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M16, M20, M101, and Star Trails

These two emission nebulae and one galaxy are classic summer targets. All three imaged with the Astro-Physics 130 EDF refractor at f/6.0 and the SBIG ST-10XME CCD camera. The SBIG ST-402 CCD camera was used on a guide scope for tracking. The ST-10 camera is a monochrome device, cooled to -15 C, and equipped with a filter wheel containing red, green, blue, and other filters. Color images are obtained by taking multiple 5 or 10 minute exposures with each filter in turn and then stacking them. Each final image thus requires upwards of 3 to 6 hours exposure. The star trails were recorded with my regular Canon DSLR and a 24-70 mm lens. Four images, please scroll down.

M16, the Eagle Nebula:

M20, the Trifid Nebula:

M101, a spiral galaxy near the Big Dipper. The red areas in the spiral arms contain a great deal of hydrogen gas and constitute active star-forming regions.

The star trails below were recorded with my Canon 1D mark II set at ISO 400 and using the TC-80 remote/interval controller set for continuous 300 second shots. The 24-70 mm lens was set at 24mm. The camera was pointed toward the south. I took 20 shots (100 minutes total) at f/5.6. All 20 frames were converted from RAW and then stacked in Photoshop using the Lighten blend mode. The bright yellow trail is the planet Jupiter; the streak is an airplane. The slightly brighter area on the left 40% of the frame running from the horizon to the top is the Milky Way. There may have been a dim meteor during one of the frames (the short almost vertical streak just above the plane).