The Helix Nebula
(Click on Picture for larger view)
Click on image for larger view
Added September 19, 2019 ...
The Helix Nebula ... (NGC 7293)
I took this image with the Maksutov-Newtonian 190mm (7.5") telescope and was able to get over an hour worth of usable data. This picture came out much better than the night before with the Celestron 11" scope where I was only able to stack 21 minutes worth of data.
This 'planetary' Nebula is sometimes called the "Eye of God" and is quite close to us being only around 665 light-years away. It is the result of a star near the end of its life with its outer shell being blown outward with the inner resultant star shrinking down to what is known as a white dwarf. A white dwarf is extremely compressed matter so dense that it would be as if the mass of our sun would be compressed to the size of the earth. In comparison, a black hole is even denser with that mass compacted down to the size of 2-mile diameter ball! The observed glow of the central star is so energetic that it causes the previously expelled gases to brightly fluoresce.
The Helix nebula is low in the southern sky at midnight in mid-September.
The Techy Stuff: (For those who want to know)
Telescope: Orion Maksutov-Newtonian 190mm at f/5.3
Camera: Altair Hypercam 294C Pro TEC
Camera Temperature setting: -5 C (-23 F)
Filter: Altair Quadband
Capture Program: SharpCap Pro
Sub-Frame length: 60 seconds
Stacked in Deep SkyStacker
Number of Stacked Frame: 63
Calibration Dark and Bias Frames: 30 ea
Post Processed in PixInsight and Photoshop CC
Date: September 21, 2019 beginning at 12:30 am
Sky Conditions: 8 (0=nothing ... 10=Crystal clear)
Light Polution Bortle value: 6.5
Location: My Backyard, Savannah, GA
The Rig that I used ... The Orion Maksutov-Newtonian 190mm at f/5.3
Return to Pat Prokop's Heavenly Backyard Astronomy Page