Omega nebula & Eagle nebula

Eagle nebula and Omega nebula wide angle

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 good go at capturing it though, despite massive light pollution which kept the exposures down to just 15 seconds.

M17 omega nebula wide

Just above the Omega nebula lies the Eagle nebula (I was able to fit them both in the same shot). A 36 minute stack of 144 shots was enough to bring out some detail, including my favourite, the ‘Pillars of Creation’ in the centre of the nebula.. You’ll need to look closely..

eagle nebula wide shot with nikon d7000

I think revealing these features is really pushing the limits of what can be achieved with the 180mm lens and barn door tracker. The tracker is more than capable of handling higher magnifications though, so to get better shots with finer detail, I would need to invest in a bigger lens.

Details: Nikon D7000Nikkor 180mm f2.8 at f2.8. 36 minutes (144 x 15 seconds) at iso 1600. Using didymium filter. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker and tracked with barn door tracker.


  1. Rama Maganti Reply


    What are you? A scientist, a keen photographer, great web designer, a good artist, skilled technician or a perfectionist. This website is perfect. I can’t believe that you have pictures on the website using a Barn door tracker. I have a EQ3-2 mount with a tracker on RA and I use Nikon D7000 as well, but my pictures are not half decent as your’s. As I stay in Aberdeen South, light pollution is really intense on the North direction, though in the South direction I can get pretty decent pictures. I photograph from my back garden and only can do stars on the East and the South as the house is West facing. Your website is very very useful. BTW, can you make a barn door tracker for me?

    • Nick Reply

      Hey Rama – great to hear you like the site and found it useful.. I’m a web designer by day, and amateur astrophotographer by night, weather/work permitting. Definitely no scientist!

      Sounds like you have similar conditions to me – all my photos are taken from the back garden, but the pollution is to the south. The didymium filter helps for getting the longer exposures.

      With an EQ3-2 mount I’m not sure you’d need that barn door tracker!.. But if you fancy building one, I put a guide together at barn-door-tracker.co.uk.

      The rest I think is just down to post processing with Photoshop. The images usually take a bit of work to look their best, and they often look pretty disappointing coming straight from Deep Sky Stacker. I’d recommend watching one or two tutorials on youtube if you want to get the best results.

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