Wide-field Wonders

Here are some wide-field vistas captured using an Atik 460ex OSC camera with a 100mm camera lens attached.

The first is of a region in Auriga, around M36 and M38. The HII regions haven’t come out quite as well as I’d hoped: The Flaming Star nebula is on the right hand edge of the picture with IC410 to its left. M38 is the cluster above centre, while the one to the left of centre is M36. 30 x 5min exposures.

Next up is a colourful region in Gemini. The two bright stars are μ (on the left) and η Geminorum, while open cluster M35 is visible above. The Monkey Head Nebula (NGC2175) is visible lower right, while the fainter HII region IC443 aka the Jellyfish Nebula can be seen between the two stars. 15 x 5min.

And finally, a view of eatern Leo. The bright star upper right is θ Leonis, and the Leo Triplet of M65, M66 and NGC3628 can be seen below. There are three other small galaxies in there as well (NGC3593, NGC3596 and NGC3655), if you know where to look 🙂 15 x 5min.

M38 in Auriga

Winter must be on the way – it’s time to to start imaging in Auriga 🙂

This is open cluster M38. It’s an LRGB image taken with the Atik 314L+ through my ED80. 6 x 5min luminance, and 5 x 5min RGB, all unbinned.

M38 in Auriga

A Cluster and a Nebula

Last night (3 Jan) was decidedly cold, but I wrapped up warmly to brave the elements for a couple of shots using an Astronomik CLS filter that I’ve had for a while, but never really been able to do justice to.

Both images were taken through the LX200R without focal reducer using my Canon 400D with CLS filter. In both cases, dark, flat and bias frames were used to calibrate the light frames in Images Plus.

First up is M38, a large, bright open cluster in Auriga. This is a stack of 25 x 3min frames at ISO 800, and although I seem to have lost colour in the stars, the background light pollution gradient that I’ve been plagued with recently is conspicuously absent. Focus was also slightly off, which makes the stars seem slightly more bloated than they should be.


I then had just enough time before the moon rose and washed everything out to have my first ever attempt at the Crab Nebula, M1 in Taurus. This is a stack of 30 x 3min exposures at ISO 800, and would have benefitted from more exposure time, as there’s still appreciable noise visible in the image. I may try and add some more frames in the near future if I get chance.