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Constellation Crux and Coalsack Nebula (C99)

This image of the Constellation Crux and the Coalsack Nebula (C99) uses one of the first light captured with my Canon T6i, back in July, 2020, with a 135mm lens. I just totally forgot to proccess this one! Shame on me.

These are two objects really close on to each other on the southern hemisphere. And although they’re very close to each other, they’re also very different. Let’s talk about them?

The Crux constellation

The constellation Crux is one of the easyests constellations we can identify on the southern hemisphere. In a shape of a crux (You don’t say??), it is located inside the constellation Centaurus and next to constellation Carina.

The alfa of the constellation Crux is also knowed as Acrux or “The Magellanic Star”. It is very bright and easy to identify. Through a telescope, though, Acrux shows itself as a incredible double star.

On the left arm of constellation crux is located the Jewel Box, a very beautiful open cluster, visible with naked eyes but gorgeous through a telescope or a binoculars.

The Coalsack Nebula (C99)

The Coalsack Nebula, or Caldwell 99, is the biggest dark nebula of the entire sky. On a dark sky location, is visible through naked eyes, obscuring the milky way stars next to the constellation Crux.

When I say that it’s the biggest dark nebula, is because it is big. Really big. Even through my 135mm lens I can’t get it’s full extension. And it’s so big as it’s beautiful.

My first capture with the Canon T6i

When I bought my Canon T6i (Canon 750D), the skies cleared up for 1 or 2 days, and I managed to capture about 1h of the constellation Crux and Coalsack Nebula. But, for some sort of a reason, I totally forgot to proccess those lights captured.

Some time later, with clouds on the sky for months, the abstinence made me search for some light frames to process, and bang! I found 142 frames of 30 seconds with my Nikon 135mm f2.8 Ai.

After some time processing it, here is the result:

Constellation Crux and Coalsack Nebula (C99) at 135mm
Constellation Crux and Coalsack Nebula (C99) at 135mm

What are your thoughts?

EXIF

This is the equipment I used to capture this image:

No autoguiding this time!

And the lights:

  • 142x30s (Total of 1.2h of exposure);
  • ISO 1600;
  • Bortle 6 skies;
  • Moon: 81% illuminated;
  • No darks, flats or BIAS;
  • Data captured on July 9, 2020;
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Messier 42, The Orion Nebula – a new version

On November 2020 the skies allowed me to shoot Messier 42, The Orion Nebula, again. This time I used my new camera and light pollution filter, and now the result is… kinda ok.

I got only 55 minutes with 30s frames, but the surrounding nebulosity already begun to show itself.

My new field flattener also helped a lot to flatten the borders of the frame!

Messier 42 does not require any comments. It’s probably the most known nebula of the sky, visible through naked eyes!

The Orion constallation is full of this emission nebulas, but M42 is by far the most proeminent.

Enough talking! Here comes the pic:

Setup for photographing Messier 42

Canon T6i (750D) astro modified
Long Perng S400M-C 66mm f/6 refractor
Field Flattener for short refractors (Looks like Orion Field Flattener)
iOptron CEM25P with a 2″ tripod
ZWO 60280 Finder and Guide Scope
QHY5L-ii Color

EXIF:

110 x 30s
ISO 1600
150 DARKS, FLATS and BIAS

See in more detail:

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Astrobin
Flickr

NGC 5139 – Omega Centauri

NGC 5139 – Omega Centauri, the largest globular cluster of the night sky, but only visible from the southern hemisphere. Would it be a good target to test new gear?

My new gear

In July I bough a Canon T6i and a field flattener for my Long Perng S400M-C 66mm f/6 refractor . I was so excited with my new gear that I took some pictures, did a basic processing and then totally forgot to publish it.

The gear I shooted NGC 5139 - Omega Centauri: New Canon T6i and Field Flattener
The gear I shooted NGC 5139 – Omega Centauri: New Canon T6i and Field Flattener

I choose this one as my first test by two reasons. First one, I have already taken a picture of this globular cluster with my old Nikon D5000, and it would be a good comparison.

Second, this is an easy target, but this field full of stars is a good way to measure focus and focal plane correction. Besides, there are some faint galaxies around NGC 5139 that only a good exposure could solve.

The differences are huge. My Nikon D5000 have 12.3mp, and my new Canon T6i have 24mp. Twice the number of pixels. This mean that now I’m closer from the correct arcsec/pixel ratio for my telescope, but also means that my computer strugles a lot more to pre/pos process the images.

At the same time, now I can use almost all the field of view of the image, thanks to the field flattener.

The night didn’t help

I wanted to make at least 4 hours, with frames of 180 seconds. But I knew the clouds would came fast. Then I stayed with 60s frames.

My bortle 6 skies don’t wan’t to help, and my optolong L-Pro still didn’t arrived.

The results: NGC 5139 – Omega Centauri

Oh my, I love this giant!

NGC 5139 - Omega Centauri

Setup:

EXIF:

  • 88x60s
  • ISO 1600
  • DARKS: 100
  • FLAT: 50
  • BIAS: 150
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Cat’s Paw nebula – NGC 6334

NGC 6334, the Cat’s Paw nebula is a faint emission nebula on the constellation of Scorpio.

That’s finally my last capture before I get my DSLR modified for astrophotography.

My setup for astrophotography is slowly getting the way I want!

Of course, my ideia was to shot an emission nebula hard to capture with a stock camera. If everything ends right, soon I’ll post a version of this same target, with some quite similar exposure, but with an astromoded Canon T6i. Wish me luck!

Well… the Cat’s Paw nebula is a hard target for Bortle 6 skies and a stock DSLR. Almost 3 hours of exposure and I hardly got some nebulosity. I hope it will change soon, as soon my camera come back and my Optolong L-Pro arrive.

Here it is:

Cat's Paw Nebula - NGC 6334
Cat’s Paw Nebula – NGC 6334

Setup:

EXIF:

  • 87 x 120S
  • ISO 1600

My skies are getting worse

Well, when I was using my Nikon D5000, the light pollution was a problem, of course, but not a major one. I mean, I was using ISO 400, and 120s frames apear not too gray at the time.

As soon I as put my hands on my new Canon T6i, I saw the real problem. 120s subs with 1600 ISO are enough to let the frame almost white!

Look at this:

120s ISO 1600 SUB -  Cat's Paw Nebula - NGC 6334

This is one single frame with 120s of exposure time and 1600 ISO.

Optolong L-Pro Clip Filter on the way

To fix (or at least try) this issue, I bought a Optolong L-Pro Clip Filter. I’m in Brazil, and it’s coming from China, so… just imagine how long I’ll need to wait…

But don’t worry!

Canon T6i astromod on the way

Also, I just sent my new Canon T6i to be modified for astrophotography.

As you can imagine, I can’t even sleep.

As soon as I put my hands on the canon again I’ll try to shot the Cat’s Paw once more!

See you soon!

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IC 2944 – Running Chicken Nebula with a stock DSLR

IC 2944, the running chicken nebula, is actually an open cluster with an associated emission nebula, rich in H-Alpha. This DSO is found in the constellation of Centaurus, close to NGC 3372, the Eta Carinae Nebula.

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