M27 - Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula also known as the Apple Core Nebula, is Messier object 27, or M 27, or NGC 6853). This is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula, and is at a distance of about 1,360 light years from Earth.

This image was taken at a WYAS open night on 19th September 2012 using one of the new piers on the Telescope pad. This was taken using my 8" Celestron U2K SCT scope unguided with a Canon 40D DSLR.

This image is a stack of the best 47 from 65 images taken. All images are 59 seconds exposure at either 800, 1200 or 1600 ISO. This image has an overall combined exposure of 46 minutes approx. Images taken in RAW were stacked using Deep Sky Stacker software to create a composite image with final image processing done in Photoshop CS5. 

Constellation Photography ( The Plough )

 While up in the Lakes District near Coniston, with a brilliant clear night of 21st September 2012, I had a go at Constellation Photography.  No tripod or remote release so I used a cushion to support the camera and the time delay function as a shutter release.   Constellation Photography can be done using a wide angle lens, long exposure with  a fast ISO with the camera ideally mounted on a tripod with remote shutter release.  This image shows part of Ursa Major (The Plough) and was taken with camera settings as below: -

Canon 1D MKII “n” with 17-28mm lens set at 17mm, wide open f2.8 and using 30 seconds exposure at ISO 1600.   I took 8 images and used DSS (Deep Sky Stacker) to stack them to give this image. Final processing is in Photoshop CS5 to give a better black /white balance.

M27 in LRGB and Narrowband H-alpha, H-beta and OIII

The colour image of M27 was only the second time I had attempted to take images using a new imaging set-up at home. The image was taken with a Televue 102 using an Atik filter wheel containing Baader LRGB filters. 20 mins L, 15 mins R, 30 mins G and 30 mins B (all calibrated in MaximDL. Lodestar guided images.
The narrow band images were taken using the same set-up but using Baader narrowband filters 30 mins H-alpha (red), 10 mins OIII (green), 10 mins H-beta (blue). Many images taken were spoiled by strong wind.

Milky Way (Lake District)

 The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200–400 billion stars. The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Earth. This name derives from its appearance as a dim "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky, in which the naked eye cannot distinguish individual stars.  

I was up in the Lake District near Coniston on Friday 21st September, staying overnight and the weather was crystal clear. Using my Canon 1D MKII "n", I decided to try taking some Milk Way images.  Not having a tri-pod or remote release I used a cushion to support the camera pointing at the sky and used the 2 second auto-timer to activate the shutter.                                               
These images were taken using a 17mm-28mm lens set at 17mm, f2.8 (wide open) with a 30 second exposure, ISO 800.  I took 20 images and used DSS (Deep Sky Stacker) to stack these into one image. Final processing is in CS5 and hence the 3 images. All from the same base image just processed differently.

Dob finished

I have finally finished my mount , just need a crane to move it about .