The famous Pleiades and their environment

Since September the sun has barely appear in our skies and the same is true for stars. So there were only three clear nights without a Moon, all three of which I was so lucky to image the sky. On December 16th I could do this picture with the well-known Pleiades, in a wide field setup.

I used the EQ8 with the old Nikkor 180mm F2.8 ED unguided. An IDAS 2″ filter in front of the objective was used resulting in an effective F/ratio of 3.8.

20 frames of 300″ were stacked and processed by Jean Lammertyn in PI.

M45 (c) Joost Verheyden & Jean Lammertyn Lots of stuff can be seen on this picture: not only the Pleiades (“Seven Sisters, daughters of Atlas) and their surrounding blue reflection nebula, but also the “Interstellar Flux Nebula” of IFN, which is all of the dusty filaments in grey that almost fill the picture, these nebula do emmit light themselves, but merely refelect light from nearby stars.  Some red patches of luminous hydrogen gas show up. I’m happy that with a limited integration time, this kind of result is possible from Hoegaarden. Earlier attempts in processing from my side were not nearly as good as this one! Thanks Jean.


California Nebula in Perseus

This is an awesome hydrogene gas field in Perseus… the name is derived from the peculiar shape which resembles the state California.

Unfortunately it is not visible to the eye even with optics. A DSLR could take the picture, as an example below which is taken with my small TS65APO telescope and the modified Nikon D750, from under the streetlights in Hoegaarden.

Full details on this picture on astrobin.

26 Nights in the Provence

I was so lucky to spend some time of in the south of France this summer. Location was the camping site ‘Les Bardons’ to the north side of the Grand Luberon, at an altitude of 550m.

Having camped here for 25+ years I know this area to be very, very consistent in blue skies. Unfortunately also light pollution is marching in from Aix-en-Provence, and Avignon, Apt. The mean SQM in August would be between 21.15 and 21.30

These are the first processed images (click on the image for a larger view):

The North-America and the Pelican nebula in the Swan

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