Sunday, August 1, 2010

Messier 27

One of the first objects that I imaged with my ST80/EQ-1 setup was Messier 27, the Dumbbell Nebula.  M27 is a planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula (Latin for "The Fox").  It was the first planetary nebula discovered, and is considered by most astronomers to be the finest in our skies.  In my ST80, M27 looks something like this visually:

How Messier 27 might appear visually
Below is an image of M27 taken afocally through a 20mm eyepiece with a Canon PowerShot A590 IS.  It is composed of 11 15-second subs.

Messier 27, ST80, afocal, 11x15

The human eye does not detect colors well in low light conditions.  The night sky is full of color, but most of it is difficult to see.  Long exposure photography brings out these faint colors, though.

M27 was the first object that I imaged with the Epsilon-200.  I used my Canon EOS Rebel XS at prime focus.  I did not collect any raw images (only JPEGs).  If I knew then what I know now, I would have done it differently.  But, I'm pretty happy with the results:

Messier 27, E-200, 20x120

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