Jim Owen

Iris Nebula

I revisited an old target last night hoping to get more of the dark nebula round it. My initial target was M31, however the skies were very light polluted due to it being relatively low in the sky. Until I get my L-Pro filter, this beauty may have to wait.

As the night progressed and the nebula was getting closer to the zenith, i did encounter some guiding issues which resulted in some frames being dropped from the stack. But all good experience.

The managed to get 2hrs of images before the clouds rolled in and was just finishing my calibration frames when the drizzle started. I have never packed away so quickly in my life!!

Here is the Iris Nebula.

Lets image IC 1396 – Elephant Trunk Nebula

My evening began as it always does on a clear night at dusk. Having recently purchased a Tri Band filter from Altair, i thought its time to image a big nebula, so i picked a very well known one in Cepheus; IC 1396 – Elephant Trunk Nebula.

Everything lined up nicely for me, polar alignment seemed good, guiding was ticking along nicely, plate solving seemed to be behaving and i had nice round sharp stars.

I settled down and set the imaging plan off at 30 x 4 min light frames. As the frames uploaded to the laptop i checked every other one, not imaging a nebula before i didn’t know what to expect on the image. As you can imagine when all I could see what hundreds of stars and nothing else I did begin to wonder if I am wasting my time.

The anticipation of what i might have imaged got the better of me and I couldn’t wait until this morning to stack them. I loaded all the frames into DSS and let the programme do its thing. 20 mins later i have an image, and i could see some nebulosity. Too excited to try and sleep, at 2am in the morning I promptly started to edit, and the more i stretched and tweaked the settings the more I could see. I was delighted and I am happy to give you, my image of the Elephant Trunk Nebula. Clear Skies to all.