Planetary Nebulae

I love the challenge of imaging planetary nebulae. Unfortunately, only astroimagers can probably relate to this, but I get so much joy out of seeing how much detail an instrument like mine can actually get from these deep sky objects. Planetaries are particularly fun because they're (typically) so bright, relying primarily on good focus and tracking for image quality. I was particularly curious about the lower bound on apparent size of the planetaries I could image with my scope...so...I calibrated the size of my images using double stars of known separation to get more accurate estimates of apparent min/max dimensions. Looks like the smallest ones so far are the Lemon Slice Nebula in Camelopardalis (18" x 18"!), and the Pink Pillow Nebula in Cygnus at an apparent size of only 15" x 9"! And now my latest...IC4593 at an apparent size of only 12"x10" !!

All images shown here were taken unguided, using a 10" LX200R at prime focus, unless otherwise specified. The focal reducer I occasionally do use is an OPTEC Lepus 0.62X.


IC4593 (Updated Jul. 16, 2017)

 

Showcasing: IC4593

IC4593 - White Eyed Pea Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: IC4593
Alternate Name: White Eyed Pea Nebula
Constellation: Hercules
Imaging Date: July 16, 2017
Imaging Location: RhinecliffNY
Exposure Time: 49 frames@20sec ~ 16.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 12" x 10"
Comment: My image came out quite well for such a small planetary clearly showing an elongation in the NW-SE direction, with a bright white 11.3 mag central star and a light green nebulous halo. This is a relatively old planetary nebula about 0.7 light years in diameter and located about 6800 light years from Earth.

 

NGC3242

NGC3242 - Ghost of Jupiter  by Terry Riopka

NGC6778

NGC6778 - Tiny Dumbbell Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC6369

NGC6369 - Little Ghost Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC3242
Alternate Name: Ghost of Jupiter
Constellation: Hydra
Imaging Date: May 1, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 38 frames@20sec ~ 12.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 40" x 44"
Comment: Looks almost exactly the same as NGC6826, the Blinking Planetary!
Designation: NGC6778
Alternate Name: Tiny Dumbbell Nebula
Constellation: Aquila
Imaging Date: October 10, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 37 frames@20sec ~ 12.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 25" x 18"
Comment: This is a miniature version of M76 - a tiny planetary nebula about 10,000 light years away. I couldn't get very many sharp frames for this bow-tie shaped nebula, but I was able to extract some structure along its perimeter and nice pink color in its two lobes. However, there was no sign of its central binary star.
Designation: NGC6369
Alternate Name: Little Ghost Nebula
Constellation: Ophiuchus
Imaging Date: June 26, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 78 frames@20sec ~ 26.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 28" x 28"
Comment: This is a beautiful little "ring" nebula very similar to the Ring Nebula in Lyra, but smaller. It has a 16th magnitude central white dwarf that appears slightly off-center. Nice detail in this image - if you look carefully, you can even see a hint of its extended filimentary halo and a brightening on its northwest rim, just like in the Hubble image!

NGC6826

NGC6826 - Blinking Planetary  by Terry Riopka

IC418

IC418 - Spirograph Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC6572

NGC6572 - Krypton Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC6826
Alternate Name: Blinking Planetary
Constellation: Cygnus
Imaging Date: August 16, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 80 frames@20sec ~ 26.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: none
Apparent Size: 28" x 24"
Comment: Looks almost identical to NGC3242, the Ghost of Jupiter!
Designation: IC418
Alternate Name: Spirograph Nebula
Constellation: Lepus
Imaging Date: February 20, 2017
Imaging Location: MadisonCT
Exposure Time: 55 frames@15sec ~ 13.8min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 12" x 12"
Comment: This bright planetary is approximately 0.3 light years in diameter and located about 2000 light years away. I reduced my exposures to only 15 seconds to reduce tracking errors. Even so, there were some issues that caused some star elongation perpendicular to the planetary's actual primary elliptical axis, possibly why it looks more circular than it should be. It's rich pink color is clearly evident, however.
Designation: NGC6572
Alternate Name: Krypton Nebula
Constellation: Ophiuchus
Imaging Date: August 5, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 78 frames@20sec ~ 26.0min
ISO Setting: 800
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 15" x 12"
Comment: This tiney bluish green oval nebula is only several thousands years old, explaining its concentrated bright center. The nebula is about 3500 light years distance, and has an intricate structure only visible in larger scopes. I still think I could improve on this one though - I tried using a lower ISO, but the saturation in its center indicates it's still not low enough. We'll see...maybe next time!

