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.
Here’s a shot of Comet 46P/Wirtanen as it passed through the constellation of Eridanus. This was composed of 60 x 1min exposures, stacked on the comet nucleus to illustrate its rate of movement against the background starfield.
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:
An edge-on spiral galaxy in Andromeda, 21 x 5min frames.
A reflection nebula, with a bit of emission thrown in, in the Perseus molecular cloud. There’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.
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: