The California Nebula

This is a view of the California Nebula, NGC1499, captured on 7th December. This was put together using 11 x 5min exposures through a hydrogen alpha filter as luminance and red frames, and 11 x 5min through a hydrogen beta filter as green and blue frames. Taken with an Atik One and a 200mm f/2.8 lens.


A trip to California

The moon was high in the sky, and the fog was forecast to descend, so I slewed the mount round to Perseus for a shot at NGC1499, the California Nebula. This is a stack of 13 x 5min images shot with the Atik 314L+ with hydrogen alpha filter and a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 lens attached.ngc1499

Monochrome madness

Two shots taken with the Atik 314L+ through camera lenses. First off is the region in Cassiopeia around M52. This is a stack of 30 x 2 min exposures using a Canon 200mm f2.8L lens. M52 is just to the left of centre, while the fuzziness just to the right of centre is the location of the Bubble Nebula, NGC7635 – although you’d be hard pressed to recognize it from this!

Next up is the California Nebula, NGC1499, in neighbouring Perseus. This was taken through a Sigma 105mm f2/8 lens with an H-alpha filter in place courtesy of a Geoptik adapter, and is a stack of 14 x 4min exposures.

It’s possible to see if you look closely enough that the focus isn’t quite perfect. It’s surprisingly difficult to do with a camera lens – especially the Sigma – as the tiniest turn of the focuser on the lens is enough to make the stars look decidely out-of-focus!

NGC1499, The California Nebula

Last night, the nearly-full moon was so bright I couldn’t make out anything in the sky except the brightest stars, so it was time to put the narrowband filters back in the filterwheel. I chose to have a go at the California nebula in Perseus, a big bright nebula that’s long been a favourite of mine. This image of the central part of the nebula was composed from 14 x 5min subframes through each of Ha (mapped to red), OIII (green) and SII (blue) filters. There was no OIII emission visible at all; there was a hint of SII, apparent in the image as a purplish tint in the brighter regions. The picture was taken with the Atik 314L+ through the ED80, and processed with a combination of ImagesPlus and Adobe Lightroom.

The California Nebula

aka time to by a proper CCD camera…

NGC1499 is a fascinating, very photogenic object, and I can’t resist having a go at it, but an unmodified DSLR isn’t really the right tool for the job! Below is an image which is a stack of 24 x 5min exposures at ISO800 taken through the Equinox ED80. Althought the nebula is clearly there, I’ve had to overprocess it to get any real detail, hence the artifacts around the bright stars xi Persei (mag 4.0) on the right, and TYC 2369-193-1 (mag 6.4) on the left.