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Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti


NGC 7000 - North American Nebula

IC 5070 Pelican Nebula

Cygnus

 

 

The North American  & Pelican Nebula  are easily recognized by its resemblance to the North American continent and the bird. They can be observed under dark skies with a small telescope and a nebula filter.  The North American Nebula lies 1,800 light-years from Earth and the Pelican is 1,500 light-years away.  The North American Nebula spans a region of 50 light-years across.  These nebula are part of a huge H-II cloud of hydrogen gas, illuminated by nearby stars.  Like other H-II regions, the hydrogen gas is excited by the stellar energy and then emits its own light at the characteristic red wavelength of hydrogen.  These two nebula are separated by a broad area of light-absorbing dark clouds within a star-rich region of the Milky Way.

IMAGE DETAILS:

  • Date & Location:  September 27, 2011 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm wind - 68F.  End:  65F

  • Sky Conditions:  Mostly clear with average transparency. 

  • SQM-L Sky Darkness Reading:  Start 20.20 - End 20.51

  • Optics:  TeleVue TV60is Refractor (360mm -f/6) with field flattener.

  • Filter:  Hutech IDAS-LPS (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AstroPhysics AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  None

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  105 min (21 x 5min) @ ISO 1600, RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  9 Dark & 9 Bias

  • Processing:  Images Plus 3.82, Photoshop CS4, Noise Ninja, NIK, Gradient TerminatorX

  • Comments:  I took advantage of the only clear night in nearly two weeks on the night before new moon.  Clouds rolled in around 1:30am ending the brief view of the night sky.

 

 

For comparison, the image of the North American nebula shown below

was my first ever astro image taken two years earlier.

 

   

                                                                                                           

 

The North American Nebula is easily recognized by its resemblance to the continent. It can be observed under dark skies with a small telescope and a nebula filter. However, the beautiful red color which is common to emission nebula can only be seen in long exposure photographs, particularly with a filter modified DSLR camera.

IMAGE DETAILS:

  • Date & Location:  October 19, 2009 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm wind - 38F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with average transparency. 

  • Optics:  TeleVue TV60is Refractor (360mm -f/6) with field flattener.

  • Filter:  Hutech IDAS-LPS (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  Losmandy G-11 equatorial with Gemini V4

  • Guiding:  None

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  25 min (1 x 6 min, 2 x 5 min, 1 x 4 min, 1 x 3 min, 1 x 2 min) @ ISO 800, RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  In camera dark frame subtraction

  • Processing:  Photoshop CS4, Noise Ninja, NIK 

  • Comments:  This is one of my first light images that was tracked, but not guided.  Polar alignment was off in part due to an off center reticle in my polar alignment scope and PEC was needed as well.

 

                                                                        

Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

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