M57, Ring Nebula

M57, the Ring Nebula, a planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra. The ring is an expanding cloud of gas blown off a central red giant star, which cannot be seen in this image. It’s about 5,000 light years distant.

This isn’t a great image. I didn’t have my scope aligned well and there was considerable star trailing. Seeing wasn’t great that night and there was considerable light from a first quarter moon. I’ll have to shoot M57 again with better alignment and conditions.

Shot 26 August 2009; Mt. Tamalpais State Park, California; ISO 800, Exp 60 min, 30 sec (13 x 2.5 minutes, 14 x 2.0 minutes), f/5.2, Canon EOS 5D & Televue NP127is. Post-processing with ImagesPlus 3.0 and Photoshop CS4.

Jupiter

The big boy of the solar system. Not the greatest image; the focus is a bit off. But it’s the best planetary image I’ve done so far.

Shot 19 August 2009; Mt. Tamalpais State Park, California; ISO 800, Exp 1/200 sec, f/5.2, Canon EOS 5D & Televue NP127is. Post-processing with ImagesPlus 3.0 and Photoshop CS4.

M17 Omega Nebula

Emission nebula and star cluster in Sagittarius: M17 (NGC 6618). Distance is approximately 6,000 light-years. Also known as the Swan Nebula, the Horseshoe Nebula, and the Lobster Nebula.

Shot 18-19 July 2009; Mt. Tamalpais State Park, California; ISO 800, Exp 1 hr, 32.5 min (37x2.5m), f/5.2, Canon EOS 5D & Televue NP127is. Calibration, alignment, & stacking with Images Plus 3.0; other post-processing with Photoshop CS4.

Jupiter & Neptune

This isn’t the greatest of images, but it does show a conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune. Neptune is the dot near the top of the frame. The moon below Jupiter is Europa, the one close in above Jupiter is Io, and the one above and somewhat more distant is Calisto.

Jupiter is way overexposed in order to show its moons and Neptune, so there is no surface detail. This wasn’t a planned shot; at the end of the night I just snapped away in hopes I might get something.

Shot 27 June 2009; Fremont Peak State Park, California; ISO 800, 7 images of various exposures—each less than a second, f/5.2, Canon EOS 5D & Televue NP127is. Calibration, alignment, & stacking with Images Plus 3.0; other post-processing with Photoshop CS4.

M16 Eagle Nebula

Emission nebula in Serpens Cauda: M16 (NGC 6611). Distance is approximately 7,000 light-years.

Shot 26-27 June 2009; Fremont Peak State Park, California; ISO 800, Exp 2 hrs, 25 min (58x2.5m), f/5.2, Canon EOS 5D & Televue NP127is. Calibration, alignment, & stacking with Images Plus 3.0; other post-processing with Photoshop CS4.

M16 is, perhaps, the most famous deep-sky object, thanks to this image, which is one of the most famous photos ever taken:

Of course this was taken by NASA/ESA using the Hubble Space Telescope. Their equipment is a bit better than mine.

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