Deep-sky

Although I am more interested in visual work, taking images of Solar system and deep-sky objects is good fun as well. For the deep-sky imaging InFINNity Deck is equipped with a ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera and a ZWO Motorised Filter Wheel for 7 x 36 mm filters. The latter has been loaded with filters for Luminance, Red, Green, Blue, H-Alpha, O-III, and S-II.

14 Vulpeculae: 10Micron GM3000 HPS tracking test

A 25% cropped region around 14 Vulpeculae of a 20 minutes unguided exposure.
Figure 1: A 25% cropped region around 14 Vulpeculae of a 20 minutes unguided exposure.
The 10Micron GM3000 HPS is said to be that accurate that guiding would not be necessary. Taking this at face value is easy enough, but I wanted to see proof of it. For this, after having made the exposures of M27, I decided to take another few frames using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera of that same area, but now at increasingly long exposures. The longest of these was a single exposure of 20 minutes (indeed, 1200 seconds!). So no guiding was done other than having the mount following the skies based on the internal model. I think the image, which is a crop around 14 Vulpeculae, speaks for itself.

Click here for the full image.

B33 (Horsehead Nebula)

B33 (Horsehead Nebula).
Figure 2: B33 (Horsehead Nebula).
On 17 February 2019, after having received a new GM3000 mount, I took a 1200s Ha sub of the horsehead nebula, using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera, to see if the mount was properly functioning. This sub was that nice that I decided to fill in the colour with some additional data (see figure 2). A total of 1 hours and 30 minutes of data was collected:

L : 10 x 120s
R : 10 x 120s
G : 10 x 120s
B : 10 x 120s
Ha :
:
:
10 x 120s
1 x 600s
1 x 1200s
Oiii: 10 x 120s

Processing done in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

IC5070 (Pelican Nebula)

IC5070 (the Pelican Nebula) as imaged on 20-23 August 2019.
Figure 3: IC5070 (the Pelican Nebula) as imaged on 20-23 August 2019.
On 20, 21, 22 and 23 August 2019 I spent some 17 hours of imaging on the narrowband object IC5070, better known as the The Pelican Nebula (see figure 5), in the constellation of Cygnus. A total of 311 subs of varying length in R, G, B, Ha, O-iii and S-ii was collected:

R : 30 x 120s
G : 30 x 120s
B : 30 x 120s
Ha : 40 x 120s
20 x 300s
O-iii: 40 x 120s
20 x 300s
23 x 600s
S-ii: 40 x 120s
38 x 300s

Altogether this is 17 hours and 20 minutes of data. The three brightest stars are (in descending order of brightness) 57 Cyg, 56 Cyg, and V1794 Cyg.

Processing was done in APP using a Hubble-palette (Ha: 100% green, O-iii: 100% blue, S-ii: 100% red) with the L-sliders on respectively 80, 65 and 30%. A slight post-processing was done in PSP (adding contrast, changing the hue slightly to get more reddish tints in it).

Click here for the full image.

Cygnus Wall

Cygnus Wall as imaged on 24-26 August 2019
Figure 4: Cygnus Wall as imaged on 24-26 August 2019
Another nice object in the constellation of Cygnus is the Cygnus Wall. Huge clouds of hydrogen form a massive wall against a backdrop of oxygen. At the right dark clouds in which star formation takes place obscure distant objects. The Wall was imaged on three consecutive nights in August (24th - 26th). A total of 13 hours and 25 minutes of data was collected:

R : 30 x 120s
G : 30 x 120s
B : 30 x 120s
Ha : 21 x 300s
Oiii: 31 x 600s
Sii: 42 x 300s

Click here for the full image.

M13 (Hercules globular cluster)

The first deep-sky attempt: Hercules globular cluster M13 with in the lower left corner NGC6207.
Figure 5: The first deep-sky attempt: Hercules globular cluster M13 with in the lower left corner NGC6207.
On 2 November 2018, with the assistance of Rob Musquetier and Caspar Tielemans, the first deep-sky object was imaged from InFINNity Deck. Using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED and a ZWO1600MM Cool camera pictures with 60 and 120 seconds were taken of M13 (see figure 5), better known as Hercules globular cluster. In the same frame galaxy NGC6207 is visible as are bright stars HIP 81848 and HIP 81673. The images were taken at around 9pm UTC with the cluster at approximately 15 degrees altitude, which is quite low for proper imaging, but setting up equipment and sequences and waiting for cloud cover to open made M13 drop lower than anticipated. Nevertheless I think we done rather well for a first attempt under challenging conditions.

