A Faint Planetary Nebula

Something different last night… Instead of going for the brightest non-stellar object in Hercules, I tried one of the faintest, inspired by the picture of it in this month’s Astronomy Now. This is planetary nebula Abell 39 – 25 x 10min frames with the Atik 460ex OSC. The small edge-on spiral galaxy visible at about 10 o’clock relative to the nebula is mag 16.6 PGC58246.

Edit: A couple of nights later I acquired 17 x 10min through an OIII filter, and combined them with the RGB image shown above. This made quite a difference, and made the nebula much more apparent!


Following on from the recent image of M106, here’s a deeper image captured with the Atik 460ex colour camera and GT-102. Its 17 x 10min exposures in total.

Spring Galaxies

Here are a couple of images from last night. First up is face-on spiral galaxy NGC3344, possibly the most interesting object in the constellation of Leo Minor. William Optics 102GT with Atik One, 6 x 10min luminance exposures before the moon came up, and 6 x 5 min R, G and B binned 2×2.

Then there’s a quick look at M106 in Canes Venatici. This was 6 x 5 min R, G and B binned 2×2 after the moon had risen, and is a bit noisy, but the area would be worth revisiting when the sky’s a bit darker, as the annotated image shows.

More Jellyfish…

Last night I was able to add some more SII and OIII frames to the image of the Jellyfish Nebula I posted recently. This has helped with the background noise, and a little deconvolution in PixInsight sharpened the image up considerably. This is now 20 Ha, 12 SII and 11 OIII frames of 10min each.



Shown below is a bi-colour image of IC410 in Auriga, sometimes referred to as the Tadpole Nebula, which was composed from 10 x 10min exposures each of H-alpha and OIII.

Celestial Jellyfish

This is a narrowband image of IC443 in Gemini, aka the Jellyfish Nebula. Taken through a WO GT-102 with an Atik One 6.0, it’s put together from 20 x 10min H-alpha, 6 x 10 min OIII and 6 x 10min SII. The nebula is notable for its quite weak OIII emission, but it’s really quite strong in SII. R=Ha, G=SII, B=OIII.

First Light

I’ve always known that it’s a bad idea to go visiting astronomy shops, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself. Last Monday I went to visit the Widescreen Centre’s new place near Ely and came out with a William Optics GT-102… So here are some first images from last night, taken with an Atik 460ex OSC. There’s comet C/2017 O1 ASASSN which is lurking near Polaris, and getting quite faint now, by the looks of it. And then there’s the Double Cluster, M37 in Auriga, and the Crab Nebula… I still need to optimise the spacing of the camera from the field flattener, but I’m hoping for some nice images from this scope¬†