Conjunction of Mars and Neptune

This month produced a very close conjunction of Mars and Neptune with the two planets separated by only a couple of arc minutes or so. This image shows a very overexposed Mars, with a bluish Neptune close by. And very near to Neptune, its large moon Triton is clearly visible. The image is a composite of 12 x 10sec exposures.

Abell 426

Abell 426 is a galaxy cluster located in Perseus, close to the famous variable star Algol. This is composed of just 9 x 10min frames, but the images does contain a wealth of galaxies, as the annotated image shows.┬áThe faintest one I’ve found is mag 18.0…

A busy night

The great thing about long clear winter nights is that there’s so much time for imaging! These are three targets that were captured during one such evening recently:

NGC891

An edge-on spiral galaxy in Andromeda, 21 x 5min frames.

NGC1333

A reflection nebula, with a bit of emission thrown in, in the Perseus molecular cloud.┬áThere’s a lot of dark, dusty stuff in there, but my skies aren’t really dark enough to pick it up properly. However, you can “see” it by the relative absence of stars around the nebula. 21 x 10min frames

Comet 38/P Stephan-Oterma

And finally 8 x 5min frames, aligned on the comet nucleus, which diplay its movement through the stars of Gemini.

Sh2-206

This is quite a bright object from Sharpless’s catalogue of emission nebulae, also known as NGC1491, situated in Perseus. 16 x 10min H-alpha and 5 x 5min R, G and B.

The Pacman Nebula

This is a bicolour narrowband image of NGC281, the Pacman nebula, captured with 9 x 10min H-alpha frames and 12 x 10min OIII. The “white” parts in the middle of the nebula are where there is some OIII response in addition to H-alpha, and the yellow parts are where there is just H-alpha.

Some two weeks later, the moonless skies allowed be to take 10 x 5 min R, G and B frames to add into the narrowband filters: