Learning to press words.

Just a note. I am a complete newbie to this whole wordpress malarkey so please bare with me if this page changes several time. As an example, “My past images” page, I am trying to create a gallery of past images, Whilst I have managed to create the gallery, I have no idea how to add more images. I will also appologise in advance for my poor grammar, spelling mistakes and general waffle. However, if you have any suggestions, or would like for me to add something or to link something here please let me know and I will try to accomodate appropriate requests. Thank you.

Dumbbell Nebula M27


The Image was taken 26/10/2012. It consists of 15 sub frames of 2minutes exposure at ISO800.

The Dumbbell nebula (M27) is a planetary nebula located in the constellation of Vulpecula and lies somewhere near to 1300 light years away. The central star is a star that has died and now exists as a white dwarf. A white dwarf is one of the final states a star can achieve after it has exhausted  its hydrogen fusing power, essentially it is a dead star. Around 95% of all stars are thought to one day evolve into  white dwarfs after leaving the main sequence of star evolution. The white dwarf is created after the star expands into a red giant, shedding its outer layers to form the nebula that surrounds the star, eventually the star collapses under its own gravity to form a small and incredibly dense white dwarf.

For more Information about the Dunbbell Nebula follow this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbbell_Nebula

For information about the Life and death of stars http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/stu/stars_lifedeath.html


The Crescent nebula is a bright emission nebula located in the constellation of Cygnus.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crescent_Nebula It lies around 5000 light years away. The Earth was a very different place when the light I captured first left the nebula. The central star is a Wolf-Rayet star, one which has a mass greater than 20 solar masses and is shedding its mass in a solar wind to create the nebula which we see in the image. One day this star is most likely to go supernova.

The target is quite a difficult target, and there is a lot of detail that is missing and I will never be able to get without dark skies and narrowband filters. There are some absolutely sensational images of NGC6888 if you do a google search you will see some of the fascinating images that have been acheived.. The image itself was taken as hour and 30 minutes worth of second subs at ISO 800 under the influence of the not quite full moon so the histogram wouldn’t take any more length of exposure without loosing out to noise. Once the data was acquired it was stacked in Deepskystacker and the curves and levels were adjusted in Photoshop. This target has been my most difficult in post imaging editing and needed a lot of tweaking to maintain detail in the stars whilst trying to pull out as much data as possible in the nebula.

Ps: For those who don’t know what the hell I am talking about please just ask. I am well aware that there is a lot of jargon and things that don’t quite click until they are explained clearly.

Start of the observing season!

I don’t know how many have noticed the lack of clear skies and rather poor summer, I guess unless your a complete recluse it hasn’t escaped you that the weather has been dire. With the clocks rolling back ready for the winter it marks the begining of observing season. Now all we need to do is figure how to get rid of the blanket of cloud that has sat on top of the UK for the last 10 months. Moaning aside, I did manage to get a good night of imaging in. My targets were the planetary nebulas – The dumbbell and the ring nebula which are bright planetary nebulas and are good targets for practising your photography skills. After capturing the planetaries, I moved over the nearly full 96% lit moon and finally had my very first attempt at NGC6888 a emission nebula located in Cygnus. Images are further details can be found in later posts.