27 Nov 2013

SH2-207+SH2-208 Reprocessed

Had some time to reprocess this old image.

Not so much stretched...

Full size on Astrobin

Old one here

SH2-101, The Tulip Nebula

The Tulip Nebula, or Sharpless 101 (Sh2-101) or the Cygnus Star Cloud is an emission nebula located in the constellation Cygnus.

Here's only Hydrogen alpha with 9h 30min of exposure (19*1800sec). Colors will hopefully follow...

10 Nov 2013

M57 Finalized

I added 2 more hours of Hydrogen alpha and some RGB data also. So here's 7h of Ha and total of 10h 20min of exposure (HaRGB=420:60:70:70 min)

Full size on Astrobin

4 Nov 2013

IC5146 Reprocessed

Tried to tweak more of the Hydrogen Alpha details. Not so big changes visible....

1 Nov 2013

M92 reprocessed

Not sure if this is better or not so I'll let the viewer to decide.

The core is a bit darker and maybe some star color has been enhanced.

31 Oct 2013


I took an hour of total exposure of this beautiful globular cluster. M92 is one of the brighter globular clusters in the northern hemisphere, but it is often overlooked by amateur astronomers because of its proximity to the even more spectacular Messier 13. It is visible to the naked eye under very good conditions.

It was discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1777, then published in the Jahrbuch during 1779. The cluster was independently rediscovered by Charles Messier on March 18, 1781 and added as the 92nd entry in his catalogue. M92 is at a distance of about 26,700 light-years away from Earth and has a magnitude of 6.5.

Exposure of this image is:
                          L             =   10 * 180"
                          RGB       =     5 * 120"
                          TOTAL   =    1 hr

Full size in Astrobin

28 Oct 2013

Cocoon Nebula with Ha

I took 4,5 hrs of Ha to boost the nebulosity and some extra RGB to add some color.

Processing was quite difficult because the tonemapped Ha was so strong that the colors were lost in the nebula. I think I added only 30% of Ha to the red channel and combined the L+Ha for luminance. So it's basically LHa(HaR)GB combination...

Total exposure is now 10 hrs:
                                    L        = 10 * 900"
                                    Ha     = 9 * 1800"
                                    RGB  = 12 * 300" (bin2*2)

Full size again on Astrobin

24 Oct 2013

M57, The Ring Nebula

I tried this one with bigger scope! Last one was quite small one with short exposures.

Here's 6,5 hr of exposure Ha(HaR)GB (300:30:30:30).

BIG one again on Astrobin

16 Oct 2013

IC5146, the Cocoon Nebula

This was my secondary target after the Draco Dwarf settled down in the sky.

Only 2,5 hrs of Luminance and no Ha. I may continue this one later...

Total exposure of 5h 30 min:
                                                  L        = 10*900" (bin1*1)
                                                  RGB  = 12*300" (bin2*2)

15 Oct 2013

Draco Dwarf finalized

I took some more shots for this faint one...

Total exposure is 11h 20min (485:60:60:75)
                        L        = 3*1800" + 10*1200" +  13*900" (bin 1*1)
                        RG     = 12*300" (bin2*2)
                        B        = 15*300" (bin2*2)

Full size on Astrobin

8 Oct 2013

The Draco Dwarf galaxy, UGC10822

After I got my ServoCAT back I imaged this galaxy from our local group. Even though the magnitude of this is 10.9 the surface brightness is very low and I didn't manage to get the halo of the galaxy out. The moisture in the air (and the surface fog) didn't help at all...

"Recent studies have indicated that the galaxy may potentially hold large amounts of dark matter. Having an absolute magnitude of -8.6[c] and a total luminosity of only 2×105 L☉, it is one of the faintest companions to our Milky Way." (wikipedia)

Total exposure of this image is 8h 35min:
                                 L          =         6h 35min
                                 RGB     =        2h (40:40:40)

Full size on Astrobin

7 Oct 2013

Back in business

I received my ServoCAT last week and it's working again!! Huge thanks to Gary from Stellarcat who was very helpful and responds very fast to my emails.

The USB chip in the ServoCAT was broken... Gary said this was the first one failed he has seen. And the reason remains uncertain, but the most probable cause was a lightning. I took all the power cables off during summer but didn't even think to disconnect the USB cable. But surely will remember that next summer...

8 Sept 2013


Perfect weather, clear skies with no moon or snow, really good transparency... But no working mount!

I made some changes to my focuser trying to solve the bending problem and was finalizing the collimation when I suddenly lost connection to my Mesu2. Wtf!!!

I found that the virtual COM port was blinking in my device manager. Ok, maybe some driver (which I updated earlier) isn't working properly. But after two nights, 3 computers and 4 USB chords there still was no connection to the mount. Everything else was working perfectly. Even the mount with the hand controller! But not with the computer. So, this time the ServoCAT controller failed somehow.

