Astrophotography 2016

Here the latest pictures from the astrophotography session in Christmas 2016 from my backyard in Tagliacozzo (Italy). This time the equipment was upgraded with a new focuser which made life much easier! As usual Nikon D7000 on prime focus of a 200mm dia. Newton on HEQ5 mount. I also tried a new CLS filter which does a great job in cutting the Christmas lights from the town, a bit less efective against the smoke coming from the chimneys… Enjoy!

M42 – The great Orion Nebula

A very popular object in amateur astrophotography, this diffuse nebula is the birthplace of new stars. The picture below is the sum of 16 shots of 30 seconds each (ISO4000).

M81/M82 – Ursa Major

First time I take a picture of these two galaxies in the Ursa Major constellation. M81 is a spiral  galaxy which is face-on towards us, M82, also known as the “cigar galaxy”, is a starburst galaxy, where the high rate of star formation seems to be initiated by the interaction with its neighbour M81. The picture below is the sum of 22 shots of 30 seconds each (ISO4000).

M65/M66 – Galaxies in Leo

Quite hard to find but bright enough to see visually. M65 and M66 are part of the “Leo triplet”, toghether with NGC 3628.  The picture below is the sum of 15 shots of 30 seconds each (ISO4000).

Barnard 33 – The Horsehead Nebula

A stunning nebula in the Orion constellation, due to light pollution it was invisible in the eyepiece, but knwoing where to find it, and adding toghether 56 exposures (out of 110!) reveal this beautiful object.

M33 – Triagulum Galaxy

Another attempt to take a picture of this galaxy. In winter it lies up in the sky so the reduced light pollution allows for better shots.  The picture below is the sum of 23 shots of 30 seconds each (ISO4000).

M31 – Andromeda Galaxy

The brightest galaxy we can see from Hearth, visible by naked eye in a clear winter night! The picture below is the sum of 23 shots of 30 seconds each (ISO4000).


13 August 2015 – A Summer Session!

A new set of AstroShots with the new Nikon D7000. A whole night of shots with my Newton 200mm f/5. Using a simple HEQ5 as guiding system and no guide scope: to improve but good pictures after all. Here the description of the shots:

  1. M31, Andromeda Galaxy. Our closest Galaxy. The result is quite good, clearly visible the satellite Galaxy M32 as well.
  2. M13, The great Globular Cluster . Another try to the best globular cluster in northen hemisphere, clearly visible the Galaxy NGC6207 as well.
  3. M57, The ring Nebula . Again another try to the famous ring-shaped nebula.
  4. M33, Triangulum Galaxy . First shot of this difficult deep-sky object, the result is very promising!
  5. NGC869/884, Double Cluster . First shot of this amazing open cluster in Perseus.
  6. M45, the Pleiades . Another shot to the “Seven Sisters”, this time through the telescope, need to improve the contrast to capture the nebulosity.
29 December 2014

A cold winter night in Tagliacozzo (-4.0 °C), observing site covered in snow and ice, but the sky looks great! Newton 200mm f/5 and Nikon D3000, three very nice shots for my (very) rudimental equipment:

  1. C/2014 Q2, Comet Lovejoy. Quite low on the southern horizon, the light pollution affected the photos, total exposure 1’30” (stacked images);
  2. M51, Whirlpool Galaxy.  After midnight (local time) this incredible spiral galaxy rises from the ENE horizon. Difficult object with my equipment, not many details visible, but still a pretty image. Total exposure 3’40” (stacked images);
  3. M42, Orion Nebula. This is the first time I shoot this very popular deep sky object. The result can be improved, in particular by shooting when it is higher in the sky to avoid sky glare and light pollution. Total exposure 3’20” (stacked images).
First AstroShots