NGC6058

NGC6058 - PK 64 +48 1  by Terry Riopka

IC3568

IC3568 - Lemon Slice Nebula  by Terry Riopka

M1

M1 - Crab Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC6058
Alternate Name: PK 64 +48 1
Constellation: Hercules
Imaging Date: August 15, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 70 frames@20sec ~ 23.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 25" x 20"
Comment: This 13.3 mag planetary is a beautiful little sapphire situated within a tiny bright triangle of stars in Hercules. Although not visible in this enhanced image, its extended envelope actually becomes just barely detectable in my 25 minute, consecutive night exposure. This planetary has a 13.6 mag central star and is located about 3500 light years from Earth. I had good focus and manually selected only the best tracked frames, so you can zoom in on the nebula to get a better view!
Designation: IC3568
Alternate Name: Lemon Slice Nebula
Constellation: Camelopardalis
Imaging Date: March 12, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 83 frames@20sec ~ 27.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 18" x 18"
Comment: I could not, for the life of me, see or pull out any red/orange in this tiny nebula. Almost perfectly circular - for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the "theoretician's nebula". I was really happy how this turned out - focus was impeccable, showing all I could possibly expect from this little nebula!
Designation: M1
Alternate Name: Crab Nebula
Constellation: Taurus
Imaging Date: November 9, 2012
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 84 frames@25sec ~ 35.0min
ISO Setting: 3200
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 6.0' x 4.0'
Comment: I was really happy with the diverse and delicate colors that came out in my second attempt at this beautiful supernova remnant. Also the first time I used 2X drizzle in DSS. Bigger image and more details here

Abell39

Abell39 - ARO 180  by Terry Riopka

NGC6804

NGC6804 - PK 45 4 1  by Terry Riopka

NGC7026

NGC7026 - Cheeseburger Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: Abell39
Alternate Name: ARO 180
Constellation: Hercules
Imaging Date: August 27, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 382 frames@20sec ~ 127.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 155" x 155"
Comment: Though you can't fully appreciate it from my photo, this is a beautiful almost perfectly spherical planetary nebula in the Hercules constellation. It has a magnitude of 13.7 making it invisible in my 10" scope and barely discernable in a contrast enhanced 50 second exposure - a nice challenge for digital imaging! I tried hard for this image - took a total of 5 nights of images to get this result, which just begins to show some asymmetries in the outline. However, it does show the practical limitations of stacking 20sec exposures using a Canon T3i! This is one of the largest known planetaries, with a radius of about 2.5 light years, estimated to be about 6800 light years from Earth. You can see at least one galaxy right through the nebula!
Designation: NGC6804
Alternate Name: PK 45 4 1
Constellation: Aquila
Imaging Date: August 14, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 78 frames@20sec ~ 26.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 66" x 48"
Comment: Nice focus on this curious planetary nebula. It actually has about 4 distinguishable "shells" of gas of which only two are plainly visible here. The nebula is about 12th magnitude with a clearly visible 14th magnitude central white dwarf star. It's thought to be about 6100 light years from Earth.
Designation: NGC7026
Alternate Name: Cheeseburger Nebula
Constellation: Cygnus
Imaging Date: October 8, 2016
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 65 frames@20sec ~ 21.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 15" x 40"
Comment: Intricate 11th mag bipolar planetary nebula about 6000 light years away. I was able to acquire a very nice, sharp image of the lobed structure of this nebula. Click on this link to see a blended movie clip of the Hubble image version of this nebula superimposed on my image. My tracking wasn't perfect, but the details of my image match up nicely with the Hubble image!

NGC6772

NGC6772 - PK 33 6 1  by Terry Riopka

NGC6905

NGC6905 - Blue Flash Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC246

NGC246 - Skull Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC6772
Alternate Name: PK 33 6 1
Constellation: Aquila
Imaging Date: August 7, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 78 frames@20sec ~ 26.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 78" x 55"
Comment: This was a difficult planetary to image due to its low surface brightness (mag 14). It could definitely use more exposure time. It's dim 18.4 magnitude central blue star is just barely visible, as is its bright pink oval rim and bluish central nebula.
Designation: NGC6905
Alternate Name: Blue Flash Nebula
Constellation: Delphinus
Imaging Date: September 5, 2015
Imaging Location: WoodstockNY
Exposure Time: 79 frames@20sec ~ 26.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 72" x 44"
Comment: Ok...I made this photo more than a year ago, thinking I could improve on it with more images. However, I took a second look, and realized my first attempt wasn't that bad! This tiny blue gem actually has conical extensions on both sides that are just barely visible in my original image. Here, I've enhanced the center area to expose some of the more intricate inner structure. The 14th mag central star is also easily visible. The nebula is somewhere between 5 and 9 thousand light years away.
Designation: NGC246
Alternate Name: Skull Nebula
Constellation: Cetus
Imaging Date: November 11, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 77 frames@20sec ~ 25.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 228" x 228"
Comment: This interesting nebula is 1600 light years away and has a 12th magnitude central binary star, one of which is a white dwarf.

