Pictures of the Month
Cederblad 214 (NGC7822) - SHO
I’ve wanted to capture this area for a long time because it promised to be very interesting with narrowband filters, like the ones Hubble Space Telescope uses. I’ve almost given it up this season, but in the evenings it was still high enough for a few hours, so in 5 nights, when there was a small break between the clouds, I finally gathered the necessary 26 hours of exposure time. Unfortunately, some of the raw pictures weren’t taken under a very good sky, but the characteristic columnar shapes of the nebulae began to emerge nicely, and the whole star-forming region appeared. The dust nebulae are particularly faint, so they required special attention, as there are many beautiful details hidden there, that can be shown.
Sh2-132 Celestial Lion near Cepheus
I tried to capture the emission nebula Sharpless 2-132 with excessively low surface brightness as detailed as possible. I exposed for 21 hours in total. I used narrowband filters to take the image. The nebula is intensively visible on the image, as opposed to the raw files in which the detail shows itself very faintly.
The Veil Nebula
This summer, I committed myself to capturing one of the most popular objects in the summer sky, a supernova remnant called the Veil Nebula as spectacularly as possible. The key to this was to put this relatively large object together from high-resolution mosaic panels. The result shown in the picture was cropped from six panels.(Péter Feltóti)
The 2020 Visibility of Mars
My series of Mars images were taken from the Corona Borealis Observatory in Győr, between the 4th of April and 8th of October 2020. The diameter of the planet increased from 6,5 arc-seconds to 22,6 arc-seconds over the past half a year. The seeing varied highly between 3/10 and 7-8/10, so the equal normalization of the images was the main task. For a long time, I have been planning on capturing a Mars opposition and visibility at the right altitude, the first half of which you can see right here. At the dawn and dusk edges of the planet, the ground level fogging and cloud formation is well recognizable, just like the spectacular Olympus Mons and its caldera. The series together, also showcases the martian seasonal change and the polar ice caps shrinking due to, it can also be studied. (Zsolt Kereszty)
Wolf-Rayet 134 in the constellation Cygnus, not far from its famous relative NGC6888, the Crescent Nebula. The structure is similarly exciting, but all in all a lot fainter. It really prevails with an OIII filter, but in spite of the narrowband, it’s probably worth imaging under dark skies for the whole iris-like structure and the more diffuse parts to come out well. Processed as a HaOIIIRGB composite.
NGC7380 The Wizard Nebula (SHO)
The raw data collected so slowly for the Iris Nebula that another narrowband project has been completed in the meantime. The processing was quite exhausting due to the small size, and massive star field even in narrowband but I hope it turned out acceptable.
C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)
I was lucky enough to be able to take this picture of the comet NEOWISE. Originally I didn’t even plan to deal with it but on monday some of us went to Belecska despite the uncertain weather and there I realized how beautiful it looks. I couldn’t miss it! After some improvisation I started the exposures and managed to collect about one hour of good-quality raw images. The processing was a struggle because the large field of view, the background stars barely moved, which resulted in trails in the integrated picture. The difficulty was handling these trails in a proper way so that the end result would be aesthetic.
Bubble Galaxy, NGC3521
I turned my attention to the NGC3521 galaxy, previously unknown to me, due to a call. Being a relatively small object compared to the field of view of the usual astrophotography equipment, I thought about some other possibilities I have. I have already tried my 20 cm diameter, long focus, classic cassegrain telescope for photography, but the original F/12 brightness resulted in a very soft image. Then I came up with the idea to reduce the focus with a reducer, but I only had my Newton-optimized ASA 0.73 corrector at home to use. Looking back, it wasn’t a bad idea to choose this. I need to add, that, however much COVID-19 took away from being able to go outside, it gave back the same amount for image taking. I’ve never seen such clean, transparent skies from Vecsés as that set in with the disappearance of planes and other polluting dusts during the time of the pandemic.
The M101 galaxy is a popular target for all astrophotographers from beginners to the most experienced. It is relatively bright, so it quickly gives you a sense of success but with a little more effort the faint parts will emerge from the background as well. Its detailed nucleus and the bright and extensive HII regions also provide a great amount of opportunities. Perhaps this is why we know a thousand faces of this galaxy, and each of us processes it differently. I’ve also made different versions but after a long philosophical discussion and several Pixinsight calibration I decided (with the help of Patrik Tarczi) to process it in a more muted, less popular way. Of course if you have a relatively good raw material at your disposal you can’t help bringing out the maximum of it. Yet now I decided to finalize a ‘quieter’ version.
Rho Ophiuchi & Antares Region
The Rho Ophiuchi region is an area rich in colors, for which I collected exposure time from Namibia back in 2018. Unfortunately there are a lot of stars here (too), so it was a struggle to try and bring out as many details as possible from the sea of stars, and setting the color balance was even harder. Next time I travel to the southern hemisphere I will definitely mosaic this beautiful area.
Southern craterfield of the waning Moon
The image of the Month in March 2020: An excessively sharp photo depicting a part of the Moon’s surface, the southern crater field.
Centre of The Milky Way
This is an image from Namibia, the concept behind it was simple... keep the rig working. No matter what, keep it working and imaging. Actually I’ve imaged the galactic core with every lens I had with me at the time. I have already uploaded the one with the 50mm, the 14mm and now this is the one with the 24mm on an APS-C sized sensor. These aren’t a perfect pair however, as the corner’s show a little coma.
Encouraged by the last year’s Andromeda mosaic, I decided to make a mosaic image in 2019 as well. The Soul Nebula was the right option because it could be made in two vertical panels, but I raised the stakes and used LRGB technique because of the dense star field. I had six clear nights, 2x2 nights for the UHC-filtered images from Pilis and 2x1 for the RGB images from Ágasvár. I could manage the star field better with the help of the UHC-layer but all in all reducing the stars was an immense job. In the end I’m satisfied with this image, but with all this RGB-mosaic, UHC-mosaic and LRGB-technique the post-processing was a long and tiring work. By the time I have finished, the size of the folder was 310 Gigabyte!