Monthly Archives: December 2014

Tarantula Nebula


The Tarantula Nebula (also known as 30 Doradus, or NGC 2070) is an H II region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). It was originally thought to be a star, but in 1751 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille recognized its nebular nature.

A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. Originally, nebula was a name for any diffuse astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The Andromeda Galaxy, for instance, was referred to as the Andromeda Nebula (and spiral galaxies in general as “spiral nebulae”) before the true nature of galaxies was confirmed in the early 20th century by Vesto Slipher, Edwin Hubble and others.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Teleskop Service TS PHOTOLINE – 102mm f/7 ED
Imaging cameras: QSI690
Mounts: SkyWatcher HEQ5 PRO
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 50mm GuideScope
Guiding cameras: ORION StarShoot AutoGuider
Software: EQMOD Project EQMOD,  Pixinsight 1.8,  Cartes du Ciel Sky Charts,  Stark Labs Nebulosity 3, PHD Guiding
Filters: Astrodon Ha 3nm,  Astronomik SII 12nm 1.25″,  Astronomik OIII 12nm 1.25″
Accessories: Moonlite CF 2,5″ focuser with high resolution stepper,  Teleskop-Service TS 2″ PHOTOLINE 0.8x reducer / flattener
Resolution: 3281×2569
Dates: Dec. 14, 2014,  Dec. 15, 2014
Astrodon Ha 3nm: 27×600″ -10C bin 1×1
Astronomik OIII 12nm 1.25″: 15×300″ -10C bin 1×1
Astronomik SII 12nm 1.25″: 15×300″ -10C bin 1×1
Integration: 7.0 hours
Avg. Moon age: 22.11 days
Avg. Moon phase: 50.35%
Locations: Balcony in Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD, Australia


Author: Slawomir

Nebulas North America and Pelican


The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb (the tail of the swan and its brightest star). The remarkable shape of the nebula resembles that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico.

The North America Nebula and the nearby Pelican Nebula, (IC 5070) are in fact parts of the same interstellar cloud of ionized hydrogen (H II region). Between the Earth and the nebula complex lies a band of interstellar dust that absorbs the light of stars and nebulae behind it, and thereby determines the shape as we see it. The distance of the nebula complex is not precisely known, nor is the star responsible for ionizing the hydrogen so that it emits light. If the star inducing the ionization is Deneb, as some sources say, the nebula complex would be about 1800 light years distance, and its absolute size (6° apparent diameter on the sky) would be 100 light years.

The nebula was discovered by William Herschel on October 24, 1786, from Slough, England

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Tecnosky 80 Apo
Imaging cameras: Canon 1100D modded
Mounts: SkyWatcher HEQ5 PRO SynScan
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 50mm guidescope
Guiding cameras: Moravian G-300
Focal reducers: Tecnosky 0.8x Reducer/Flattener 4 elements
Software: Silicon Fields Star Tools,  Incanus APT – Astro Photography Tool,  MaxIm DL 5 Pro Suite
Filters: Astronomik UHC 2″
RA center: 314.235 degrees
DEC center: 44.219 degrees
Orientation: -164.706 degrees
Field radius: 1.926 degrees


Author: Carlo Gualdoni

NGC 281, Pac-man Nebulae


NGC 281 is an H II region in the constellation of Cassiopeia and part of the Perseus Spiral Arm. It includes the open cluster IC 1590, the multiple star HD 5005, and several Bok globules. Colloquially, NGC 281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character.

The nebula was discovered in August 1883 by E. E. Barnard, who described it as “a large faint nebula, very diffuse.” The multiple star HD 5005, also called , was discovered by S. W. Burnham. It consists of an 8th-magnitude primary with four companions at distances between 1.4 and 15.7 seconds of arc. There has been no appreciable change in this quintuple system since the first measurements were made in 1875.

