Sharpless 2-132 Lion Nebula Award Winner – 4 Downloadable High Quality HA, OIII, SII, NII Master FITS Files

Sharpless 2-132 Award Winner Master FITS files for this image are available for download.

Download 4 extremely clean, stacked, aligned and calibrated H-Alpha, Oiii, SII, and NII Award Winner master FITS files from Dropbox for use in your astrophotography projects (with attribution). Total integration time = 27 hours. After you complete payment, Astro La Vista Observatory will email you a link for your Dropbox downloads. Images acquired by Jim Matzger, Astro La Vista Observatory. An Astrobin Best Pick Award Winner 2017.

$99.99

Below is an Award Winner (2017 Astrobin Best Pick) processed color image showing a Hubble Palette version of a portion of Sharpless 2-132 (Lion Nebula) that was created by processing 54 stacked, calibrated, and aligned H-Alpha, Oxygen, Sulphur, and Nitrogen narrowband sub images.

Noted Astrophotographer Sara Wager had this to say about the Lion Nebula…

”Sharpless 2-232 is a very faint emission type nebula on the Cepheus/Lacerta border. It lies at a degree southeast of Epsilon CEP, and has a size of about 40 arc minutes.

It is estimated to be about 10,000 to 12,000 light years away… but this is no more than an estimite. It’s a well studied region as well, with lots going on.”

This selection is from the Sharpless catalog which offers listings of famous objects like the Orion Nebula as well as faint objects that were difficult objects for amateurs in the film era. With the advent of digital photography, these faint nebulae have become more accessible. I have found the catalog to be a promising resource for astrophotography target selection.

More can be found on the web about Stewart Sharpless and his catalog at “The Best of Sharpless Catalog.” Accordingly to that resource…

“Many famous objects are imaged by amateur astronomers who are unaware that they are part of the Sharpless (SH2) catalog.  The great Orion nebula, also known as Sh2-281, and the commonly imaged Flame nebula, known as SH2-277, are some of the December favorites.  Six months later in the month of June, SH2-25, which is also known as The Lagoon nebula and the North American Nebula listed in the catalog as SH2-117, are in the sky. 

Some of the objects that Sharpless includes are not HII nebulae at all; instead they are reflected star light off a galactic dust cloud above and below our own galaxy.  This is known as Integrated Flux Nebulae which Steve Mandel cataloged in his Unexplored Nebulae Project.  There are a few Sharpless catalog numbers that fall into this, the largest labeled Sh2-178 near the North Star Polaris.”

Award Winner Sharpless 2-132

The sub images were taken at the Astro La Vista Observatory in Prescott, Arizona with an APM 152MM 1200MM focal length ED APO refractor mounted on an Astro-Physics 1100GTO mount with encoders. The imaging camera was a QSI 690wsg with a Lodestar guider.

Frames were taken in the Fall of 2017 as follows:

Astrodon True-Balance 3NM H-Alpha 12×1800” (6 hours) bin 2×2

Astrodon True-Balance 3NM Oxygen 18×1800” (9 hours) bin 2×2

Astrodon True-Balance 3NM Sulphur 12×1800” (6 hours) bin 2×2

Astrodon True-Balance 3NM Nitrogen 12-1800” (6 hours) bin 2×2

Included in the download are a cropped and rotated version of the files, as well as unmodified versions for your processing convenience.

Sharpless 2-132 Award Winner Master FITS files for this image are available for download.

Download 4 extremely clean, stacked, aligned and calibrated H-Alpha, Oiii, SII, and NII Award Winner master FITS files from Dropbox for use in your astrophotography projects (with attribution). Total integration time = 27 hours. After you complete payment, Astro La Vista Observatory will email you a link for your Dropbox downloads. Images acquired by Jim Matzger, Astro La Vista Observatory. An Astrobin Best Pick Award Winner 2017.

$99.99

Flaming Star Nebula – 5 downloadable high quality HA, OIII, and RGB master FITS files.

Flaming Star Nebula master FITS files for this image are available for download.

Download 5 extremely clean, stacked, aligned and calibrated H-Alpha, Oiii, and RGB master FITS files from Dropbox for use in your astrophotography projects (with attribution). Total integration time = 24 hrs. 30 min. After you complete payment, Astro La Vista Observatory will email you a link for your Dropbox downloads. Images acquired by Jim Matzger, Astro La Vista Observatory.

$99.99

Below is a processed color image showing an interior closeup of a portion of the Flaming Star Nebula that was created by processing 310 stacked, calibrated, and aligned H-Alpha, Oxygen and RGB sub images. It shows the distinctive blue color of a reflection nebula near the star AE Aurigae and the pink color of ionized gas elsewhere in the image.

According to the “Annals of the Deep Sky” by Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb, one of the discoverers, Max Wolf, set the stage for the naming of the nebula. “In a paper he described AE Aurigae as ‘a burning body from which several enormous curved flames seem to break out like gigantic prominences.’ He urged spectroscopists to observe this ‘flaming star . . ., which seems physically connected with the nebulous matter.'”