Click here for the full image.

M13 in colour.
Figure 6: M13 in colour.
On 2 and 4 June 2019 I revisited M13, now to add some colour to it. I did not use my previous luminance as those were made with quite a different orientation of the camera. The images were taken using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera. The previous version was the first deep-sky object I imaged, this time it is the first time that I used masks on the filters in the ZWO EFW filter wheel. A total of 2 hours of data was collected:

R : 10 x 60s
20 x 120s
G : 10 x 60s
10 x 120s
B : 10 x 60s
10 x 120s
Ha : 10 x 60s

Processing done in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

M15

M15 in Pegasus as imaged on 8 August 2019.
Figure 7: M15 in Pegasus as imaged on 8 August 2019.
On 8 August 2019 I imaged M15 in the constellation Pegasus, another globular cluster from the Messier list. The images were taken using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera. The brightest stars accompanying the cluster are HIP106157 (white), HIP106075 (orange, upper left) and HIP106243 (blue). A total of 1 hour of data was collected:

R :10 x 120s
G :10 x 120s
B :10 x 120s

Processing done in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

M27 (Dumbbell Nebula)

M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) and 14 Vul captured with the Esprit 150ED and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool.
Figure 8: M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) and 14 Vul captured with the Esprit 150ED and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool.
The first attempt to shoot a deep sky object in full colour was on 4 November 2018 with M27, better known as the Dumbbell Nebula, using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera (see figure 8). On a single night 2 hours and 20 minutes of data was collected:

L : 10 x 120s
R : 10 x 120s
G : 10 x 120s
B : 10 x 120s
Ha : 10 x 120s
Oiii: 10 x 120s
Sii: 10 x 120s


The image is the result of RGB, Ha, O-III and S-II, luminance was not used. In the processing all components were given a weight factor 1. Finally the image was cropped to 66% and given additional 35% colour saturation and 15% contrast. The flats were not perfect as can be seen when opening the original image.
The brightest star (left side of the image) is 14 Vulpeculae in the constellation of Vulpecula.

Click here for the full image.

M42 (Orion Nebula)

M42 (Orion nebula).
Figure 9: M42 (Orion nebula).
On 27 February 2019 I took some images of Messier 42, better known as the Orion Nebula (see figure 9), using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera. A total of 1 hour and 50 minutes of data was collected:

L : 60 x 20s
R : 60 x 30s
G : 60 x 30s
B : 60 x 30s

Processing done in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)

M51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy).
Figure 10: M51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy).
On 24, 29 and 30 March 2019 I spent some time on Messier 51, better known as the Whirlpool Galaxy (see figure 10), using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera. A total of 5 hours and 20 minutes of data was collected:

L : 30 x 120s
R : 30 x 120s
G : 20 x 120s
B : 20 x 120s
Ha : 30 x 120s
Oiii: 30 x 120s

Processing done in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

M57 (ringnebula)

M57 (ringnebula) captured with the Esprit and ZWO ASI1600MM.
Figure 11: M57 (ringnebula) captured with the Esprit and ZWO ASI1600MM.
On 13 and 14 December 2018 data was collected from M57, better known as the ring nebula (see figure 11), using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera. With 10 subs of 120 seconds per colour data was acquired in L, R, G, B, H-Alpha and O-III. Apart from luminance, which was added at 70% level all channels were combined at 100%. Once combined 60% saturation and 15% contrast were added, while green was slightly reduced (-5%). Finally the image was cropped to 45%. In contrast to M27 the flats were now much better.

Click here for the full image.