NGC6445

NGC6445 - The Box Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC1535

NGC1535 - Cleopatra's Eye  by Terry Riopka

NGC6210

NGC6210 - Turtle Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC6445
Alternate Name: The Box Nebula
Constellation: Sagittarius
Imaging Date: August 29, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 78 frames@20sec ~ 26.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 37" x 25"
Comment: Nice colorful planetary in Sagittarius about 4500 light years away. Focus here was a little off, nevertheless showing some inner structure. The extended faint ansae are hinted at, but don't extend very far in this image. This happens also to be one of the largest known planetary nebulas, spanning about 4 x 1 light years in actual physical extent. See Abell 39 !
Designation: NGC1535
Alternate Name: Cleopatra's Eye
Constellation: Eridanus
Imaging Date: November 30, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 78 frames@21sec ~ 27.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 46" x 42"
Comment: Reminds me of the Eskimo nebula. Nice detail in the inner 21" x 20" part of the nebula, with spot-on focus. This is one of the first times I seriously used darks. Some minor differences, but nothing too substantial. So far, I've noticed good postprocessing seems to be able to compensate quite well. Could be because the outside temperature was pretty low (18F), resulting in little added benefit from using the darks.
Designation: NGC6210
Alternate Name: Turtle Nebula
Constellation: Hercules
Imaging Date: August 17, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 78 frames@20sec ~ 26.0min
ISO Setting: 6400
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 24" x 20"
Comment: I accidentally used ISO6400 for this nebula, which was *big* mistake, given the very bright core. Nevertheless, you can definitely see the "turtle" legs extending from the sides of the bright core. This is a very tiny planetary, similar to NGC7027, the pink pillow planetary in Cygnus. My focus wasn't perfect either, so I'm looking forward to trying this nebula again!

M76

M76 - Little Dumbell Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC7662

NGC7662 - Blue Snowball Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC6894

NGC6894 - Diamond Ring Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: M76
Alternate Name: Little Dumbell Nebula
Constellation: Perseus
Imaging Date: November 20, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 80 frames@20sec ~ 26.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 2.7' x 1.8'
Comment: Didn't quite come out as well as I had hoped. I'll have to try to get more frames and do better on the post-processing - perhaps darks will make a difference.
Designation: NGC7662
Alternate Name: Blue Snowball Nebula
Constellation: Andromeda
Imaging Date: September 6, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 54 frames@20sec ~ 18.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 32" x 28"
Comment: About 2200 light years away, this planetary has a beautiful triple shell structure. Knots in the outer and inner rings are clearly visible in this remarkably sharp image.
Designation: NGC6894
Alternate Name: Diamond Ring Nebula
Constellation: Cygnus
Imaging Date: October 12, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 99 frames@20sec ~ 33.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 45" x 45"
Comment: This is a beautiful annular planetary with a close (apparent?) binary visible through one part of the ring, making it look like a diamond ring in the heavens! The nebula is about 5000 light years away but only about 1 light year in diameter.

J900

J900 - PK 194 +2 1  by Terry Riopka

M97

M97 - Owl Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC6818

NGC6818 - Green Mars Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: J900
Alternate Name: PK 194 +2 1
Constellation: Gemini
Imaging Date: January 30, 2017
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 74 frames@20sec ~ 24.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 12" x 10"
Comment: This is another very small planetary which came out reasonably well. You can see some tracking issues as evident by the color misalignment of the star in the zoomed image. Nevertheless, there is still some good edge definition in this small high-excitation nebula. Located about 20000 light years away, this nebula was first noticed by Robert Jonckheere of the Royal Observatory in 1912. It has been observed to have two lobes, both just barely visible in my image. Check out this composite image showing HST and infrared versions of this very tiny planetary.
Designation: M97
Alternate Name: Owl Nebula
Constellation: Ursa Major
Imaging Date: March 17, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 260 frames@25sec ~ 108.3min
ISO Setting: 3200
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 3.4' x 3.3'
Comment: This is my fourth attempt at this perplexing planetary. Although it's listed at magnitude 9.9, I think its large diameter spreads that brightness out, making this a difficult planetary to image. I had to combine 3 nights worth of images to reduce the noise sufficiently to get what I think is finally a decent image. I also used unsharp masking and an inverted mask to blur the background, which worked out quite well! For comparison, my best previous attempt (single night, exactly a year earlier!) is here
Designation: NGC6818
Alternate Name: Green Mars Nebula
Constellation: Sagittarius
Imaging Date: August 15, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 80 frames@20sec ~ 26.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: none
Apparent Size: 27" x 24"
Comment: This one needs work I think. There's subtle detail in this nebula that might be pulled out with better focus and a longer exposure. Tough one though!

