Monday, March 28, 2011

Owl Nebula (M97)

This is a back yard image from my home in Midland, TX. This was taken on March 27, 2011. It is a 4 min exposure with a total of 30 exposures. Exposed for two hours with the images stacked and processed to get the greatest images. I used a light pollution filter (no surprise here) and the sky was clear with a hazy sky with some dust in the air. Seeing was average and transparency was good over all.

M97 or the Owl Nebula is a planetary nebula around 2600 light years from Earth. It is located in the constellation Ursa Major (or near the Big Dipper). Not surprisingly, the Owl Nebula gets its name for it's round shape and dark areas making it appear like the face of an Owl. To see the two dark areas in the object, you will need at least an 8" telescope.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NGC 2841 is in the constellation Ursa Major (Big Dipper). It is an amazing 46 million light years away.

The image is a 5-min exposure for 150 minutes. A total of 30 exposures stacked and processed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brody and the scope

My four-year old son Brody loves the stars. We go to Fort Davis a lot and he loves being out doors. This is a picture taken in February in my back yard in Midland, TX.


This was a 5-min exposure with a number of 30 exposures totaling 150-minutes total time exposed. I used a program called Nebulosity to capture, stack, and process 30 frames including 30 dark frames. This is a guided image using a Celestron 11" HD and CGE Pro Mount, piggybacking with a Orion 80 refractor using an Orion autoguider.
You see some detail in the galaxy, but I'm still a novice and post processing with different programs like Photoshop. Seeing conditions, transparency, and other variables affect the image including other atmospheric conditions (I'm not in space, I have to look through the Earth's atmosphere). There are several galaxies in the same location as M98. M98 is in the constellation Coma Berenecies and is a spiral galaxy about 60 million light years away.