The dark nebula “Barnard 142” in Aquila

Under a dark sky it’s great to see the shooting stars, the Milky Way, to enjoy the sound of the night crickets and other wildlife. And to shoot some pictures of the stars! Our family holiday in Castellet-en-Luberon allowed me to do all of that. This picture is a relative wide field taken with a Nikon 180mm F4 and FF camera Nikon D750. You can find Altair as the brightest star (Aquila constellation), and the familiar stars above and beneath Altair (in this picture right and left). In the middle of the picture a dark spot can be found, a dark cloud of dust and gas obscuring the starfields of our Milky Way that lie in the distant background. It’s called Barnard 142 after the catalogue of the US astronomer Edward Barnard (1857-1923). He also discovered the fastest moving (apparently) star in our skies (in Ophiuchus) which was called Barnard’s star.

40×30″ at ISO400

No guiding, darks or flats were used for this image. A full-size version can be found on my Astrobin site.

Jupiter with the 180mm Maksutov

During our annual family holidays, in Castellet-en-Luberon, clear skies allow me to image almost every day. The region is not only dark (with sqm values around 21,30) but often benefits from excellent seeing. For Jupiter, who came in opposition August 20th, the added 7 degrees latitude also made a possible difference.

Especially for up the big planet I brought the ‘big’ ‘Mak’sutov. It was posted in a harvested field near the camping grounds.

These are two images taken a few minutes apart, using a sequence of Red, Green, Blue and Infrared filters, each for 1 minute, and on average capturing about 2000 images during that minute (equals fps 30-40). No barlow was used so the telescope imaged at F/15 or 2700mm focla lenght.

The individual black & white images were stacked using Autostakkert software, then the IR/RGB combination for color was made with Registax.

Finishing the final image was done using registax, Astra Image and sometimes Photoshop.

Infrared used as luminance

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