Double Cluster | NGC 884 and NGC 869 - Open Clusters in Perseus

NGC 884 and NGC 869 - Open Clusters in Perseus

During the last full moon I decided to try to shoot Double Cluster in Perseus. I last shot this in 2018 so this image represents a little over two years worth of learning this hobby. I ended up with a slight light-leak gradient in the resulting data set, so took another hour of data last night before the moon came up and used it as a background reference using a multiscale gradient removal technique documented here.

8in f4.9 Newtonian Cooled Color Camera Bortle 4 skies 2hr 36min

Full Resolution

Ced-214 | NGC 7822 in Cepheus

Ced-214 - Emission Nebula in Cepheus

The constellation Cepheus is home to many exciting dark and emission nebula. In this direction of the fall night sky we find ourselves looking perpendicular into the spiraling arm of the Milky Way galaxy where our sun resides. This is a photo of a bright star forming region designated Ced-214 (also known as NGC 7822.) Here one can see all of the hydrogen gases in red amongst dense rivers of molecular clouds.

Amongst the large dark shell of dust, a small reflection nebula can be found in the lower right corner (designation GN 23.56.1)

GN 23.56.1

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Annotated

Cocoon Nebula (IC 5146), LDN 1042 and vdB147 in Cygnus

Cocoon Nebula (IC 5146), LDN 1042 and vdB147 in Cygnus

This photo was taken this past new moon in October 2020, and comprises of four hours worth of exposures. The cocoon nebula is the red emissions nebula and contains a small star cluster that’s forming in the middle. Surrounding the nebula is a dense molecular cloud of dust some of which reflects the blue glowing light of a bright nearby star.

8in f4.9 Newtonian Cooled Color Camera Bortle 4 skies 60x4min

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Cropped

In this crop one can get a closer look at the emission nebula, the young star cluster that has formed within as well as the blue reflection nebula to the left.

Annotated

Messier 109

Messier 109

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Messier 109 is a Barred Spiral Galaxy that can be spotted next to Phecda, the sixth brightest star in Ursa Major. It’s most notable feature is the long bar going through it’s core that resembles Darth Vader’s Tie Advance star fighter from Star Wars. Nearby in this image are many other more distant galaxies and a few that are satellite galaxies in the M109 Group.

Phecda (outside of frame) is glowing quite brightly from the upper left corner but there can be seen diffraction spikes that just happened to be lined up in such a way that make this image also resemble the Bat Signal or some form of galactic spotlight. :)

Annotated

NGC3718 and NGC3729 with Hickson 56 Compact Group

NGC3718, NGC3729 with Hickson 56 Compact Group

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Ursa Major is full of exciting galaxies to see. This image contains a galaxy called NGC3718 (lower center of image) that was likely warped by the smaller barred spiral galaxy NGC3729 (top center of the image). Just to the left of NGC3718 is a chain of 5 distant galaxies commonly known as the Hickson Compact Group 56. Throughout the field are a great many smaller galaxies.

I find myself in awe as I look through the data as the camera brings it in from the telescope in the backyard, and am completely blown away by all the details that can be seen in these galaxies though their light shines from so far away and so long ago.

Annotated

Holmberg 124 - NGC2805

NGC2805

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Holmberg 124 is a set of four interacting galaxies that can be found in Ursa Major. Centered in this image is NGC2805. The longest edge-on galaxy is NGC2820 and two smaller nearby galaxies are NGC2814 and IC2458.

NGC2805 is very active with lots of star-forming regions that can be seen particularly throughout the left arm. This activity seems to be recently encouraged by the interactions with the other galaxies in this group.

Faint “whisps” of gases and dust are also visible in the image. This “flux nebula” sits outside of our own Milky Way galaxy but close enough that they are illuminated by the light coming from our galaxy. Sprinkled across this view are also many smaller and more distant galaxy groups.

NGC2805

Hyades Open Cluster

Hyades Open Cluster in Taurus

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The Hyades Star Cluster has never really fascinated me much until I got into the hobby of deep sky imaging. As a bright set of stars in the night sky it’s commonly known as The Bull from ancient mythology. I didn’t know just how much star forming activity was going on in this region of space until my attention was directed to the Large Dark Molecular complex in taurus, and even then I hadn’t a clue how far it extended across the sky. This picture depicts some of the further reaching arms of that dark series of nebula. Inside it most prominantly is Aldebaran, the giant red-class star, brightest in all of Taurus. To the upper left is NGC1647 a far younger open cluster. On the upper edge in the middle is Hind’s Variable Nebula(NGC1555) and Struve’s Lost Nebula (NGC1554.) Probably my most favorite region of this image is the Sh2-239 reflection nebula sitting in extremely dense molecular cloud LDN1551.
* Sh2-239 in LDN1551

LBN777 and M45 in Taurus

The Happy Lil' Ghost Nebula (LBN777) to the Pleides (M45)

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After over a year attempting to shoot this region I’ve finally completed a revision of the dark molecular clouds that cover the taurus region near the Pleiades. This is but one panel of a larger 8-panel mosaic that I’ve planned and hope to complete before summer gets here. But this region in particular is one that I am a huge fan of. it is home to the very popular and bright star cluster M45 the Pleiades that sits behind the molecular cloud, but it’s radience shines through the dust. Through the dust structures one can find LBN777, a “ghost like” molecular cloud that to my eyes looks like it’s about to eat that bright yellow nearby star is more commonly known as the Vulture Nebula or Baby Eagle Nebula.

C/2019 Y4 Atlas near NGC2403

NGC2403 and C2019 Y4 Atlas Widefield in Camelopardalis.

Work in Progress

The project is a composite mosaic of the comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas as it passes through the Widefield region of Camelopardalis between the dates of 2020-04-02 and 2020-04-15. The background image was taken across 3 nights in December 2019 before the comet arrived into the field of view and consists of 6 hours of integration time. Then the same FOV was shot again on 2019-04-01 and 2020-04-09 (to process) with the Comet in frame. The comet image was stacked independently, and the two data sets were combined. The data was captured using a Rokinon 135mm f2.0 lens at f2.0, and an asi071mc camera cooled to -10C.

Additional data is being acquired for each night between 2019-04-03 and 2020-04-15 using my 1000mm f4.9 newt as I’ve been able to shoot through some partially cloudy nights with some success so far. That data has yet to be processed, but hope to add them to this image as time permits me to process.

The comet is moving from the mid-upper left corner of this field of view, and will be passing through the view of the dusty nebula (HSVMT 25) 2020-04-11 through 2020-04-13. I encourage anyone with dark skies and a fast scope to give it a shot before the moon comes up this weekend. It should make for a very interesting composition!

C2019 Y4 Atlas Early April

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