Nightscapes & Deep Sky
Brian A. Morganti
aka "Eye of God" Nebula
is a large planetary nebula that surrounds a dying star that has
blown off its outer layers. This shell of gas was once its
central supply of nuclear fuel but is now nearly exhausted.
The remnant central star is a dense "white dwarf" that can no longer
support nuclear reactions. At a distance of 700 light-years,
it is the closest planetary nebula to Earth. The very hot
white dwarf ionizes an inner shell of oxygen, which appears blue in this image, and an outer shell of
hydrogen, which appears primarily red. Several rings of
material can be seen, with the fainter red northeastern arc visible
to the upper
left in this image.
The central star shines at a magnitude of +13.5.
The Helix nebula itself shines at magnitude 6.3, but it has a
relatively low surface brightness because of its large size of 18.5
arc minutes. It can, however, be seen in binoculars from a
reasonably dark observing site with a true size of about 4.00
light-years in space.
Date & Location: September 26th
& 27th 2014
- StarEffects Observatory - Bernville, PA
winds both nights with an average temperature of 50F.
Clear with average transparency on both nights.
SQM-L: 20.43 start - 20.53 finish
on both nights.
TeleVue NP101is Refractor @ 810mm f8.1 with 1.5x extender.
Filter: Hutech IDAS-LPS (Light
Mount: AstroPhysics AP900GTO
Orion SSAG @5 seconds exposures.
T1i (500d) Hap Griffin modified - Baader UV/IR
Exposure: 30 - 6 minute subs
@ ISO1600 - (180 minutes) 3 hours total
Calibration Frames: 16 Darks &
Bias, 10 Field Flats & 10 Dark Flats w/Alnitak Flat Man --
Custom White Balance
Processing: Images Plus 5.75a,
PS CS6, GradientXTerminator, NIK filter tools
Comments: This is my second attempt
at imaging this target, and first time since 2010. See
previous image below.
Below Image is from
previous imaging session - October 2010
Date & Location: October 7,
- Bernville, PA
Weather: Breezy, 58F.
Sky Conditions: Clear with
Optics: TeleVue NP101is Refractor
with 0.8x TeleVue Reducer = 432mm @ f4.3
Filter: Astronomic EOS
clip-in CLS-CCD (Light
Mount: Losmandy G-11 equatorial
with Gemini V4
Guiding: Orion Solitaire w/TeleVue
Camera: Canon T1i (500D) Hap
Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR
Exposure: 65 min (7 x 5min, 5 x
6min @ ISO800).
Calibration Frames: 16 Darks & 9
Processing: Images Plus
3.82b, Photoshop CS4, NIK.
Comments: Located on my
southern horizon, which is somewhat light polluted, I was able
to gain enough detail from the nebula with the aid of a light
pollution suppression filter and the combining multiple light
Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors