Category Archives: Bristol observatory

IC1318 – Butterfly Nebula (Part C)

IC1318-v3Located in the Cygnus complex the Butterfly nebula (IC1318) is a single giant HII cloud bisected by a thick obscuring dust lane that gives the symmetry from which its popular names derives. The image shows just one wing of the butterfly designated IC1318 C which is approximately 50 light years across.  We are looking deep into the Orion arm of our galaxy in this direction at a distance of 5,000 light years.  The image was created by assigning the SII, Ha and OIII data respectively to Red, Green and Blue and then applying a colour map to differentiate the SII and OIII areas from the dominant hydrogen.

Right ascension: 20h 29m 06s | Declination: +39° 58′ 00″ | Distance: 5,000 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Astrodon Ha (3nm), OIII (3nm), SII (3nm)
Exposures: Ha 20 x 30 min; OIII 20 x 30 min; SII 20 x 30 min
Total exposure: 30 hours
Image composition: Colour Mapped Narrowband SII:Ha:OIII
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: over 16 nights between May-July 2013 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL, Photoshop CS4 (Hubble Palette Colour Mapping following method by Bob Franke)

The Tadpole Nebula in Ha – IC410

Emission nebula IC 410 in the constellation of Auriga imaged in the red visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum at the hydrogen-alpha spectral line (656nm). The image shows a cloud of glowing gas over 100 light years across sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from the embedded open star cluster. The cluster can be seen just below the prominent dark dust cloud near image centre. The popular name for the nebula derives from the two tadpole shaped features with their tails made up of relatively dense material steaming away from the nebula’s central region. This is the first image acquired from Bristol observatory with Astrodon 3nm narrowband filters. Sub exposure time was increased to 20 minutes although this is still below the optimal sky limited exposure time for this site.

Right ascension: 05h 22m 44s | Declination: +33° 24′ 45″ | Distance: 12,000 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Astrodon Ha (3nm)
Exposures: Ha 18 x 20 min
Total exposure: 6 hours
Image composition: Monochrome Ha
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: 06/02/2013; 02/03/2013; 13/03/2013

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL; Photoshop CS4; Focus Magic, Silver Efex Pro 2

Active Optics guiding with SXVR-H9 monochrome camera

As of January 2013 I am now using a Starlight Xpress SXVR-H9 monochrome camera for guiding in conjunction with my Starlight Xpress Active Optics (AO) unit.  The H9 camera uses the same SX Universal driver in MaxIm DL as the Lodestar which enables selection and control of an AO unit.

The H9 camera uses the sensitive Sony ICX285AL Exview HAD CCD with square 6.45um pixels and an image format of 1392 x 1040 pixels.  Operating at bin x2 the SXVR-H9 has a plate scale of 2.96 arc sec (compared to 3.85 arc sec for the Lodestar) with a field-of-view that is almost twice the area of the Lodestar.  Results so far suggest the increased resolution and larger field-of-view offer tangible benefits both to guiding precision and guide star selection.  I am now able to find guide stars more easily in the sparse star fields around galaxies.

Pelican Nebula Ionisation Front – IC5067

The Pelican Nebula is large, low-density cloud of partially ionised gas associated with the North America Nebula in the constellation Cygnus. Light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming cold gas to hot and causing an ionisation front to advance outwards. Within the advancing front areas of dense cold gas can be seen to resist ionisation and survive as long pillars of dust and gas. Jets of hot gas ejected from the heads of some prominent pillars are also apparent in the image.

Right ascension: 20h 51m 17s | Declination: +44° 24′ 13″ | Distance: 2,000 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm), OIII (8.5nm), SII (8nm)
Exposures: Ha 11 x 15 min; OIII 22 x 15 min; SII 30 x 15 min
Total exposure: 15.75 hours
Image composition: Colour Mapped Narrowband SII:Ha:OIII (Hubble Palette)
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: Over 10 nights in August through December 2012 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL (Fat Tail Deconvolution), Photoshop CS4

Emission nebula in Cassiopeia – IC1795

Glowing gas and obscuring dust of the emission nebula IC1795 – part of the Heart Nebula (NGC896) – located in a complex of star forming regions at the edge of the large molecular cloud in the constellation Cassiopeia. The colours in the image were created using the Hubble palette which maps emission from oxygen, hydrogen, and sulphur atoms to blue, green and red.

