Running Man Nebula and Orion

Via Wikipedia

“This object was named ‘The Running Man Nebula’ by Texas Astronomical Society member Jason Ware. Approximately 20 years ago his down stairs neighbor looked at the object and said it looked like a running man. He brought this up a TAS club meeting and the name stuck. Now widely accepted as ‘The Running Man’.”

The Running Man Nebula can be found at the top of this image, just above the Orion Nebula. A total of 42 H-Alpha images were taken with the Takahashi FSQ-106FSQEDX IV telescope and stacked. There were 20 ten second exposures, 20 sixty second exposures, and 6 thirty minute exposures.




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.


Tadpoles – Color

tadpolesastrobinThe clouds are moving in, so imaging on this nebula has ended. Three narrow band filters were used and were assigned RGB colors based on what is called the Hubble palette. This was tweaked by removing some of the green coloration while emphasizing blue. A total of 35 thirty minute images were stacked, for a total imaging time of 17.5 hours.

Tadpoles – Happy New Year

These are the Tadpoles of IC-410.  They seem appropriate for the New Year when we are celebrating a fresh start or a new beginning.  This emission nebula lies about 12000 light years away, and the Tadpoles are about 10 light years long.  This is a stacked composite of 17 half hour h-alpha exposures taken through my 5 inch Astro-Physics Starfire refractor with a .75 focal reducer.


M33 – Triangulum Galaxy

It is a little easier to image galaxies since you can use simple RGB filters.  This was done with a Luminance filter and I plan to add the red, green and blue later.  M33 is a part of the local group of Galaxies which includes Andromeda.  It is “only” about 3 million light years from earth.  The total of the stacked exposures was about five hours.




Elephant Trunks Nebula – IC 1396 – Color

My earlier greyscale photo of this nebula was derived from 15 one hour exposures through an H-Alpha filter which were used as the red channel in this color image.. An additional 11 half hour images were taken through an OIII filter for the blue channel. An RGB color image usually uses three different monochrome images. In this case, however, the third color (green) was synthesized from the first two red and blue channels. That saves the time that would be necessary to take images through a third filter and not much is lost since most of the detail in this nebula can be found in the H-alpha and OIII wavelengths. It would be ideal to have a few more images to stack for a smoother image, but this nebula is now in an area of the sky where long imaging sessions are no longer feasible. I may have to wait until next year to obtain more depth in this image.