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M42 – The Gorgeous Orion Nebula

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Located below Orion's Belt, the Orion Nebula is now gracing our skies each night The skies were clear in Niagara last weekend, so I set up my telescope for a night of astrophotography imaging. There are so many great imaging options at this time of year. Pleiades, the Pacman Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Triangulum Galaxy and the Dumbbell Nebula are all on display right now, to name a few. I settled on the Orion Nebula because it's an "all-nighter" object from my backyard viewing area. I set my trusty Canon 450D to capture 60 three minute exposures while I slept. The focusing, framing and…

M27 – The Dumbbell Nebula – Find it in Binoculars or Photograph it

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M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula The Dumbbell Nebula is well photographed by professional and amateur night sky photographers alike. It was one of the first deep-sky objects I imaged way back in 2011. A member of the astronomy forum I was a part of suggested that I give it a try, as it is a very gratifying object to image due to it's brightness. Sure enough, there it was! Even a 30 second exposure was enough to make this interesting planetary nebula "pop" on my display screen. I have re-imaged this object several times since that first night, and realized that it takes hours of exposures to increase…

IC 1318 – Nebulosity in Cygnus Constellation – Sadr Region

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  IC 1318 - 58 light frames in total I combined the data I captured last weekend with another 3 hours worth taken on Friday, August 21st from my backyard in St. Catharines. It was a refreshingly cool summer night, and the stars seemed to be a little brighter from what must have been a better level of "transparency" due to a lack of moisture in the air. (No dew on the telescope all night!) Because Cygnus is now directly overhead for the majority of the night, I am able to set everything up on the porch, rather than the middle of the lawn. I could get used to that! There is some very int…