RA center: 13.191 degrees
DEC center: 56.643 degrees
Orientation: 81.034 degrees
Field radius: 0.450 degrees


NGC281 – Pacman Nebula
This is a composite image using as luminance narrow band frames from Bologna and DSS POSS II data.
RGB data from a former image from New Mexico skies by Robert Gendler
Copyright: R. Colombari / R. Gendler / P. Venturi
Data: P. Venturi /R. Gendler / NASA JPL-Caltech

Author: Roberto Colombari

Orion Nebula and The Running Man Nebula


NGC 1973/5/7 is a reflection nebula 1/2 degree northeast of the Orion Nebula. The three NGC objects are divided by darker regions. It is also called The Running Man Nebula and Sharpless Catalog 279.

This object was named ‘The Running Man Nebula’ by Texas Astronomical Society member Jason Ware. Approximately 20 years ago his down stairs neighbor looked at the object and said it looked like a running man. He brought this up a TAS club meeting and the name stuck. Now widely accepted as ‘The Running Man’.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Sky-Watcher Skywatcher 150/750 BD
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 650D
Mounts: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro SynTrek
Guiding cameras: QHY5L-II color
Focal reducers: Baader Planétarium Correcteur de coma MPCC Mark III
Software: deepskystacker,  Adobe Photoshop CS5
Accessories: Orion Mini 50mm Guide Scope with Helical focuser Orion
Resolution: 5100×3311
Dates: Dec. 12, 2014
Frames: 18×300″ ISO1600
Integration: 1.5 hours
Flats: ~9
Avg. Moon age: 19.90 days
Avg. Moon phase: 73.05%
RA center: 83.753 degrees
DEC center: -5.288 degrees
Pixel scale: 1.170 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 60.940 degrees
Field radius: 0.988 degrees
Locations: Home, Mornag,Tunisia, Mornag, Ben Arous, Tunisia
Author: Bach Hamba

Simeis 147 or Spaghetti Nebula (4 panels mosaic)


Simeis 147, also known as the Spaghetti Nebula, SNR G180.0-01.7 or Sharpless 2-240, is a supernova remnant (SNR) in the Milky Way, straddling the border between the constellations Auriga and Taurus. Discovered in 1952 at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory using a 25 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, it is difficult to observe due to its extremely low brightness.

The nebulous area is fairly large with an almost spherical shell and filamentary structure. The remnant has an apparent diameter of approximately 3 degrees, an estimated distance of approximately 3000 (±350) light-years, and an age of approximately 40,000 years.

It is believed that after its stellar explosion a rapidly spinning neutron star known as pulsar PSR J0538+2817 was left behind in the nebula core, emitting a strong radio signal.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: TeleVue Tele Vue-101
Imaging cameras: Atik 11000
Mounts: Astro-Physics AP1200
Software: PixInsight,  photoshop
Filters: Astrodon E-series Lum
Resolution: 7112×4592
Dates: Dec. 17, 2014
Frames: 130×900″
Integration: 32.5 hours
Avg. Moon age: 24.39 days
Avg. Moon phase: 27.07%

Foto by: Mark

The Horsehead Nebula, IC 434

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in emission nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The nebula was first recorded in 1888 by Scottish astronomer Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory. The Horsehead Nebula is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which bears some resemblance to a horse’s head when viewed from Earth.

The dark cloud of dust and gas is a region in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex where star formation is taking place. This stellar nursery, as it is known, can contain over 100 known organic and inorganic gases as well as dust consisting of large and complex organic molecules.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: TS APO80
Imaging cameras: QSI 660wsg-8
Mounts: Orion HDX110 EQ-G
Guiding telescopes or lenses: TS APO80
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Loadestar X2
Focal reducers: TS Optics TS Flat 2
Software: Cyanogen Maxim DL 6 Pro, Pixinsight 1.8
Filters: Astrodon Ha 5nm, Astrodon LRGB
Resolution: 1881×1497
Dates: Nov. 23, 2014, Dec. 12, 2014
Astrodon Ha 5nm: 23×900″
Astrodon LRGB: 70×300″ -30C
Integration: 11.6 hours
Avg. Moon age: 10.19 days
Avg. Moon phase: 36.66%
RA center: 85.292 degrees
DEC center: -2.188 degrees
Orientation: 87.220 degrees
Field radius: 0.937 degrees
Locations: Home observatory, Tbilisi, Georgia

Author: David Dvali


Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree


NGC 2264: Cone Nebula at bottom with inverted Christmas Tree cluster above the cone; the bright star just above the cone is the tree topper and the very bright star at the top of the image (S Monocerotis) is the center of the tree trunk. The Fox Fur Nebula is at the top right corner. The Snowflake nebula is in the middle.

