noctilove
Comet Catalina and M101 the pinwheel galaxy
17
JAN
2016

Comet Catalina – C/2013 US10

I finally had a chance to photograph Comet Catalina after what seems like a solid month of cloud. By chance this happened to be a night when the comet passed close to the Pinwheel galaxy (M101) forming a brief but beautiful conjunction. Catalina is already an attractive comet,...
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pacman nebula
08
NOV
2015

Pacman nebula

The Pacman nebula is named after the classic 80’s arcade game character, but to me it looks much more like an angler fish! The little nebula (officially named NGC 281) sits alongside the bright yellow star Scheder, inside the familiar W constellation of Cassiopeia. A...
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veil nebula in cygnus
06
OCT
2015

Blast from the past: supernova remnants

The ragged remains of a 7000 year old supernova explosion make up the Veil nebula in the constellation of Cygnus. A 72 minute exposure (144 x 30 seconds) over two nights was enough to pick up some of the intricate details of this huge and complex structure. The Western Veil or...
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08
SEP
2015

Gamma Cygni (Sadr)

Cutting through the Milky Way, the constellation of Cygnus is home to some of the best sights in the night sky; the North America Nebula, the Dumbell nebula and another one I plan on tackling soon, the Vail nebula. At the heart of the constellation, bright star Gamma Cygni (Sadr)...
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25
APR
2015

Distant giant: The Pinwheel galaxy

The short nights of spring reveal a view unobstructed by the Milky Way, with slim pickings for wide-angle astrophotography. But there are some distant giants to be seen. The Pinwheel galaxy is one of them. The massive galaxy stretches 180,000 light-years edge to edge. Despite...
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flaming star nebula
12
MAR
2015

Flaming Star nebula

After giving up on it a couple of weeks ago, I decided to have another try at the Flaming Star nebula, this time under better conditions… Heading a few miles out of town to darker skies makes a huge difference for such a faint subject. The darker background not only make...
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23
FEB
2015

Orion nebula revisited

The plan was to capture the flaming star nebula in Auriga last night, with it being overhead. I set the tracker up, took a few shots and immediately realised just how faint it was!.. As an antidote to this disappointment, I aimed the camera at the brightest nebula in the sky, the...
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The Pleiades
15
NOV
2014

The Pleiades

The open cluster of the Pleiades is a captivating sight in the winter sky, with nebulosity visible even to the the naked eye. Longer exposures reveal the electric colour of the blue hot stars at the cluster’s heart. These bright stars make it tricky to capture the fainter...
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M17 omega nebula 180mm f2.8 ed
02
SEP
2014

Omega nebula & Eagle nebula

The Omega nebula, also known as the Swan nebula (although it looks more like a snail to me) in Sagittarius is a tricky one from this latitude (54° north) as once the summer twilight passes and it’s dark enough to take photos again, it barely gets above the horizon. I had a...
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