NGC6781

NGC6781 - Snowglobe Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC6852

NGC6852 - Life Belt Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC7027

NGC7027 - Pink Pillow Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC6781
Alternate Name: Snowglobe Nebula
Constellation: Aquila
Imaging Date: October 17, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 80 frames@20sec ~ 26.7min
ISO Setting: 3200
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 108" x 108"
Comment: A spherical bubble bursting out to one side - beautiful large but faint planetary. Note the dim blue central star (a hot blue-white dwarf).
Designation: NGC6852
Alternate Name: Life Belt Nebula
Constellation: Aquila
Imaging Date: October 12, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 139 frames@20sec ~ 46.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 25" x 25"
Comment: Again, I was able to get a really nice focused image! This small annular planetary has at least three bright knots in its ring structure, clearly shown in the image, with a hot white dwarf at its center. The nebula is about 8800 light years away and quite young and dense, only 1.2 light years in diameter.
Designation: NGC7027
Alternate Name: Pink Pillow Nebula
Constellation: Cygnus
Imaging Date: August 16, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 80 frames@20sec ~ 26.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: none
Apparent Size: 15" x 9"
Comment: This is one of the smallest planetaries I've imaged to date. I love the challenge - you need high resolution, excellent focus and good tracking - not always an easy combination.

NGC7354

NGC7354 - Planetary Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC40

NGC40 - Bow Tie Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC2371

NGC2371 - Double Bubble Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC7354
Alternate Name: Planetary Nebula
Constellation: Cepheus
Imaging Date: October 9, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 48 frames@20sec ~ 16.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 36" x 34"
Comment: This is another very small planetary nebula, consisting of an inner elliptical shell, approximately 19" x 28" in size, embedded in a larger sphere of matter approximately 34" in diameter. My focus and tracking were excellent, revealing both inner and outer shells, as well as the 16th mag 100,000K hot central star. Hubble has also revealed knots of radiating gas that lie in a line perpendicular to the inner oval's minor axis and a faint jet in the upper left corner that lies along it.The nebula is located about 4200 light years away, and its lack of a proper name tells you something about its popularity - so, here's my contribution to making it somewhat more notorius.
Designation: NGC40
Alternate Name: Bow Tie Nebula
Constellation: Cepheus
Imaging Date: August 16, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 80 frames@20sec ~ 26.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: none
Apparent Size: 61" x 38"
Comment:
Designation: NGC2371
Alternate Name: Double Bubble Nebula
Constellation: Gemini
Imaging Date: April 5, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 69 frames@20sec ~ 23.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 44" x 44"
Comment: I definitely need a longer exposure on this one...also known as the Peanut or Gemini nebula, this 13th magnitude planetary is about 4400 light years away.

M57

M57 - Ring Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC7635

NGC7635 - Bubble Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC1514

NGC1514 - Crystal Ball Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: M57
Alternate Name: Ring Nebula
Constellation: Lyra
Imaging Date: September 15, 2012
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 34 frames@25sec ~ 14.2min
ISO Setting: 3200
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 1.4' x 1.0'
Comment: Not to brag, but it's amazing how far technology has come...for me to be able to take an image like this, that can rival what the 200 inch Hale telescope used to do! See a 1959 image of M57 here. Bigger image and more details here:
Designation: NGC7635
Alternate Name: Bubble Nebula
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Imaging Date: August 22, 2016
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 120 frames@20sec ~ 40.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 15" x 8"
Comment: The Bubble Nebula is actually the smallest of three bubbles created by the stellar wind surrounding the massive hot, 8.7 magnitude young central star BD+602522. The nebula is near a giant molecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble nebula while itself being excited by the hot central star, causing it to glow. It is somewhere between 7000 and 11000 light years from earth and the bubble is about 3-5 light years in diameter.
Designation: NGC1514
Alternate Name: Crystal Ball Nebula
Constellation: Taurus
Imaging Date: January 10, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 65 frames@20sec ~ 21.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 132" x 132"
Comment: Only 800 light years away, this planetary nebula's dynamic structure is powered by a tight, very short period binary star. Beautiful nebula that definitely needs more light exposure!

