Rosette Nebula – Enhanced Resolution


I love this particular section of the Rosette Nebula.  I have managed to increase the magnification and resolution by not using a focal reducer with the AstroPhysics 130mm refractor, and replacing it with a field flattener.  For the price of a slower speed and reduced field of view, precise higher resolution images are easier to attain.  In this configuration the speed is reduced to f6.3 with the field flattener versus about F5 with the reducer.  This stacked image is a combination of 15 thirty minute exposures for a total imaging time of 7.5 hours in H-Alpha.


Pacman Nebula – NGC 281

“NGC 281 is known informally as the “Pacman Nebula” because of its appearance in optical images. In optical images the “mouth” of the Pacman character appears dark because of obsuration by dust and gas…”

NASA Administrator 7/30/2015

This was imaged through the Takahashi 4 inch refractor. It is a stacked composite of 52 thirty minute narrowband images (26 hours).


Flaming Star Nebula

“The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405) is a diffuse emission/reflection nebula in Auriga constellation. It surrounds the irregular variable star AE Aurigae, a runaway star believed to originate in the Orion’s Belt area in Orion constellation.

The nebula is approximately 1,500 light years distant. It has an apparent magnitude of 6.0 and measures about 37’x19′ in size. It is five light years across… The nebula can be seen in a small telescope”


It was imaged through a Takahashi FSQ 106EDXIII four inch refractor. Eighteen h-alpha images of 30 minutes each (8 hours) were stacked.


Jellyfish Nebula – IC 443


“IC 443 (also known as the Jellyfish Nebula and Sharpless 248 (Sh2-248)) is a Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation Gemini. On the plan of the sky, it is located near the star Eta Geminorum. Its distance is roughly 5,000 light years from Earth.

IC 443 may be the remains of a supernova that occurred 3,000 – 30,000 years ago. The same supernova event likely created the neutron star CXOU J061705.3+222127, the collapsed remnant of the stellar core. IC 443 is one of the best-studied cases of supernova remnants interacting with surrounding molecular clouds.”


This was imaged through the 4 inch Takahashi telescope.  Eighteen 30 minute H-Alpha images were stacked (9 hours).

Andromeda – M31

Andromeda is a spiral galaxy that is 2.5 million light years distant and 220,000 light years across. It is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. Be forewarned, our Milky Way and Andromeda are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years.

“Outside the zodiacal group of constellations, and with the possible exception of Orion, Andromeda may be one of the most exploited names in the night sky. It has been the motif of a television series, the subject of fiction, poetry and song, christened various sailing vessels, and designated as a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism (The Andromeda Strain). The Andromeda Galaxy, too, has been both a home and a destination in numerous works of science fiction. The name has an exotic other worldly ring, its four syllables fairly rolling off the tongue like a mystical mantra.”

“Annals of the Deep Sky” by Jeff Kanipe & Dennis Webb

The image was taken through a Takahashi 4 inch refractor.  It is comprised of 100 stacked 15 minute LRGB exposures (25 hours).


Pleiades – M45

imageThough people sometimes refer to this open star cluster in the Constellation Taurus as the Seven Sisters, there are actually only six stars that are readily visible to most observers. Charles Messier chose it as one of his Messier objects (M45). I find it interesting that Subaru chose this grouping of stars to serve as its corporate logo.

“Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster, which in turn inspires the Subaru logo and alludes to the six companies that merged to create Fuji Heavy Industries. The word ‘subaru’ means “united” in Japanese, and Fuji Heavy Industries has used the term to describe how the Pleiades constellation is a unification of the stars. Fuji Heavy Industries is therefore a constellation of companies united together.” (This was from the Stanley Subaru website

It seems appropriate that a Japanese telescope (Takahashi 106mm refractor) was used to image this.  Sixty three 5 minute LRGB exposures were stacked to form this image.