January 31, 2011

M42 the nebula in Orion

This is probably the most photographed deep space object there is, the nebula in Orion.
When you look at the constellation of Orion you straight away make out the three stars that form his belt but below that there is a row of what looks like three stars. That is the sword on Orions belt and contains the famous nebula. Actually the middle star is a collection of multiple stars that sit in the middle of the nebula.

One photo of 30 seconds on ISO 400 already shows the nebula and i'm located in a very light polluted area. The photo is made of stack of 16 photo's.

January 21, 2011

M57 ring nebula in Lyra

The ring nebula in the constellation of Lyra is the result of a star that at the end of it's life has expelled it's outer atmosphere, this is called a planetary nebula. What is left is the core with around it an expanding ring of expelled atmosphere. M57 is one of the best examples of this kind of object.
This object is too faint to see with the naked eye but a small telescope will show the ring.

The two bright stars at the far right and left of the nebula are the two bottom stars of the constellation Lyra.

This picture is made out of a stack of 15 photos.

January 19, 2011

M13 globular cluster in Hercules

To start with my first astronomical entry i have to explain a bit about what the name M13 exactly is and what kind of object it is.

The name M13 is short for the 13th deep space object on the list compiled by the French astronomer Charles Messier. Charles Messier lived from the 26th of june 1730 until the 12th of april 1817. He identified 110 objects and listed them under M or Messier numbers.

M13 is a very easy object to find because it stands high in the summer sky in the constellation of Hercules. It is relatively large and bright so even in a not pitch black sky it is to been seen with the naked eye.

The technical designation for it is a "globular cluster of stars" and contains hundreds of thousands of stars.

A small telescope will let you see it as a fuzzy ball much larger that individual stars around it and a bigger telescope will let you see a lot of the individual stars in it. But the best way to enjoy it is to photograph it.

This picture was made by stacking 20 individual photo's on top of each other increasing the brightness of the object and than adjusting the values of the stacked image to bring out the best!

In the near future i will explain a bit more about astrophotography and photo stacking.

The beginning

This weblog will be dedicated to the two hobbies in my life that keep me entertained for many hours a day.

First is my fascination for "old skool" mountain bikes from the first half of the nineties. It's just the way they look and ride that makes them so very appealing to me. That era also represents the pinnacle of the small creative workshops that cranked out beautiful and outrages cnc'ed machined parts. Especially the products from IRD or Interloc Racing Designs are very dear to me.

Second is the endless void above our heads, that is filled with the most extra-ordinairy and beautiful objects you can imagine. I'm ofcourse talking about the nights sky filled with globular clusters, nebulae, galaxies, etc... Most of them are hardly to be seen with the naked eye but a telescope with a camera attached to it will make to most wonderful colors and shapes come out.

I hope to fill this blog with many photo's and words explaining my love for both!