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.”