Winter Wonderland

After an astonishing run of warm weather, and an unheard of ( for February!) run of clear nights, I’ve been able to capture a few new images of some old favourites.

Firstly, I was able to get some more RGB photons for the image of Sharpless 223 presented in the last post. I’ve also updated the processing so that it isn’t quite so pastel-shaded. This is a faint nebula!

Sharpless SH2-223

Another H-alpha image was of the Seagull Nebula, IC2177, that lies in the southern skies on the border of Monoceros and Canis Major. Unfortunately, as it culminates it passes right through some of the light pollution murk I have on my southern horizon, so I didn’t bother trying to get any decent RGB frames to go with the H-alpha

IC2177,The Seagull Nebula

M44, aka Praesepe, aka the Beehive Cluster, is a large bright open cluster in Cancer, and is visible to the naked eye. This is comprised of 12 x 5min exposures through each of R, G and B filters.

M44, the Beehive Cluster

As the Moon rose later and later, I was able to use the one-shot colour Atik 460EX to garb some images too. NGC2903 in Leo is a bright spiral galaxy, often described as one of the galaxies that Messier missed… This is from 30 x 5min exposures:

The Leo Triplet of M65, M66 and NGC 3628 is, of course, instantly recognisable to most imagers. This image is from 19 x 5min frames:

The Leo Triplet

And finally, planetary nebula M97, the Owl Nebula and M108, a spiral galaxy in Ursa Major, make a great pairing. This image is composed from 49 x 5min exposures. One of the interesting things about this image is the number of faint galaxies that are distributed throughout it, some down to magnitude 19!

M97, the Owl Nebula, and M108

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