Flaming Star Nebula H-Alpha, Oxygen, RGB
Flaming Star RGB\HA\OIII processed Image

An H-Alpha image is especially detailed and stunning when taken with long exposures and an ultra narrowband filter.

Flaming Star H-Alpha
Flaming Star H-Alpha processed image

I have to say that this has to be one of the finest sets of sub images that I have ever taken. The sub images were taken at the Astro La Vista Observatory in Prescott,AZ. with an APM 152mm 1200mm focal length ED APO refractor mounted on an Astro Physics 1100GTO mount with encoders. The imaging camera was a QSI 690wsg with a Lodestar guider. The imaging field of view was only .366 degrees and the pixel scale was .626 arc seconds per pixel.

Frames were taken in October and November of 2020 as follows:

Astrodon Gen2E Red: 90×60″ (1 hr. 30″) bin 1×1

Astrodon Gen 2E Green: 90×60″ (1 hr. 30″) bin 1×1

Astrodon Gen 2E Blue: 90×60″ (1 hr. 30″) bin 1×1

Astrodon Tru-Balance 3nm OIII: (20×1800″) bin 1×1

Astrodon Tru-Balance 3nm Ha: (20×1800″) bin 1×1

As you might be aware, Astrodon filters have been the gold standard for astro imaging. The ultra narrow band filters are expensive and often not readily available.

It takes a very robust imaging setup to achieve the precision necessary to get 1800 second subs with a 6 inch 1200mm refractor. I hope you can utilize these exquisite images to produce your own work of art with attribution.

Images acquired by Jim Matzger, Astro La Vista Observatory.

Flaming Star Nebula master FITS files for this image are available for download.

Download 5 extremely clean, stacked, aligned and calibrated H-Alpha, Oiii, and RGB master FITS files from Dropbox for use in your astrophotography projects (with attribution). Total integration time = 24 hrs. 30 min. After you complete payment, Astro La Vista Observatory will email you a link for your Dropbox downloads. Images acquired by Jim Matzger, Astro La Vista Observatory.

$99.99

Mosaic of the Cygnus Region of the Milky Way

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This is a mosaic of 18 separate panels taken through an H-Alpha filter with the Rokinon 135mm f2.0 lens piggy backed on the Celestron C11 telescope.  Each panel was produced by stacking 20 images comprised of 5 and 10 minute exposures.  The total exposure time was 45 hours.  The picture includes the Veil Nebula, North American Nebula, Pelican Nebula, Tulip Nebula, Propeller Nebula and the Crescent Nebula in the Constellation Cygnus.  Microsoft ICE was used to assemble the mosaic.  Other software that was used included Adobe Photoshop, Pixinsight, and Maxim DL.

Rho Ophiuchi

Some things look best when they are photographed with a 135mm lens.

From Wikipedia:

“The Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex is a dark nebula of gas and dust that is located 1° south of the star ρ Ophiuchi of the constellation Ophiuchus. At an estimated distance of 131 ± 3 parsecs, this cloud is one of the closest star-forming regions to the Solar System.

This cloud covers an angular area of 4.5° × 6.5° on the celestial sphere. It consists of two major regions of dense gas and dust. The first contains a star-forming cloud (L1688) and two filaments (L1709 and L1755), while the second has a star-forming region (L1689) and a filament (L1712–L1729). These filaments extend up to 10–17.5 parsecs in length and can be as narrow as 0.24 parsecs in width. Some of the structures within the complex appear to be the result of a shock front passing through the clouds from the direction of the neighboring Sco OB2 association.

Temperatures of the clouds range from 13–22 K, and there is a total of about 3,000 times the mass of the Sun in material. Over half of the mass of the complex is concentrated around the L1688 cloud, and this is the most active star-forming region. There are embedded infrared sources within the complex.  A total of 425 infrared sources have been detected near the L1688 cloud. These are presumed to be young stellar objects, including 16 classified as protostars, 123 T Tauri stars with dense circumstellar disks, and 77 weaker T Tauri stars with thinner disks.  The last two categories of stars have estimated ages ranging from 100,000 to a million years.”

More info is available at Astrobin.

http://www.astrobin.com/257698/B/

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Black Eye Galaxy -M64

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From Wikipedia:

“The Black Eye Galaxy (also called Evil Eye Galaxy; designated Messier 64, M64, or NGC 4826) was discovered by Edward Pigott in March 1779, and independently by Johann Elert Bode in April of the same year, as well as by Charles Messier in 1780. It has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy’s bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the “Black Eye” or “Evil Eye” galaxy. M64 is well known among amateur astronomers because of its appearance in small telescopes. It is a spiral galaxy in the Coma Berenices constellation.”

This was taken through the Celestron EdgeHD 11 inch telescope.  A total of 138 images were stacked for a total imaging time of 7.5 hours

Whirlpool Galaxy – Color

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The subexposures for this stacked image were taken with LRGB filters.  The total exposure time was about 25 hours with the Celestron 11 inch telescope.

From Wikipedia:

“The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Recently it was estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years from the Milky Way, but different methods yield distances between 15 and 35 million light-years. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.”