M81 and M82 (Bode's and Cigar Galaxy)

M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (Sigar Galaxy).
Figure 12: M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (Sigar Galaxy).
On 24, 25 and 26 February 2019 the combination of Messier 81 and Messier 82 were imaged with the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera (see figure 12). They are better known as respectively Bode's Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy. A total of 8 hours and 10 minutes of data was collected:

L : 40 x 120s
R : 40 x 120s
G : 40 x 120s
B : 40 x 120s
Ha : 70 x 120s
Oiii: 55 x 120s

Processing done in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

M101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)

M101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)
Figure 13: M101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)
On 7, 8, 15, 20, 21 and 22 April 2019 Messier 101, better known as the Pinwheel Galaxy was imaged, using the SkyWatcher Esprit 150ED APO and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera (see figure 13). A total of 17 hours and 20 minutes of data was collected:

L : 20 x 120s
R : 40 x 120s
G : 40 x 120s
B : 40 x 120s
Ha : 140 x 120s
Oiii: 140 x 120s
Sii: 100 x 120s

In the end the lum data was disgarded in the processing, leaving still some 16 hours and 40 minutes of data to integrate, which was done in APP. Post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.


NGC7129

NGC7129 as imaged in August-September 2019.
Figure 14: NGC7129 as imaged in August-September 2019.
After having finished the subs for Cygnus Wall I started taking subs for NGC7129, a reflection nebula in Cepheus constellation at a distance of about 3300 light-years. The first were taken during the early hours of 27 August 2019, followed by another session on 29/30 August. Then weather took a turn for the worst and it was not until 5 September that the skies cleared a bit. That clearance was just enough to gather just of two and a half hours of red and green, but the much needed additional blue had to wait until the skies clear again. That took a while, but on 30 October the skies cleared again. Finally a last session was done on the next clear occasion, which was on 4 December.

A total of 26 hours and 34 minutes integration time was spent on this reflection nebula:

L: 40 x 120s
R: 170 x 120s
G: 194 x 120s
B: 183 x 120s
H-alpha: 84 x 300s


Captured with the Esprit 150ED in combination with the ZWO EFW filter wheel, ZWO LRGB filters and ZWO ASI1600MM Cool camera @ -20░C. Processing in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

See it in World Wide Telescope

NGC7380 (The Wizard Nebula)

NGC7380 (The Wizard Nebula)
Figure 15: NGC7380 (The Wizard Nebula)
On the edge of winter 2018-2019 imaging period we had two nice clear nights on 12 and 13 May 2019 with some 3 hours of imaging period per night (based on minimum solar altitude of -16░). I decided to use that for a narrowband object, NGC7380, better known as the The Wizard Nebula (see figure 15). A total of 150 subs of 120s each in Ha, O-iii and S-ii was collected.

Ha : 50 x 120s
O-iii: 50 x 120s
S-ii: 50 x 120s


Processing in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

NGC6888 (Crescent Nebula)

The Crescent Nebula (NGC6888).
Figure 16: The Crescent Nebula (NGC6888).
After having spent two nights on NGC7380 another two clear nights on 14 and 15 May 2019 allowed collecting data, this time from NGC6888, better known as the Crescent Nebula (see figure 16). A total of 150 subs of 120s each in Ha, O-iii and S-ii was collected.

Ha : 50 x 120s
O-iii: 50 x 120s
S-ii: 50 x 120s


Processing in APP, post-processing in PSP.

Click here for the full image.

Tulip Nebula

The Tulip Nebula as imaged with the Esprit and ZWO ASI1600 combination.
Figure 17: The Tulip Nebula as imaged with the Esprit and ZWO ASI1600 combination.
I started imaging the Tulip Nebula on 14 September 2019 in narrow band only. On 20 September the skies cleared again and two other nights of narrow band followed. At that moment I had collected 11 ours of narrow band, to which I wanted to add some RGB for the star colours. For this last bit I had to be patient: it was not until 30 October before the skies cleared again, but that night I used for NCG7129. The following night the job on the Tulip Nebula could finally be finished.

In total the image contains nearly 16 hours of integration time:

R : 40 x 120s
G : 40 x 120s
B : 40 x 120s
Ha : 26 x 300s
Oiii: 51 x 300s
Sii: 66 x 300s

Click here for the full image.

If you have any questions and/or remarks please let me know.


InFINNity Deck Astrophotography Astro-Software
Solar system Deep Sky