The Cone Nebula/Fox Fur Nebula/NGC2264 Area

Between snow storms, I’ve been able to squeeze in the occasional night of imaging.  It was a less than ideal night–poor seeing and all sorts of polar alignment issues plagued me–but I’m please to finally have an image of the Cone Nebula… or Fox Fur Nebula if you prefer…or Christmas Tree Cluster.  Whatever you call … More The Cone Nebula/Fox Fur Nebula/NGC2264 Area

NGC7000

This is not exactly a shining moment as an astroimager, because I completely messed up the polar alignment routine, resulting in smeared stars.  (When the CGEM tells you not to pick polar alignment stars too close to the pole, it means it!)  But NGC7000, more commonly known as the North America Nebula, is such a … More NGC7000

Lonely little NGC 6888 adrift in a sea of ionized Hydrogen.

This is a portion of a larger H-alpha mosaic that I took while the full moon was out this past week. NGC 6888 is a terrific target for a close-up, but it’s also beautiful in context of the whole “neck” of the swan Cygnus. Image data: Exposures: Portion of a four-frame mosaic composed of 63 … More Lonely little NGC 6888 adrift in a sea of ionized Hydrogen.

The Moon and Venus

Sometimes when you’re setting up to take pictures of incredibly dim things, the sky presents you with something incredibly bright and beautiful. The moon and Venus were in conjunction in this evening’s western sky. I used an H-alpha filter as a sort of 99% neutral gradient filter so they wouldn’t overwhelm the sensor.  This is … More The Moon and Venus

Tutorial – Creating contrast in nebula images

Since the weather isn’t cooperating enough for me to capture more images of NGC 7000, let’s use the H-alpha channel image to show a few ways to create contrast in otherwise “flat” looking nebula images. Here is the image basically right out of calibration, with only a single quick curve applied to stretch it a … More Tutorial – Creating contrast in nebula images