NGC2359 Thor’s Helmet

NGC 2359, also called Thor’s Helmet, is an emission nebula that is 15,000 light years away.  It is a bubble of ionized gas around a hot central star, Wolf-Rayet WR7.  It is 16 x 8 arc min in size, and I was pleasantly surprised that I could capture it with my small telescope.  These pictures were made by stacking 64 3 minute images (and cropping).

I’ve been learning PixInsight, and I had some fun with playing with CurvesTransformation on this one.  So, in addition to a standard view of the nebula, I created one I call “Thor in a Snowstorm”.  

Which do you like better?

Camera geek info:

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode, 179 second exposure, ISO 2000, custom white balance 3500K
  • Williams Optics Zenith Star 73 III APO telescope
  • Williams Optics Flat 73A
  • iOptron CEM40
  • Dell City, Texas Bortle 2-3 dark skies

Processing geek info:

  • PixInsight
  • 64 3 minute lights
  • 20 3 minute darks
  • 40 0.1 second flats
  • 40 0.1 second flat darks

Making the Invisible Visible – IC434 Horsehead Nebula and NGC2024 Flame Nebula

Last weekend I did magic with my camera.  In a single one minute image, I could only see stars.  No signs of nebulosity at all, even zoomed in and brightened on my laptop.  But when I stacked 334 images together (5 hours and 34 minutes, taken over two nights), viola!  IC434 the Horsehead Nebula and NGC2024 the Flame Nebula were both visible.  How cool is that?

Camera geek info:

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode, 60 second exposure, ISO 400, custom white balance 3500K
  • Williams Optics Zenith Star 73 III APO telescope
  • Williams Optics Flat 73A
  • iOptron CEM40
  • Friendswood, Texas Bortle 7-8 suburban skies

Processing geek info:

  • PixInsight
  • 344 1 minute lights
  • 28 1 minute darks day 1, 26 1 minute darks day 2
  • 21 0.5 sec flat darks day 1, 20 0.2 sec flat darks day 2
  • 21 0.5 sec flats day 1, 20 0.2 sec flats day 2