Right ascension: 2h 26m 50.8s | Declination: +62° 00′ 48.2″ | Distance: 6,000 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm), OIII (8.5nm), SII (8nm)
Exposures: Ha 20 x 15 min; OIII 24 x 15 min; SII 26 x 15 min
Total exposure: 17.5 hours
Image composition: Colour Mapped Narrowband Ha:SII:Ha:OIII
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: 5, 6, 10 & 14 November 2012 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL (Fat Tail Deconvolution, DDP), Photoshop CS4

Cygnus Wall – NGC7000

The Cygnus Wall in the southern part of the North American Nebula (NGC 7000). This is an ionisation front where UV light from hot young stars is transforming the cold gas of interstellar space into a ‘wall’ of ionised hydrogen. The Hα emission line is colour mapped onto yellow, gold and brown in the image.

Right ascension: 20h 58m 50s | Declination: +43° 36′ 39″ | Distance: 1,800 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm), OIII (8.5nm), SII (8nm)
Exposures: Ha 12 x 10 min; OIII 24 x 10 min; SII 24 x 10min
Total exposure: 10 hours
Image composition: Colour Mapped Narrowband Ha:SII:Ha:OIII
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: July & August 2012 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL, Photoshop CS4

Rosette Nebula – Ha|OIII Bicolour Composite

The Rosette Nebula processed using the Modified Bicolour technique for combining Ha and OIII images as described by Steve Cannistra – see www.starrywonders.com/bicolortechniquenew. The bicolour method creates a synthetic green channel (sG) to create a final RGB colour composite Ha:sG:OIII.

Right ascension: 06h 31m 44s | Declination: +05° 08′ 49″ | Distance: 5,000 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm), OIII (8.5nm)
Exposures: Ha 26 x 15 min; OIII 48 x 15 min
Total exposure: 18.5 hours
Image composition: Modified Bicolour Ha|sG|OIII composite
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: January 2012 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL (DDP, Fat Tail Deconvolution), Photoshop CS4.

Dust Sculptures in the Rosette Nebula

This part of the Rosette Nebula also known as NGC 2237 contains sculpted globules of dark dust and gas that are slowly being eroded away by the energetic light and winds of nearby massive stars. I am waiting for the Rosette to become visible again over the winter months to capture SII and OIII emission line data.

Right ascension: 06h 31m 44s | Declination: +05° 08′ 49″ | Distance: 5,000 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm)
Exposures: Ha 26 x 15 min
Total exposure: 6.5 hours
Image composition: Monochrome Ha
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: January 2012 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL (DDP, Fat Tail Deconvolution), Photoshop CS4.

Eastern Veil Nebula – NGC6992

This is the eastern part of a large but relatively faint supernova remnant in the constellation of Cygnus. The rope-like filamentary structures of the nebula are the visible remnants of the shock-wave from the supernova explosion that occurred some 5,000 to 8,000 years ago.

Right ascension: 20h 56m 59s | Declination: +31° 14′ 54″ | Distance: 1,470 Light Years
Field of view: 34 x 25 arcmin

Camera: Atik 314L+
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm), OIII (8.5nm)
Exposures: Ha 32 x 15 min; OIII 24 x 15 min
Total exposure: 14 hours
Image composition: RGB (Ha, OIII, OIII+20%Ha)
Scale: 1.48 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: August & September 2011 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL, CCDStack2, Photoshop CS4

The heart of the Heart Nebula

The three bright stars are O and B type giants (20-100 times more massive than our sun) of the Melotte 15 open cluster.  Stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation from these massive stars has sculpted the twisted tree-like structure in the image from within the centre of the extremely large cloud of ionised hydrogen gas that makes up the Heart Nebula (IC 1805) located in the Persius spiral arm of our galaxy.

Right ascension: 02h 33m 50s | Declination: +61° 26′ 03″ | Distance: 7,500 Light Years
Field of view: 34 x 25 arcmin

Camera: Atik 314L+
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm), OIII (8.5nm), SII (8nm)
Exposures: Ha 28 x 10 min; OIII 44 x 10 min; SII 30 x 10 min
Total exposure: 17 hours
Image composition: LRGB (Ha, SII, Ha, OIII)
Scale: 1.48 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: 24 & 25 Dec 2010; 8, 9, 18, 20 & 28 Jan 2011 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture and guiding with MaxIm DL; Image processed with MaxIm DL, AIP4Win, Photoshop CS4