Trifid nebula M20 & open cluster M21 from La Palma


Date2017/07/20
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectTrifid nebula (M20) & open cluster M21
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-10°C
Luminance8x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red7x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green7x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue7x 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark2x
Flat10x
Total exposure~2h12m
Tonight I decided to image the Trifid nebula (M20) which is quite "close" to the Lagoon nebula M8 from my last session. The seeing tonight was around ~2.4" which could have been better - but certainly it was still sufficient.
Back in 2013 I already imaged the Trifid nebula with the same equipment but from Boeblingen. It is interesting to see the difference here.
For post-processing I used the free software DeepSkyStacker and GIMP. The full resolution images is available here.

Clear skies!

Stargazing time on La Palma - Casa Las Flores

It's stargazing time on La Palma again - this time from Casa Las Flores. The little house is located in Aguatavar - close to Tijarafe on a height of about 580m. You have a power supply outside the building, free view to Polaris from both terraces and in July the bright part of the Milky Way is perfectly visible between 22:00 and 4:00 local time. Furthermore you have a coffee maker, a table, chairs, a fast WLAN internet connection and a barbecue. What else do you need? 😀

The image is a single frame recorded with an Canon EOS6D in combination with a Samyang 2.8/14mm lens (15 sec. exposure time, ISO4000) . The post processing has been done with rawtherapee.

Tonight I only test my equipment - for tomorrow I plan to record the bright nebula M8 in the milkyway. So stay tuned for the result!

Astrophotography from Los Llanos de Aridane - Pinwheel Galaxy M101

Date2017/03/31
LocationLa Palma / Spain
ObjectPinwheel Galaxy M101
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-10°C
Luminance10x 600s, bin: 1x1
Red8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Green8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue8x 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark2x
Flat10x
Total exposure~2h40m
End of February 2014 I already recorded M101 from Boeblingen near Stuttgart. The total exposure time was about 6 hours (!). This time I did a 2h40m exposure from Los Llanos de Aridane on La Plama with exactly the same equipment. This is the result. From my perspective the two pictures do not have a big difference despite the colour tone which of course depends on the post processing. However, it's interesting to compare the results with respect to their total exposure time: The image recorded from Boeblingen was exposed more than two times longer.
As a result of the long exposure time the stars are not as perfectly round as the ones with a shorter exposure time. Despite that I am happy to see what is still possible from a city like Boeblingen 🙂 Finally I combined both images to one final image by rotating one image until it matched exactly. Maybe I am wrong but I think in the end this combined image has a little more detail than each of the pictures alone. A full resolution image is available here.

Open Cluster Messier 46

This image of Messier 46 has also been taken at the Tacande Observatory in El Paso on La Palma. In fact this is a quite rare object in the sense that it is a star cluster with a planetary nebula. The nebula somehow looks like an eye in the nowhere of space. The image shown above is just an excerpt of the full frame. It is only one 4 minute shot with a modified EOS6D camera with ISO 800. The image is also available in full resolution here.