Category Archives: Constellations

Cassiopeia Region Wide Angle

Cassiopeia region including M31, wide angle view. 6×300 sec @ ISO 1600, Sigma 28-70 Zoom at 28mm, F/2.8, Astronomic CLS filter. North is to the right in this view.

By luck I framed this one with M31 and the Cassiopeia region and got all the good nebulae that were in the area to boot.  You can see the Heart and Soul Nebulae, the PacMan Nebula, emission nebula NGC 7822, and other smaller nebulae like the one near Gamma Cass.    The Double Cluster is there along with lots of other open clusters.

It is not the best lens and I did do some distortion correction in PS.  It was a little difficult to process since this was the first time I used the Astronomik CLS filter.   Before, I had one light pollution filter and two cameras, so I finally got another one so they both have one.    All I need now is a small mount for light loads like the setup I used here and I could get two cameras going at the same time.   Yeah, buddy!  🙂

North American Nebula Area – Wide Field

The North American Nebula Area. 10×300 sec @ ISO 1600, modified Canon XS, Astronomik CLS filter, Sigma Zoom 28-70 at 28mm, F/2.8.

I salvaged what I could of this one.   I had problems with the acquisition of the sub-images and it was mainly caused by dew.   I had to wipe the lens down several times and every time I did, the focus or focal length changed.    I was able to fix it by installing a dew heater strip on the lens, but that was not until the next set.

I gave up on these after an hour of fighting it.   I should have installed the heater before shooting, but I was in a rush to get data and there was not any dew problems in the beginning.

But, at least I got something out of it.   Anyway, here’s a portrait orientation version of the data with North at the top:

The North American Nebula Area. 10×300 sec @ ISO 1600, modified Canon XS, Astronomik CLS filter, Sigma Zoom 28-70 at 28mm, F/2.8. Portrait version.

And here is a close crop of the central region:

The North American Nebula Area. 10×300 sec @ ISO 1600, modified Canon XS, Astronomik CLS filter, Sigma Zoom 28-70 at 28mm, F/2.8. Close crop.

The Milkyway From Darker Skies

1st shot of the night and I caught a small meteor. 1×180 sec @ ISO 1600, Canon XS (Modified,) Sigma 28-70 Zoom at 28mm, F/2.8, Astronomik CLS filter.    No calibration or processing of this image, except to set the black point and rotate the canvas.

Instead of my usual dead-end road site, I drove a few more miles west of there to a new site I’ve been wanting to try out.   It is only 50 minutes total trip time and you get a borderline Bortle 3/4 site with a really dark southern and southwestern horizon.

Milky Way. 1×180 sec @ ISO 1600, modified Canon XS, Astronomik CLS filter, Sigma Zoom 28-70 at 28mm, F/2.8.

The west is pretty dark, too, but there are various small light domes from the west-northwest to the north.   The northeast has a larger light dome from a metro area in that direction and the east has some smaller ones here and there.   There is a line of trees from the southeast to the northeast which blocks the LP from those areas, which is good.    But, it would not be the best place to shoot early morning comets, for instance, since you can’t see the eastern horizon very well because of those trees.

Milky Way. 8×180 sec @ ISO 1600, modified Canon XS, Astronomik CLS filter, Sigma Zoom 28-70 at 28mm, F/2.8. Used the 1×180 sec image as a base and it is mostly the bottom part of the image.

It is definitely dark there.  Rated a 0.22 radiance level on a light pollution map.   At one point, I might have glimpsed M33 naked eye, but I was not sure.    If it would have been more towards the west I’m pretty sure I could have seen it.   Moonrise was at midnight, so I quit early and did not get a chance to try for M33 when it was in that area of the sky.   Maybe next time!   😉

Crop of the Central Regions, 2×180 sec @ ISO 1600. Same lens and camera as the other images.

Lovejoy Q2 & The Pleiades – Another Wide Field View

Canon 18-55mm Telephoto at 55mm, F/5.6, 16x480 sec @ ISO 3200
Comet Lovejoy Q2 & The Pleiades.  16×480 sec @ ISO 1600, Canon 18-55mm Telephoto at 55mm, F/5.6,, Lumicon Deep Sky Filter, modified Canon XS.  Dark version.
omet Lovejoy Q2 & The Pleiades. 16×480 sec @ ISO 1600, Canon 18-55mm Telephoto at 55mm, F/5.6,, Lumicon Deep Sky Filter, modified Canon XS. Lighter version.

The Canon kit lens that came with my camera sat unused for so long, I figured I should at least test it a bit for astro use.   This is the second time I used it.  But, no matter how hard I tried, the focus was never very good and I had to repair the misshapen stars in Photoshop.