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. However this seems to have affected the image quality. The star shapes are not ideal. 

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 nebulae which is all of the dusty filaments in grey that almost fill the picture, these nebula dont 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.