Veil nebula print

Got my Veil nebula photo printed. This is the first time for me to get an acrylic print. It was expensive but I see why that was so. It seems like the print is mounted under a clear ~4mm thick piece of plastic (acrylic?!). It looks great. Can’t wait to put it on a wall.


Green comet

Comet C2022/E3 (ZTF) or the green comet as mentioned in the news was captured on the night of Friday (1/27) from my front yard. The relative movement of the comet over that time can be seen as the background stars made startrails.

In the second image, the processing was done a little differently to suppress the stars and that makes the comet’s dust tail more prominent.

Western Veil nebula

A part of the Veil nebula complex from Cygnus. This is Pickering’s triangle and Witch’s broom (NGC6960). This supernova remnant glows in Halpha and Oiii frequencies which is perfect for LeXtreme narrowband filter that selects those frequencies. I have tried this image several times before but this 4 hour exposure is the best so far. There is so much detail and color of the nebula that I couldn’t capture before.

Interestingly, the bright star near Witch’s broom, 52 Cygni is at 290 light years while the veil nebula is at almost 8 times that distance at 2400 light years. This supernova happened between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. Anyone looking at the sky at that time probably saw a star much brighter than Venus.

WO ZS61 – ZWO ASI533MC-PRO – LeXtreme – 80 x 3 min – SIRIL – PS

Wide angle long exposure photos

Playing with long exposure (3 mins) photos with a 40 mm lens attached to Nikon Z6 on a SkyWatcher star tracker. Here is one that shows Andromeda galaxy (M31), top right and Triangulum Galaxy (M33), bottom center. Also two open star clusters: M34 in Perseus (left edge) and NGC 752 in Andromeda (left center). This is just a single image with contrast adjustments in Photoshop, not a stack of multiple images.

Another long exposure (3 min) photo showing Pleiades (bottom right), and ghostly reddish glow of California nebula (right of center). The bright star at top left is Capella and just above the roof, open clusters M36 and M38 are seen along with Flaming star and tadpoles nebula region in Auriga.

Bubble nebula – Nov2022

The Bubble nebula (NGC 7635) and an open cluster M52 in the constellation Cassiopeia. They appear next to each other but the nebula is ~11000 LY away while M52 is closer at a distance of only ~5000 LY. The bubble is about 10 LY across and is formed because of the intense radiation from the star inside it pushing the interstellar gas and dust.

This image consists of almost 3 hours of total exposure (35x5m). Optolong LeXtreme narrowband filter with ZWO ASI533MC-pro on WO ZS61. Processed with SIRIL and PS.

Total lunar eclipse – Nov 8, 2022

It is hard to get excited about lunar eclipses. They are not as dramatic as the solar ones. The eclipse started at around 3 am local time and the sky was supposed to be clear. Without that “cloudy sky” excuse, I decided to wake up to watch it from start to end. Once I was up and started taking photos every few minutes, it was fun to watch the slow and steady progress of earth’s shadow covering up the moon. I am glad I viewed it as the next lunar eclipse visible for us will be in 2025.

Eagle nebula – Oct2022

Eagle nebula aka Star Queen nebula (M16) in constellation Serpens, at about 7000 light years is home to the “Pillars of Creation” made famous by Hubble telescope. I always wanted to capture this but, my Southern sky is not completely open. I only get about one hour window for capturing these objects closer to the Southern horizon.

It was very satisfying to see that the “Pillars of Creation” were clearly visible in my image. The James Webb Telescope released its latest image of the pillars in midrange infrared light and it is just mind-blowing (see below). One can compare and quite obviously see the difference between a thousand dollar imaging setup and a billion dollar one. 😄

Telescope: WO ZS61
Camera: ASI533MC-Pro
Filter: Optolong L-eXtreme
Exposure: 50x1min
Processing: SIRIL and PS