Flame and Horsehead from the window-sill

Looking out of the window last night it was clear, but a cloudbank was approaching – – -!

Orion was well placed from the window-sill, so decided to have another go at the Flame and Horsehead nebulae. (NGC2024 and Barnard 33 embedded in IC434) before the cloud got in the way..

Here is the result:

And unsaturated:

Clearly not a patch on the images produced by our expert members!

But bearing in mind that it was from indoors, and was a stack of only 39 10-second frames giving a total exposure of 6.5 minutes, I am quite pleased with it. The smaller NGC2023 at the centre of the frame is also visible.

Moon trial

This is the continued trial of the RC6. First I’ve taken of the moon up close for some 10 years. OK it’s taken in nearly full moon conditions so I’m pleased with the result. This is centred on Capernicus so I need to swap left over right to have correct orientation!

Taken with the RC6 with a luminance filter and the Atik 314L+ camera. A total of 254 frames of 3 second duration. Processed in Registax6 and PS4.



Heart and Soul

Finally had a chance to catch up with some processing this weekend.

Firstly- here’s a widefield shot including the Soul nebula and the Double Cluster from 4th December. This is taken from the best 70% of two hours of data using vintage 135mm lenski on a 600d and Star Adventurer, with the usual set of calibration frames.

Next up here’s a Ha and Oiii from 1st December on the Heart. This is from 14×10 mins of Oiii and 30x 10 minutes of Ha. I should have done them the other way around as the Ha is a stronger signal, but I had the Oiii in to start with. I’ve used an “HOO” palette for this- feeding the Ha into the Red and then the Oiii into both Blue and Green, with the Blue favoured for no other reason than that I quite like the purplish hue it gives.

I’ve enjoyed messing about with the Starnet++ programme lately- so here’s a starless version:

Finally, I think at times I’m guilty of getting too involved with the process of putting these images together and losing track of the incredible size and structure of these objects and the miracle of being able to take pictures of the them from my back garden. So here’s a crop of Melotte 15, the Open Cluster at the “Heart of the Heart”. Our estimate is that this nebula is 7,000 light years distant from Earth and has a diameter of 107 light years across. Using the pixel scale on the original photo (23 pixels=1 light year) I’ve done a (very) rough approximation of our Stellar Neighbourhood around the nebula structure in the middle of the cluster. What would our night sky look like if we had this in the middle of it? Would it have changed our biology, our myths, our history? For sure, it’d make for some pretty cool photos…

(Edit) Quick request from the WhatsApp group – here are the Ha and Oiii that the shot was built from: