The Eta Carina Nebula from down-under

 Deep Sky, Remote Imaging  Comments Off on The Eta Carina Nebula from down-under
Jun 102013

I’ve posted before about my exploits in using remote telescopes on the Light Buckets system from France, but I have recently been using the iTelescope network of telescopes which have observatories in New Mexico USA, Spain and also down-under in Siding Spring, Australia. The Australian setup, which is in New South Wales, is located at a latitude of about 31 degrees South, and allows access to those magnificent objects in the Southern sky that I have dreamed of imaging for a long time.

The Eta Carina Nebula is a huge, bright nebula that is roughly 4 times the angular size of the Orion nebula, but is imaged much less due to its southerly latitude (also, the Orion Nebula is perhaps the most imaged object in the night sky). The nebula is some 7500 light-years from Earth and hosts some of the most massive and luminous stars in our Galaxy, including the double-star system Eta Carinae, which weighs in at over 100 times the mass of our Sun.

The particular telescope I used has a very wide field of view and the full Moon would fit across this image nearly 8 times. To see the full-sized 3960 x 2612 image click here:  Full Size Image


So, what about the odd colours? Well, this is a narrowband image, meaning that I used 3 narrowband filters; In this case Ha, OIII and SII and combined them to make a false colour RGB image. Here’s a cropped version showing the central region at higher resolution (or see the full size image and pan around the whole thing)  Full Size Image

 Posted by at 9:38 am

Remote Imaging – M33 in Colour

 Deep Sky, Remote Imaging  Comments Off on Remote Imaging – M33 in Colour
Nov 192012

It seems I’ve caught the remote-imaging bug! I couldn’t resist having a go at M33 with a bigger ‘scope, so I used the LightBuckets LB-0005 setup which is a lovely ASA 300mm f/3.6 Newtonian and a Finger Lakes CCD camera. This is an hour of Luminance data taken one night followed by an hour total of RGB data two nights later. Wonderful quality from this fine telescope.

 Posted by at 11:30 am

Messing about with Remote Imaging

 Deep Sky, Remote Imaging  Comments Off on Messing about with Remote Imaging
Nov 162012

Since the weather here in the UK has been pretty bad (for astronomy) recently I decided to have a go at remote imaging. I used the smallest (and cheapest!) remote telescope at the ‘Light Buckets’ facility. This is a high quality 110mm APO refractor based in the Southern part of the Rhone Alps in France. The camera is an SBIG ST-8 non-antibloming CCD , but the main thing was that it was clear! I set up 5 exposures with a Luminance (clear) filter and waited. The next morning, I had an email telling me the run was complete and I downloaded the ‘light’ images along with the calibration frames (Dark, Flat and Bias). The result after a few minutes in Maxim DL and Photoshop CS3 is show below. (click to see the full-sized image).

Oh, by the way this is M33 in Triangulum.


 Posted by at 1:56 pm