RA: 05h 35m 17s, Dec: -5°23’28”
The Orion Nebula (M42 (NGC 1976) & M43) is located in the “sword” of Orion and is a large emission nebula that is easily visible to the naked eye. It is an area of star formation – the closest such to Earth at a distance of 1500 light years. The nebula is an estimated 30 light years across, and contains a young star cluster (the Trapezium) in the bright core of the nebula. The reflection nebula at the top of the image is the “Running Man” nebula (NGC 1973, 1975 and 1977) – so named due to the resemblance of the silhouetted dust lanes.
I had lots of trouble with this image (taken on 6th Feb, 2007) – the flats I took didn’t work out (there’s the odd artifact here and there!), and I’m not quite happy with the colour balance – have another go at this later I think…
RA: 06h 41m, Dec: +9°53′
The Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster are part of a larger star forming complex within the constellation of Monoceros. A 2.5 hour exposure in H-Alpha light taken 22nd December 2006 using an Astrodon filter shows only glowing hydrogen gas and stars – the blue reflection nebula near to the “Fox Fur” nebula (below the bright variable star S Monocerotis) often seen in photos of this region is largely invisible as most light is of the wrong wavelength and is rejected by the filter.
RA: 06h 33m 45s, Dec: +4°59’54”
The Rosette Nebula is a large H II region located in the constellation of Monoceros, just to the left of Orion. The nebula is a large star forming region with a cluster at the centre that , through the action of the stellar winds, has blown a large cavity out of the nebula from which it formed. The nebula itself is often referred to simply as NGC 2237 (though NGC 2238, NGC 2239 and NGC 2246 are all parts of the same nebula). The cluster is designated NGC 2244.
Continue reading NGC2244 – The Rosette Nebula
The lunar eclipse of the 3rd March 2007 brought clear skies and good conditions across much of the UK, with only some thin high cloud arriving in Oxfordshire towards the end of the eclipse. Maximum eclipse occured at 23:20:56 – ideally timed for the UK.
More recently, on the 21st February, 2008, another lunar eclipse was visible from the UK and Europe early in the morning. However, the weather for this event was not as favourable with cloudy conditions across much of the UK (despite having a long period of clear weather in the preceding week!).
Continue reading Lunar Eclipse of March 3rd 2007
Continuing in the migration of my old site, here’s a post with a round up of my best h-alpha solar images. For a while, I owned a Coronado Solarmax 60 with BF15 blocking filter which I used to use on my Takahashi FC60NZ – I traded this more recently for the FLT110 – I found that I really wasn’t getting to use the h-alpha equipment for most of the year (work gets in the way when the sun is up!).
The h-alpha filter works by using an etalon to restrict the wavelengths of light as viewed through the telescope down to only a small region of the spectrum around 656.3nm (typically with a bandwidth of <0.7Å), which is a principal emission wavelength of excited hydrogen atoms (for the transition n=3 to n=2 in the Balmer series). This allows features such as prominences, flares, filaments and active regions to be observed, whereas in white light these are often not as noticable or are invisible.
Continue reading Solar H-Alpha Imaging Round Up