Seagull Nebula – Three Panel Mosaic -Version 2

SEAGULLNEBULAASTROBIN5This nebula is now setting much earlier. I still need a little more imaging in the upper portion. Hopefully the next few days will offer an opportunity to complete the H-Alpha portion of this project. So far the total imaging time is about 15.5 hours.  It looks like a color version will have to wait until next year.

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.

Boogie Man Nebula – Lynd’s Dark Nebula 1622


This Dark Nebula is located in the Constellation of Orion.  It is about 500 light years distant, versus about 1300 light years for the Orion Nebula.  This was taken through a 4 inch Takahashi refractor.  A total of 49 RGB filtered images were stacked with 21 H-Alpha images for a total of 22.8 hours of exposures.

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).

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.



Bubble Nebula – Wide Angle View



With clouds hanging over the observatory, there is another option. You can process raw images from a remote observatory. Raw images for this project were taken last September from a remote imaging observatory that is located in New Mexico at an elevation of 7400 feet. The telescope was a 106mm Takahashi FSQ 106EDXIII telescope. A total of over 100 half hour narrow band exposures were stacked for a total exposure time of 50 hours. This is actually a two panel mosaic that was stitched together with Microsoft ICE. Other software included Adobe Photoshop, Maxim DL, and Pixinsight.