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Nebulae

Photographing the Lobster Claw Nebula

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The Lobster Claw Nebula (Sharpless 157) is a bright emission nebula. It lies near the edge of the northern constellation Cassiopeia, bordering on Cepheus. As you'll soon see in my long-exposure image, this bright HII region is surrounded by many more interesting deep-sky objects. It sits very close in the sky to another popular emission nebula for amateur astrophotography, the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). Although I have photographed the Bubble Nebula several times, it wasn't until this year that I focused my attention on the neighboring Lobster Claw Nebula.  The Location of the Lobste…

Wizard Nebula

I Captured My Most Detailed Portrait of the Wizard Nebula Yet

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Last week, I photographed the Wizard Nebula with my camera and telescope in the backyard. The final image includes 24 individual exposures of 4-minutes each, for a grand total of 1.5 hours. Despite a bright moon interfering, it is by far my best image of the Wizard Nebula to date. In this post, I'll explain how I captured the Wizard Nebula, and what to expect if you're new to the world of deep-sky astrophotography.  You don't need the latest and greatest gear to capture this nebula, although I'll admit, it helps. Along with a few best practices, I'll share a few ways that you can ac…

Optolong L-eXtreme Filter

Optolong L-eXtreme Filter Review

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The Optolong L-eXtreme filter is now being used in backyards across the globe, which is great news for those that take astrophotography images in heavy light pollution. This astrophotography filter features even narrower bandpasses than last year's L-eNhance, making it perfect for nebula photography from the city. The Optolong L-eXtreme filter isolates the H-alpha (Ha), and Oxygen III (OIII) at 7nm exclusively. Unlike the previous L-eNhance, the eXtreme does not include a bandpass for H-Beta (Hb). The more selective bandpass transmissions are more suitable for fast optical systems…

Astrophotography in Costa Rica (Carina Nebula)

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I’ve just returned from a vacation to Costa Rica with the goal of capturing some astrophotography images from the resort. Being so close to the equator, the night sky featured many new southern hemisphere deep-sky targets I had never seen before. Aside from astrophotography (including an impromptu Facebook Live stream from our balcony) my wife and I also enjoyed a private birding tour and some much-needed relaxation. The average temperature from home in Canada was around -10 degrees Celsius, in Costa Rica, 33. Despite the pleasant temperatures and an impressive number of clear nights d…

Canon EF 300mm F/4L

Using A Canon 300mm Lens for Astrophotography

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If you watched my video about Comet 46P Wirtanen, you may have noticed that my imaging gear included a Canon EF 300mm F/4L USM Lens. This may have seemed a little odd to those that are used to seeing me use a telescope for astrophotography, but a camera lens like this can be a great way to capture deep sky images. Over the years, a lot of people have asked me why they should invest in a new telescope when they already own a high-quality telephoto camera lens with a comparable focal length. After all, a prime lens like the Canon EF 300mm F/4L isn't cheap, and its got some seriously impressiv…