Credit: ESO

Merope Nebula, NGC 1435


The Merope Nebula (also known as Tempel’s Nebula and NGC 1435) is a diffuse reflection nebula, possibly a supernova remnant, in the Pleiades star cluster, surrounding the 4th magnitude star Merope. It was discovered on October 19, 1859 by the German astronomer Wilhelm Tempel. John Herschel, in his New General Catalogue (NGC), described it as a very faint nebula about the size of the full moon.

The Merope Nebula has an apparent magnitude starting at 13 and quickly dimming by a factor of about 15, making most of the nebula dimmer than magnitude 16. It is illuminated entirely by the star Merope, which is embedded in the nebula. It contains a bright knot, IC 349, about half an arcminute wide near Merope. It appears blue in photographs because of the fine carbon dust spread throughout the cloud. Though it was once thought the Pleiades formed from this and surrounding nebulae, it is now known that the Pleiades nebulosity is caused by a chance encounter with the cloud.

A small and unique nebula which is close to Merope was discovered by Edward Emerson Barnard in November 1890. It is naturally very bright but is almost hidden in the radiance of Merope.

Technical card
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue SVQ100
Imaging cameras: QSI 683 ws
Mounts: Losmandy G-11/Gem II
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue SV80ST
RA center: 56.278 degrees
DEC center: 23.709 degrees
Pixel scale: 1.920 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 161.423 degrees
Field radius: 0.851 degrees
Locations: Remote Site, Near Rodeo, New Mexico, United States

Author: GeorgeA

IC 1848, Soul Nebula, Narrowband Hubble Palette, Infrared Composite Starless Image

24дек_2 редакт
IC 1848, Soul Nebula, Narrowband Hubble Palette, Infrared Composite Starless Image

Center (RA, Dec): (43.479, 60.506)
Center (RA, hms): 02h 53m 55.052s
Center (Dec, dms): +60° 30′ 20.050″
Size: 1.33 x 1.25 deg
Radius: 0.912 deg
Pixel scale: 1.22 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: Up is -2.28 degrees E of N

This is a starless composite image using the tone map layer from my earlier post of the Soul Nebula as the color layer:

24дек_1, ориг

And a greyscale version of an infrared (IR) image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/L Allen and X. Koenig, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA ) as the luminosity layer. The IR image highlights the star-forming regions.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Astro-Physics AP 130mm f/6.3 Starfire EDF

Imaging cameras: SBIG STXL-11002/FW8G-STXL
Mounts: Astro-Physics Mach1AP GTO with GTOCP3
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Astro-Physics AP 130mm f/6.3 Starfire EDF
Guiding cameras: SBIG STXL-11002/FW8G-STXL
Focal reducers: Astro-Physics AP 2.7″ Prime Focus Field Flattener 67PF462
Software: Pixinsight 1.8, Photoshop CS5, Maxim DL Pro 5
Filters: Astrodon 3nm SII, Astrodon 3nm OIII, Astrodon H-alpha 3 nm
Resolution: 4599×5981
Dates: Nov. 7, 2013, Oct. 8, 2014
Astrodon 3nm OIII: 12×900″ bin 2×2
Astrodon 3nm SII: 12×900″ bin 2×2
Astrodon H-alpha 3 nm: 33×900″ bin 1×1
Integration: 14.2 hours
Avg. Moon age: 9.05 days
Avg. Moon phase: 57.73%
RA center: 43.474 degrees
DEC center: 60.388 degrees
Pixel scale: 1.074 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: -1.149 degrees
Field radius: 1.125 degrees
Locations: My back deck, Glen Ellyn, IL, United States
Eric Coles (coles44)