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NGC 4490, the Cocoon Galaxy, is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Canes Venatici which forms an interacting pair of galaxies together with with neighbour, NGC 4485. They are connected by a tidal arm that reaches into space by about 24,000 light-years.
This is a combination of luminance and single-shot-color images taken during three succeeding nights in my backyard with my 9.5" Newtonian relector.


Another narrow-band image series taken from my backyard in Vienna, Austria: The faint nebulosity around Lynd's Bright Nebula 310 in Cygnus, a few degrees west of Deneb, the constellation's brightest star. Again, I used Hα, [OIII] and [SII] filters to image those emission lines exclusively during six different nights in the summer of 2012. See the Hα image and the "near-natural" color image. I used the 125/475mm Wright-Newtonian telescope and the ATIK 383L+ CCD for this exposure series.

LBN310 in near-natural colors LBN310

In October 2011, I took narrow-band images of IC 1318, the Butterfly Nebula, in my light-polluted backyard in Vienna, Austria, using the 9.5" Newtonian telescope at a local length of about 1300mm. I used Hα, [OIII] and [SII] filters to image those emission lines exclusively in three succeeding nights. As usual, the Hα image turned out best, with most contrast and details but least noise. However, I used all the emission lines to create an image with "near-natural" colors. I used my trusty ATIK 383L+ CCD for this exposure series

IC 1318 in near-natural colors IC 1318 in H-alpha

Walter created a 4K timelapse animation of the Total Lunar Eclipse of January 21, 2019 (YouTube link). The images were taken with Walter's TMB 105/650 refractor and his ZWO ASI294MC Pro color CMOS camera. The sequence starts during the penumbral phase and lasts during the full total eclipse phase until the moon sets behind a tree just after 4th contact in the morning sky. This is the stablized, enhanced version, where you can see the stars moving in the background.

Total Lunar Eclipse of January 21, 2019

January 1st, 2019: Howdii's Farewell and a Happy New Year!

Walter used his new ZWO ASI294MC color CMOS camera to take and [OIII] narrow-band filtered images of NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula in his light-polluted backyard in Vienna, Austria. The camera's Bayer matrix reduces the available resolution when using narrow-band filters, but much of this could be restored using the 2x drizzle method. The resulting Hα and [OIII] images were combined to create a Near-Natural Color Image using tone mapping. The telescope used is a 9.5" f/4.9 Newtonian with a new TS-Optics 2" 3-element MaxField Newtonian coma corrector.

NGC 6888 in near-natural colors NGC 6888 in H-alpha NGC 6888 in [OIII]

A telelens photo taken by Walter last summer showing IC 1396, a huge emission nebula in southern Cepheus, and its surrounding area. Move your mouse over the image above to get a version with constellation lines, deep-sky objects and labels drawn.

IC 1396 and Surrounding Area

Walter's first image taken with the STC Astro Duo-Narrowband Filter, which enables astrophotographers to capture two narrowband emission lines (Hα and [OIII]) simultaneously. This makes emission nebula photography with a one-shot-colour cooled camera or DSLR possible even under the light-polluted sky of a city. My first impressions: It works quite well, but I needed a long exposure series spanning two nights to get enough signal at f/6.2 for a decent image. I capured both red and green colored parts of IC 1795, the Fishhead Nebula simultaneously with my color CMOS camera under the light-polluted sky of my backyard in Vienna/Austria. I used my TMB 105/650 APO refractor for taking the exposures.

STC Astro Duo-Narrowband Filter IC 1795 with Duo-Narrowband Filter

Walter's widefield DSLR photos taken with a Canon 350D and an astro-modified Canon 350D and a Nikon 135mm telephoto lens during his XVIth Astro-Expedition to the Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße:

M17 IC 5146 NGC 7023 M20 NGC6992/5 M24 Sh2-155

I took most of those images with the camera and lens attached to the end of the counterweight shaft of my mount. The camera was pointed parallel to the telescope which was taking the CCD/CMOS images you can see below. The Sagittarius photos - M17; Saturn, Trifid and Lagoon; and M24 - I count among my best DSLR widefield images. The others are OK, but to a varying degree degraded by thin clouds passing through during the exposure series. I used bias, dark and flat field calibration for all images.

Walter's astrophotos of the 3rd night of his stay at the Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße in September 2018, taken with his well-tried photoscope the JSO 4.9" f/3.8 Wright-Newtonian and the new ZWO ASI294MC Pro color CMOS camera:

NGC 7129 and NGC 7142 Sh2-155

Telescope and camera produced deep, beautiful and colorful images. Occasional thin clouds passing through created the rather large halos around bright stars. Also, the camera does not seem to record the deep red Hα line as well as blue and green colors.

Ok, here are the processed astrophotos Walter has taken with Howdii's Alpha Tauri 8" f/5 Photo-Newtonian and the ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera during his XVIth Astro-Expedition to the Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße:

M17 IC 5146 NGC 7023 M20 NGC6992/5 M52 and NGC 7635

IC 5146 and NGC 7023 I count among my very best astrophotos. The others were to a varying degree degraded by bad seeing, wind, low altitude or thin clouds passing through during the exposure series, but came out not bad altogether. I had to fight elongated and bloated star images after image combination during post-processing, which may have been caused by the main mirror shifting and the simple coma corrector. Deconvolution using the Richardson-Lucy algorithm and a point spread function (PSF) derived from non-saturated stars within the images proved to be a powerful tool to counter such artifacts. Of course I used bias, dark and flat field calibration for all images.

Walter┤s report of his XVIth Astro-Expedition to the Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße, featuring Howdii's newly-presented Alpha Tauri 8" f/5 Photo-Newtonian and a brand- new ZWO ASI294MC Pro color CMOS camera, both of which he used during the expedition, not without some troubles. He had mostly clear skies, with occasional thin clouds passing through, during the 3 nights he stayed there. Read for yourself, in German, September 2018!

* Howdii has now written a comment on this report.

Alpha Tauri Foto-Newton in front of the Gro▀glockner

During a warm and dry summer night in August 2018, Walter took Hα and single-shot color images of a large part of IC 1396, a huge, primarily photographic emission nebula in Cepheus. He used them to create a HαRGB composite. The scope was Walter's 4.9" f/3.8 Wright-Newtonian and the location Ebenwaldhöhe, Lower Austria.

IC1396 in Ha IC1396

Walter used the fine weather during the October 2017 new moon period to capture IC5070, the Pelican Nebula from his backyard in Vienna with narrow-band filters: Hα, [OIII] and [SII]. He used five nights to capture the individual exposures and created a near-natural-color image using the narrow-band composites. See also the Hα version in black-and-white. He used his 4.9" f/3.8 Wright-Newtonian and a monochrome CCD to take all exposures. The Hα image shows labels of LBN and LDN objects on mouse-over.

IC5070 IC5070 in Ha

Important info:
The Copyright and Reproduction Policy.
Prints of Walter's astrophotos are available for purchase, see the Print Purchase Info.
If you are interested in Walter's astrophotography setup and the equipment he uses, see About these images...

© 2019 Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Walter Koprolin

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