Few emails to StellarCAT (ServoCAT manufacturer) and a request to send it to U.S for repair... It's on its way now and there's gonna be at least 2 weeks delay for BBubble observatory.

But something good also!!! I (finally) brought outside my 10" Dobson for visual observing! This is something I've not done often because I got caught with astrophotography quite soon after finding this hobby. Last two nights I've been seeing wonders in the sky with my own eyes and not thru a camera. And it has been a quite nice experience! 

But hopefully my ServoCAT controller comes back soon so I can get this season finally started!

1 Jul 2013

NGC6826, The Blinking Planetary

Last processed image from the last season!! Also known as Caldwell 15.

Only about 4hrs of exposure. Discontinued because of the flexure when shooting to the Western sky.

A weird combination of colors! Core is as Hubble palette; SII for red, Ha for green and OIII for blue. Outer halo bicolor HaOIIIOIII.

Full frame


29 May 2013

NGC6543, The Cat's Eye Nebula

Here's also one kind of unfinished project from April... I found some flexure from my focuser when shooting towards the eastern sky so I turned back the to western sky and discontinued with this one.

And here's a crop of the Nebula:

Here's about 5 hrs of exposure of this Planetary Nebula.
                                                  Ha     =    3 * 1800" + ~15-20 * 180/300" for core
                                                  OIII   =    5 * 1800" + ~15-20 * 180" for core

Full size on Astrobin

NGC4214, short exposure (L only)

This nice galaxy remains on my target list! 

I got only 4*20min of exposure before astronomical darkness ended here. Not too much processing used here... Hopefully next season let's me finalize this one.

3 May 2013


This has been waiting for processing since middle of March. I still have 2-3 objects with quite poor data waiting...

This faintish supernova remnant is located in constellation Auriga. The distance is estimated at 14700 light years and age of between 13000 and 24000 years.

                     Ha           =                10 * 1800"
                     RG          =                  4 * 300"
                     B             =                  6 * 300"
                     TOTAL   =                  6h 10min

Full size on Astrobin

18 Apr 2013

Abell 61

I imaged this small planetary nebula, also known as PNG 077.6+14.7, in early April. Processing took several days and versions before I was happy enough.

Abell 61 is about 3.4' in diameter and mostly round. It's located in constellation Cygnus. Abell (1966) described it as "incomplete rings with gaps". The central (mag 17) variable star is WD1917+461. Its distance is unknown.

And here's 100% crop of the nebula.

Exposure details:
                             Ha            5 * 1800"
                            OIII           7 * 1800"
                             TOTAL    6h

Full size again in Astrobin

15 Apr 2013

NGC2685 reprocessed

As I said I wasn't too happy with the star colors of the first post so here's new version of this polar ring galaxy.

9 Apr 2013

PK164+31.1 continued

After all I came back to this target with one night and get some more luminance for it. Here's extra 3h 40min of it with now a total exposure of 12hrs.

Full size again on Astrobin

M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy

I took few images during near full moon (90+ percent) of this famous galaxy. I didn't had any big expectations of the result because of the moon phase and short exposure time. But the final image surprised me!

Here's only 2h 50min of exposure:
                                             L        =   4 * 1200"
                                             RG     =   3 * 300"
                                             B        =   6 * 300"
                                             Ha      =   3 * 600"

8 Apr 2013

Draco trio reprocessed

I've done some reprocessing of the picture to bring out more of the ngc5982's (elliptical galaxy) outer parts.

I used J-P Metsävainio's (http://astroanarchy.blogspot.fi/) brilliant tonemapping method. I've never used it before to LRGB-imaging but it seems to work perfectly.

Here's a "boosted" version of the Draco trio:

5 Apr 2013

Draco Trio; NGC5981, NGC5982 and NGC5985

This is a fascinating view of three totally different galaxies. From top to bottom there's a face-on spiral NGC5985, an elliptical NGC5982 and a edge-on NGC5981. And in the background there's dozens of faint galaxies.

While the group is far too small to be a galaxy cluster and has not been cataloged compact group, these galaxies all do lie roughly 100 million light-years from planet Earth. On close examination with spectrographs, the bright core of the striking face-on spiral NGC 5985 shows prominent emission in specific wavelengths of light, prompting astronomers to classify it as a Seyfert, a type of active galaxy.

NGC5985 has a size of 3*5.5 arcmin (mag 11.1), NGC5982 has a size of 2.6*1.9 arcmin (mag 11) and NGC5981 has a size of 0.3*2.8 arcmin (mag 13.89).

