Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Eagle Nebula is a cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens and the pillar shapes in the middle of the nebula resemble that of an "eagle".  The tower of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula is approximately 9.5 light-years high. 
The Pillars of Creation (center of image) imaged by Hubble in 1995, no longer exist. In 2007, astronomers announced that they were destroyed about 6,000 years ago by the shock wave from a supernova.  Because of the limited speed of lght, the shock wave's approach to the pillars can currently be seen from Earth, but their actual destruction will not be visible for 1000 years.

Imaged in Fort Davis, TX in the early morning hours of April 22, 2012
2-min exposure, flats, darks
QHY8 CCD, captured and processed with Nebulosity
Autoguided with Orion Star Shoot autoguider
Celestron 11" Edge HD and CGE Pro Equatorial mount.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

M87 and M108

The Owl Nebula (M97) is a Planetary Nebula in the constellation Ursa Major (Big Dipper). It is about 2000 light years from Earth. The ominous glow and shape of M97 represents the face of an Owl do to a dying star that emits gaseous emissions.

M108 is a spiral galaxy that is about 45 million light years away. Together, M97 and M108 make an amazing pair for a photograph.

Imaged in Fort Davis, TX on April 20, 2012.
5-min exposure, darks, flats
Capured and processed with Nebulosity 3 and finalized in Photoshop
11" Edge HD w/ Hyperstar at F/2.2 using QHY8 CCD and CGE Pro Mount, Autoguided with Orion Autoguider