“The Horsehead Nebula”

Below is a recent narrow field image of “The Horsehead Nebula”, taken in December at the Squirrel Valley Observatory. This dark cloud of dust and gas is backlit by a bright nebula designated as IC 434. In the lower left of the image is a reflection nebula designated as NGC 2023 which starts to show some “wispy” details. The Horsehead nebula can be tough to view visually, but imaging begins to bring out the details. This particular image was taken as another guiding test on a fairly bright moonlit night. I hope to revisit imaging the Horsehead at some point, with a wider field scope and on a much darker night. As always imaging details can be found here on my Astrobin page.

NGC 1501….A small blue planetary nebula

Recent observations have concentrated on several small planetary nebula currently located high in the east, north eastern evening sky. The recently installed autoguiding system is continuing to be fine tuned and these small nebula make good targets for such work. The current imaging camera displays blue more profoundly than red so naturally I have gravitated more towards the blue targets for now.
NGC 1501 is located in the constellation Camelopardalis and is a smaller target than the recently imaged NGC 1514 which is somewhat similar in appearance.
NGC 1501 shines at approximately magnitude 12.0 with a 14.4 magnitude central star. Its pretty small in the eyepiece, with an apparent size of 1.0 by 0.9 arcmin. This nebula is approximately 3,600 light years distant from earth, a short walk in the cosmic park, relatively speaking. Additional acquisition information can be found here Astrobin

NGC 1501

NGC 1501

NGC 1514 “The Crystal Ball Nebula”

NGC 1514, “The Crystal Ball Nebula”, is a small 3 arc minute (inner region 2.4 x 2.1 arc minute) planetary nebula located in the constellation Taurus and is approximately 2,300 light years away from Earth. The 9th magnitude central star of this 10.8 magnitude nebula is obvious in this image. This stacked image captures confirmed stars down to magnitude 19.92 and several others I guesstimate to be at 20 – 20.5. The limiting magnitude in dark skies for most people is around 6th magnitude, possibly a little more for exceptional seeing conditions and eyesight. Visually this telescope is capable of seeing stars down to around 14th magnitude. As you can see, time exposed images go much farther down the scale. Imaged on 12/04/15 at Squirrel Valley Observatory. Additional imaging details can be found here on my Astrobin page.

NGC 1514, "The Crystal Ball Nebula"

NGC 1514, “The Crystal Ball Nebula”