Exposure of this image is:
                                      L              =  14*1200"
                                      RGB         =    8*300" (bin2*2)
                                      TOTAL    = 6h 40min

Full size again on Astrobin

25 Mar 2013

CTB1, Supernova remnant

This really faint object is also known as Abell 85 or as SNR G116.9+00.1. It's located in constellation Cassiopeia. (Ra 23:58:53.5 Dec +62:30:28)

Abell 85 is an large, filamentary supernova remnant with shell-like structure similar to Cygnus Loop. Unlike the Cygnus Loop, the majority of CTB1's optical light emission is in the HII spectrum, with only a small component of OIII emission. (deepskypedia)

This is a frustrating target!! Extremely faint and now located low in the Norhern sky. I have plans to continue with this one but the next possible time is in late August when it's dark again and this will be higher in the sky.

Here's 7h 30min of Hydrogen-alpha taken with 30min subs.

23 Mar 2013

PK 164+31.1

Jones-Emberson 1 (PK 164+31.1) is a 14th magnitude planetary nebula in the constellation Lynx at a distance of 1600 light years. It is a larger planetary with low surface brightness. The 16.8-magnitude central star is very blue white dwarf.

Here's 8h 50min of exposure with HaLRGB. There's only 1h 40min of luminance so the background galaxies is not quite well visible. But I think I'm done with this one...

Full size in Astrobin.

22 Mar 2013


Another open cluster taken to fill the empty gap between main targets...

Open Cluster M36 (also known as Messier Object 36, Messier 36, M36, or NGC 1960) is an open cluster in the Auriga constellation. It was discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654. M36 is at a distance of about 4,100 light years away from Earth and is about 14 light years across. There are at least sixty members in the cluster. (wikipedia)

This cluster has a size of 12 arcmin and magnitude of 6.3.

Here's 2 hours total exposure of RGB (RG=6*300" and B=12*300").

17 Mar 2013

Polar ring galaxy NGC2685 Finalized

A polar-ring galaxy is a type of galaxy in which an outer ring of gas and stars rotates over the poles of the galaxy. These polar rings are thought to form when two galaxies gravitationally interact with each other. One possibility is that a material is tidally stripped from a passing galaxy to produce the polar ring seen in the polar-ring galaxy. The other possibility is that a smaller galaxy collides orthogonally with the plane of rotation of the larger galaxy, with the smaller galaxy effectively forming the polar-ring structure. (wikipedia)

This is my version of this mag 11.2 object (4.6*2.5 arcmin)

I'm not totally happy with the colors (or lack of them) so I may reprocess this later.

Total exposure is 10h 40min:
                                              L    = 25*1200"
                                              RG = 8*300"
                                              B    = 8*450"

And here's 100% crop of the galaxy.

Bigger one again in Astrobin

16 Mar 2013

NGC2403 L(HaR)GB

NGC 2403 (also Caldwell 7) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. NGC 2403 is an outlying member of the M81 Group, and is approximately 8 million light-years distant. It bears a striking similarity to M33, being about 50,000 light years in diameter and containing numerous star-forming H II regions. The northern spiral arm connects it to nearby galaxy NGC 2404. (wikipedia)

Galaxy has a size of 21.9*12.3 arcmin and magnitude of 8.9.

Total exposure is 7h 15min:
                      L    =   13*1200"
                      GB =   8*300"
                      R    =   7*300"
                      Ha  =   3*1200"

IC342, The Hidden Galaxy L(HaR)GB

IC 342 (also known as Caldwell 5) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. The galaxy is near the galactic equator where dust obscuration makes it a difficult object for both amateur and professional astronomers to observe, though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. The dust of the Milky Way makes it difficult to determine the precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 Mly to about 11 Mly.

IC 342 is one of the brightest two galaxies in the IC 342/Maffei Group of galaxies, one of the galaxy groups that is closest to the Local Group. The galaxy was discovered by William Frederick Denning in 1895. Edwin Hubble first thought it to be in the Local Group, but later it was demonstrated that the galaxy is outside the Local Group. (wikipedia)

This galaxy has a size of 21.4*20.9 arcmin with a magnitude of 9.1.

Here's my finalized version of it.

Total exposure: 8h 10 min
                          L   = 4h20min (13 * 1200")
                          Ha = 2h (6*1200")
                          RG = 30 min (6*300")
                          B   = 50 min (10*300")

14 Mar 2013

M103 finalized

Here's the final version of the Messier 103. The open cluster is located in constellation Cassiopeia with a magnitude of 7.4.

This open cluster was discovered in 1781 by Charles Messier's friend and collaborator Pierre Mechain. It's one of the most distant open clusters, with distances of 8000 and 9500 light years from the earth and ranging about 15 light years apart. (wikipedia)

Here's RGB image with 20:20:40 minutes of exposure.

