Messier 1 – Crab Nebula

This deep sky object is called the Crab Nebula. It is a supernova remnant that was the first Messier Object – M1. It is located in the Constellation Taurus and is a Milky Way Galaxy resident that is about 6500 light years away. Messier was tired of finding objects like this when he was searching for Comets, so he devised a list of deplorables like this in order to avoid them in the future. I managed to tease out some interesting detail in M1 by using three extremely narrow band filters (Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen) and assigning them to colors that would enhance the detail in the image. One advantage of narrow band filters is that they filter out moon glow which was almost at it’s peak during these imaging sessions. The 25 stacked exposures totaled about 12.5 hours through a six inch refractor at f8 with a 1200mm focal length. More details are available at my Astrobin site.


Messier 81 & 82


From Wikipedia:

“Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode’s Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Due to its proximity to Earth, large size and active galactic nucleus (which harbors a supermassive black hole), Messier 81 has been studied extensively by professional astronomers. The galaxy’s large size and relatively high brightness also make it a popular target for amateur astronomers.”

“Messier 82 (also known as NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy or M82) is a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major and a member of the M81 Group. It is about five times more luminous than the whole Milky Way and has a center one hundred times more luminous than our galaxy’s center.  The starburst activity is thought to have been triggered by interaction with neighboring galaxy M81. As the closest starburst galaxy to our own, M82 is the prototypical example of this galaxy type.  SN 2014J, a type Ia supernova, was observed in the galaxy on 21 January 2014,[7][8][9] (see below). In 2014, in studying M82, scientists discovered the brightest pulsar yet known, designated M82 X-2.”

This is a composite of 88 LRGB images taken with the Takahashi FSQ106EDXIII located in Rowe, NM.  I stacked and processed the images in Maxim DL, Pixinsight, and Photoshop.  The total imaging time was 14.4 hours.


Messier 78

imageimageFrom Wikipedia…

“The nebula Messier 78 (also known as M 78 or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780 and included by Charles Messier in his catalog of comet-like objects that same year.

M78 is the brightest diffuse reflection nebula of a group of nebulae that include NGC 2064, NGC 2067 and NGC 2071. This group belongs to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is about 1,600 light years distant from Earth. M78 is easily found in small telescopes as a hazy patch and involves two stars of 10th magnitude. These two stars, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, are responsible for making the cloud of dust in M78 visible by reflecting their light.”

This is a composite of 78 stacked LRGB images with a total imaging time of 15 hours. They were taken with the Takahashi FSQ 106EDXIII telescope in Rowe, NM. I stacked and processed them with Maxim DL, Pixinsight, and Photoshop.