The Iris Nebula NGC 7023

The Iris nebula is a bright reflecion nebula in the constellation Cepheus. It's appearance is caused by the very hot star HD 200775 in it's centre whose light is partly reflected and partly absorbed by surrounding dust clouds. As can be seen from the labeled image, the dust cloud itself can be found in Lynd's cataologue of dark nebulae as entry LDN 1174. The reflection nebula shines at magnitude +6.8. It lies 1,300 light-years away and is six light-years across


NGC 7023 in Constellation Cepheus, Telescope Newton 10" f/4, Camera Atik 460EXM, Total Exposure Time 12h35min

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Mars close to Constellation Gemini on 25.03.2023

A wide angle shot on the island La Palma shortly after new moon. Due to the long exposure times the planet Mars can be seen as a bright reddish-yellow spot in the lower right corner whereas some well known deep-sky objects (the open cluster M35, the jelly-fish nebula IC 443 ant others) can be seen in the upper half of the image. The view was unfortunately a bit clouded by Sahara dust as a result of the weather phenomenon "Kalima" and the moon crescent illuminated thereby the sky already considerably.


Mars close to Constellation Gemini on 25.03.2023, Picture taken on La Palma, 194x60s, telephoto lens f=135mm, ISO800 mit Canon EOS60Da

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M 106 - Galaxy in Constellation Canes Venatici

The galaxy Messier 106 (M 106) in the constellation Canes Venatici is one of our closer neighbour galaxies in roughly 23 million light years distance from the Milkyway and the Earth. The galaxy hosts an active nucleus with a black hole of approximately 40 million solar masses. The galaxy core is known as a radio source since the 1950s. Further the galaxy undergoes a period of increased star-formation (starburst galaxy).


Crop of M 106 in Constellation Canes Venatici, Telescope Newton 10" f/4, Camera Atik 460EXM, Total Exposure Time 17h50min

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Tadpoles in the Cosmic Pond: IC 410 and NGC 1893

In the constellation Auriga on clear winter nights one can find the open cluster NGC 1893 embedded in the emission nebula IC 410. While NGC 1893 can be observed visually using a telescope with proper aperture the faint nebula IC 410 is a real hard case for the visual observer and much easier to catch by photography. Due to some smaller but prominent star formation regions the nebula IC 410 is nicknamed as the "tadpole nebula". IC 410 was discovered on September 25, 1892 by the (german) astronomer Max Wolf (June 21, 1863 - October 3, 1932) while the open cluster NGC 1893 was discovered already earlier on January 22, 1827 by the (british) astronomer John Herschel (Mar 7, 1792 - May 11, 1871).


IC 410 and NGC 1893, camera Atik 460EXmono, optics Lacerta Newton f=1000mm f/4, 2023-02-08, Bad Kreuznach, Germany

What can be seen in the image is what cannot be seen visually through a telescope. The image is presented in false colors resulting from an (amongst astro-photographers widely known) image acquisition technique using narrow band filters.

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Comet C2022 E3 ZTF in February 2023

The comet C/2022 E3 ZTF was recently visible on February, 7th from Bad Kreuznach, Germany, where the nights before were mostly overcast since the beginning of the year 2023. The comet was discovered in March 2022 by a professional wide-field survey observatory, the Zwicky Transient Facility as indicated by its name. The comet passed perihelion (closest approach to sun) on January 12th, 2023 and ran through the perigee (closes approximation to Earth) on February 1st, 2023 when it also reached its maximum apparent brightness of roughly 5 magnitudes. Thus in an urban area it could not be seen by the naked eye the moon being close to full around that date. The following image was captured shortly after the perigee passage on February 7th, 2023 at night.


Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, 2023-02-07 around 21h UTC, 19x120s RGB, 3x300s RGB for background, setup: Atik 460EXmono, Lacerta Newton 10"f/4, Bad Kreuznach, Germany

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The globular cluster M13 in constellation Hercules - and a telescope first light

M13 ist probably one of the most well known globular clusters of the northern hemisphere and very simple to find in the constellation Hercules. When it is comfortably warm in the northern hemisphere in spring and early summer the cluster stands high in the sky and is a popular object for observation. For its high stellar density and apparent brightness astronomical photographers often choose it as a reference object to test a new optical setup for its image quality. This was my major motivation for this image, too. In the end the result was convincing and I chose to present it on this page.


Image data: M13 and surrounding f=430mm, f/3.3 20x180s, 30x120s, 30x60s als HDR

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Markarian Chain and Virgo Galaxy

The Markarian Chain is a group of galaxies in the Virgo galaxy cluster. The association is named after the Armenien astrophysicist Benjamin Markarian who studied them in the 1970s.


Markarian Chain and Virgo Galaxy, telescope Skopos f=560x0,8=448mm @f/5.6, Camera Atik 460EXM, 14/26/24/46x300s LRGB

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Leo-1 Dwarf Galaxy (PGC 29488, UGC 5470)

What is this diffuse spot close to Regulus, the main star in constellation Leo? These thoughts were not pondered by a famous discoverer but by myself while looking for deep sky object around constellation Leo worthwhile for a longer shooting session. I used the planetarium software Stellarium at that time. And the faint spot had never come across to me as a prominent object until that moment. There was no special catalogue identifier or label visible although the object appeared to be extended and not too dim.


Leo-1 Dwarf galaxy, PGC24988, telescope Skopos f=560x0,8=448mm @f/5.6, Camera Atik 460EXM, 14/26/24/46x300s LRGB

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"Whale" Galaxie NGC 4631 and "Hockestick/Crowbar" Galaxie NGC 4656/4657

With this picture we dive into the constellation Canes Venatici. The galaxy NGC 4631 on the left half of the image is known as whale galaxy while NGC 4656 and NGC 4657 on the right half of the image pane are known as hockey-stick or crowbar galaxy. The elongated part is catalogued as NGC 4656 while the smaller angled end is NGC 4657.


Bilddaten: "Wal"-Galaxie NGC 4631 und "Hockeyschläger"-Galaxie NGC 4656, Teleskop Skopos f=560x0,8=448mm @f/5.6, Camera Atik 460EXM, 38/25/24/34x300s LRGB

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