my very first neb ever imaged with the DSI.It isn’t a very good image but,it is a giant leap forward in my attempts at CCD imaging!!!.Once again thank you Peter!!!.


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