Author Archives: Roger Samworth

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.

Hale-Bopp, the last Great Comet

On the subject of heavenly portents,staring at the wall near my computer, I noticed that I had a mounted picture of Hale-Bopp, the last “Great Comet” that I took on 26/03/1997. This was the pre-digital photography age, at least as far as I was concerned! I noted it was a 60 second exposure at f/1.8 on 400 ASA film. We could do so much better these days! So, I took the picture down and scanned it. Here it is:

Now after a bit of GIMPery to reduce the star trails and the light pollution (it was all low-pressure sodium lighting in those days), we get this:

And here it is with a bit of detail processing:

Wonder when we will get another comet as good as this one?