• New Mexico Skies CCD images

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    2007 New Mexico Skies Photos

    Here are the latest photos taken at New Mexico Skies on the nights of March 16 and 17, 2007 using their 16" Celestron telescope and SBIG ST-2000 XLM camera. Most photos are stacked from 4 images for about an hour total exposure each photo, and a couple are either 2 or 6 images stacked; one (NGC 1300, which was too low and setting) is only a single image. Since this was late winter I did not have as many impressive nebulae that I would see in the summer - or else I already photographed them. This explains the preponderance of galaxies compared to a few globular clusters (many of my prime targets were still too low at the time) and just one planetary nebula (Abell 39) which was imaged through quickly deteriorating conditions.


    M66 (with Asteroid 1999 GD5 moving slowly above the galaxy)






    NGC 1300

    NGC 6946 "Fireworks Galaxy"

    IC 342





    Abell 39

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Horsehead & Flame Nebulae (revisited)

    After four perfect nights out in New Mexico (two observing and two photographing smaller fields of view) I had but half of my final night to try out for the first time New Mexico Sky's wider-field Takahashi refracting telescope. Although I've photographed this with my Canon Digital Rebel before, and the Horsehead and Flame nebulae separately, they have never come out this good! Sadly the skies became skunked and I was barely able to complete one to three 15 and 16 minute exposures each of luminance, red, green and blue channels (a technique I never used before) and then assembled them and tinkered with the image until I got the results that you now see (click on for larger image). I did my best to hide the three satellites that sailed through the field of view.

    Sunday, January 29, 2006

    NGC 2359 (Thor's Nebula) planetary

    Until someone mentioned this object recently I did not notice that I had forgotten to post this photo.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    I'll keep my commentary to a minimum since these photographs speak for themselves (visually AND in the text written onto them already, which hopefully you can discern). Needless to say, the photos on this page were taken at New Mexico Skies using their equipment (thanks Mike, Lynn & Bowzer), the specifics of which are detailed on each photo. I've been holding off on these since I wanted to show that I could master my own camera first! Many more of those photos are lying in wait as well...

    M42 & M43 (Great Orion Nebula) diffuse

    Mosiac of 4 photos with a 5th shorter exposure of the Trapezium SUPERIMPOSED...

    NGC 2237 & 2244 - Rosette Nebula (diffuse) & open cluster

    9-frame photo mosaic taken over 3 different nights (and it still doesn't adequately cover the entire nebula). Still, this and the above Orion Nebula mosiac are possibly the two "masterpieces" of the trip, and so presented first. Below you will find a reconstruction of the 9 original photos in the order they were taken. Notice a couple BARELY provided adequate coverage for proper blending, but at least there were no gaps.

    NGC 2034 (Flame Nebula) diffuse

    IC 434 & B33 (Horsehead Nebula) dark & diffuse nebulae

    M1 (Crab Nebula) supernova

    M35 (open cluster)

    M37 (open cluster)

    M46 (open cluster with planetary nebula)

    M76 (Little Dumbbell) planetary nebula

    M78 (diffuse nebula)

    NGC 3242 (Ghost of Jupiter) planetary nebula

    NGC 5139 (Omega Centaurus) globular cluster

    NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) galaxy

    The following 18 photos were taken during my trip to New Mexico Skies in July 2005. They were taken jointly with a friend. The photos prior and following these 18 photos were taken early January 2006 at New Mexico Skies during a solo stopover. I managed to thematically group all the galaxies together.

    M16 Eagle Nebula (diffuse)

    M17 Omega or Swan Nebula (diffuse)

    M20 Trifid Nebula (diffuse)

    M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) planetary nebula

    M57 (Ring Nebula) planetary nebula

    M97 (Owl Nebula) planetary nebula

    NGC 7293 (Helix Nebula) planetary nebula

    NGC 7635 (Bubble Nebula) planetary nebula with diffuse regions

    M3 (globular cluster)

    M5 (globular cluster)

    M11 (Wild Duck Cluster) open

    M13 Great Hercules Cluster (globular)

    M33 (Triangulum or Pinwheel Galaxy, not to be confused with M101) face-on spiral

    M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy) face-on spiral with neighbor NGC 5195

    Arrow indicates a recent supernova not found in older photographs.

    M83 (face-on spiral galaxy)

    M101 (sometimes called the Pinwheel Galaxy, not to be confused with M33) face-on spiral

    M104 Sombrero Galaxy (edge-on spiral)

    NGC 253 (Sculptor Galaxy) tilted spiral