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Nebulae

Orion with a DSLR and Telescope

The ultimate astrophotography target for your DSLR and telescope

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It's very exciting to know that the night sky is full of galaxies, nebulae and star clusters to observe and photograph.  The great Andromeda Galaxy, the glimmering Pleiades, and the vibrant red California Nebula are all jaw-dropping astrophotography subjects. But what is the best way to capture these amazing deep-sky objects? The followers of this blog know that I am all about astrophotography with a DSLR and telescope.  This is a popular deep-sky imaging setup and is capable of some incredible results using affordable equipment that can often be purchased used. A DSLR camera is…

Camping under the stars

Finding Darker Skies

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Astrophotography in late August and early Septemeber feature ideal conditions for spending a full night photographing the stars. The nights are longer, the temperature is warm, yet cool at night, and the breathtaking Milky Way core continues to stretch upwards into the night, as nightfall sets in. Right now, some of the first stars to "pop" after the sun has receded behind the Earth are Vega, Altair, Deneb, and Arcturus. Even more noticeably present are the intense glowing "wanderers" known as Mars and Saturn in our Solar System. As the end of summer approaches, so does our nightly showin…

IC 405 - Flaming Star Nebula

Forgotten Light Frames

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While digging though some old folders on Adobe Bridge, I stumbled across some unprocessed, 300 second light frames of the Flaming Star Nebula from November 2013!  When you are desperate to get out and image a new target, this is like hitting gold.   I was originally looking for my raw files of the Pacman Nebula, which I feel is in desperate need a new process. (Those stars look pretty rough)  I found a folder labelled "Flaming Star - 5 Min Lights".  I never processed this image!  The Flaming Star Nebula is a colorful collection of glowing gas and dust lit…

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. The 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, fram…

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…