Full size in Astrobin

12 Mar 2013


And one more project to continue, Polar ring galaxy NGC2685.

IC342, the hidden galaxy

This is one of my on-going projetcs with a 3h 50min of exposure. I've planned to shoot some 3-4 hrs more so I'll continue with this one later.

Full size (>5MB) available on Astrobin.

10 Mar 2013


I took a quick 1 hour picture of this open cluster.

Here's RGB image with 4*300s exposure for each color binned 1*1.

SH2-207 and SH2-208

This was one of my last day targets!

Here's two sharpless objects, SH2-207 is the bigger one and SH2-208 is the smaller one. There's also a lot of very dim nebulosity aroud these two.

Here's 11.5 hrs of exposure with Ha (20*1800 sec) and RGB (10*180 sec each binned 2*2).


I've shot 2-3 targets per night for last few clear nights. Everything has worked just perfectly so I've been able to sit down and relax...

One of these targets was spiral galaxy ngc2403 in constellation Camelopardalis. It is an outlying member of the M81 and is approximately 8 million light-years distant with the size of 21.9*12.3 arcmin and magnitude of 8.9.
This image has total exposure of 6h 5min (L=13*1200sec, R=7*300sec, B=8*300sec and G=8*300sec). Luminance binned 1*1 and colors 2*2.

7 Mar 2013

14" Newtonian

This was about a year long project from first orders to first light!

So here's my "home build" 14" Newtonian inside the observatory. There's not too much extra room but it fits in perfectly.

This is combination of parts from several manufacturer's and a home made carbon fiber tube.

Here's some specifications:
Primary mirror:                  Oldham Optical, 14" (355mm) with PV 1/10λ and strehl 0.97
Secondary mirror:              Oldham Optical, 4.7" (120mm) 
Focal ratio:                        f/4.8 (focal length 1700mm)
Primary mirror cell:            Orion Optics U.K
Secondary spider:               Protostar, 4-vane heavy-duty with anti-dew heater
Focuser:                            Orion Optics U.K, 3" Crayford with 10:1 reduction (+RoboFocus)
Field corrector:                  Orion Optics U.K, 3" CFF (corrected field flattener)
Tube inside diameter:         400mm
Tube length:                       about 1600mm
Weight:                             about 30kg (without camera)

And here's a detailed picture of the camera. As you can see I didn't pay too much of attention for finalizing the tube. And I needed to add a steel plate (~3kg) under the Robofocus to balance it better (to fit it inside the observatory). The adhesive tape is used only for blocking the possible scattered light. Sbig RGH (remote guide head) is used for guiding.

6 Mar 2013

M76 Final, first light of my 14" Astrograph

I got few hours more of Hydrogen alpha so I think this is now final version of this. Even though there's only 5.5 hours of exposure here (3*1800 + 10*900 sec of Ha and 6*900sec OIII).

This is now a formal first light of my new imaging scope, 14" Newtonian Astrograph. I'll post more of this soon!

Here's "natural" color version (HaOIIIOIII):

A 100% crop of bicolor (HaOIII):

And a 200% crop of HAOIIIOIII:

1 Mar 2013

M76, Little Dumbbell Nebula

Finally few nights with no clouds!!! But a full moon and a heavy surface fog... But now I don't complain!!

I got few descent images of the Little Dumbbell, M76, a planetary nebula in constallation Perseus. It's distance is estimated at 2500 light years, and its size is only 2,7*1,8 arcmin with a magnitude of 10,1. Some consider this object to be one of the faintest and hardest to see objects in Messier's list.

Here's only 4hrs of exposure with Ha (10*900sec) and OIII (6*900sec) and a synthetic green channel. So hopefully there's some more to come..

Here's HST (Hubble Space Telescope) color:

And natural color:

And finally a 100% crop of the nebula:

27 Feb 2013

Some photometry

After a very long period of cloudiness there was a clear night, but with a heavy surface fog. Visibility in the ground level was 250m in the near by airfield.

I took 30 * 2 min exposures with Johnson V -filter of the comet C/2012 V2 (LINEAR) and put them to MaximDL's photometry tool.

Here's the graph.

17 Jan 2013

Adjusting and some test photos

About a week ago was a clear night but both the seeing and transparency weren't that good, about 4 and 3. There were again some haze and ice crystals and the average FWHD was about 3.5.

Everything is working again and I spend about an hour to finalize my collimation. I got it pretty good, but I think I'll try to get it a little better... Less than 2" would be perfect. (Don't mind about huge gradients in the backgroud...)

And here's crop of two hours (12*600sec) exposure of NGC2805.

Due the bad conditions there's not so much of details. But I'm surprised how deep the image is!!
Here's some galaxies pointed out with Aladin sky atlas and NED (NASA/IPAC extragalactic database).