• New Mexico Skies CCD images: March 2007

    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.