IC289

IC289 - Flip Flop Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC4361

NGC4361 - PK 294+43 1  by Terry Riopka

NGC6751

NGC6751 - The Glowing Eye Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: IC289
Alternate Name: Flip Flop Nebula
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Imaging Date: October 12, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 77 frames@20sec ~ 25.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 55" x 30"
Comment: The excellent focus for this bluish planetary reveals some brightness irregularities and several faint notches in the oval ring. You can also see hints of at least one bulge on the side of the notches, as well as a distinct central star. It's one of the few planetaries in Cassiopeia, located about 4200 light years away. Visually, this planetary has also been observed to seem to flip orientation when switching from averted to direct vision, hence its name.
Designation: NGC4361
Alternate Name: PK 294+43 1
Constellation: Corvus
Imaging Date: June 4, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 69 frames@20sec ~ 23.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 108" x 60"
Comment: This planetary is about 4000 light years away. It is unusual in that it actually has four lobes, only two of which are visible here, forming "propeller-like" extended arms that give it the appearance of a galaxy. The four lobes are thought to be due to two sets of bipolar jets emitted by two dying stars.
Designation: NGC6751
Alternate Name: The Glowing Eye Nebula
Constellation: Aquila
Imaging Date: September 15, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 115 frames@20sec ~ 38.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 24" x 22"
Comment: Finally returned to this challenging little planetary, with improved focus! The tracking was a little off, but DSS does a pretty good job at averaging out the anomalies. This is a combination of two nights, separated by a little more than a year. Only the hot blue inner region of the nebula is visible here. It is known to be around 0.8 light years in diameter and 6500 light years distant, lying in the galactic plane. Here's a link to my previous version.

NGC6842

NGC6842 - PK65 +0 1  by Terry Riopka

NGC1501

NGC1501 - Blue Oyster  by Terry Riopka

NGC6543

NGC6543 - Cats Eye Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC6842
Alternate Name: PK65 +0 1
Constellation: Vulpecula
Imaging Date: October 7, 2016
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 70 frames@20sec ~ 23.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 53" x 48"
Comment: This 13th mag planetary is a ghostly bluish sphere with a central 15th mag star. It's framed within a beautiful colorful star field and is listed at a distance of about 9000 light years.
Designation: NGC1501
Alternate Name: Blue Oyster
Constellation: Camelopardali
Imaging Date: August 24, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 45 frames@20sec ~ 15.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 56" x 48"
Comment: This is a beautiful little planetary that needs more attention. I had great focus and tracking, but not enough frames to do it justice.
Designation: NGC6543
Alternate Name: Cats Eye Nebula
Constellation: Draco
Imaging Date: March 31, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 21 frames@20sec ~ 7.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 44" x 29"
Comment: Nice sharp image of this beautiful small planetary. Click here to see a short blended movie clip of the Hubble image version superimposed on my image. Amazing what you can image with an amateur scope these days! More general info about the planetary here.

NGC2022

NGC2022 - Kissing Crescents Nebula  by Terry Riopka

M27

M27 - Dumbbell Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC2392

NGC2392 - Eskimo Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC2022
Alternate Name: Kissing Crescents Nebula
Constellation: Orion
Imaging Date: March 12, 2015
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 83 frames@20sec ~ 27.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 24" x 30"
Comment: This tiny planetary reminds me of NGC3242, the Ghost of Jupiter. Its 12th magnitude central star is surrounded by a mottled 20"x15" ring, with two oppositely positioned knots. I was able to pull out an impressive amount of detail out of this small thing!
Designation: M27
Alternate Name: Dumbbell Nebula
Constellation: Vulpecula
Imaging Date: September 22, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 48 frames@20sec ~ 16.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 8.0' x 5.6'
Comment: My second attempt, with better focus and longer exposure. Still plenty of room for improvement! Compare this with my first one from Nantucket here
Designation: NGC2392
Alternate Name: Eskimo Nebula
Constellation: Gemini
Imaging Date: March 31, 2013
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 54 frames@20sec ~ 18.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 48" x 48"
Comment:

Minkowski-1-64

Minkowski-1-64 - PK 64 +15 1  by Terry Riopka

NGC7139

NGC7139 - Planetary Nebula  by Terry Riopka

NGC7293

NGC7293 - Helix Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: Minkowski-1-64
Alternate Name: PK 64 +15 1
Constellation: Lyra
Imaging Date: August 3, 2016
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 19 frames@20sec ~ 6.3min
ISO Setting: 3200
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 18" x 17"
Comment: This tiny planetary is the second ring nebula in Lyra, but only 18" in diameter and quite faint at 13.3 mag. It is very close to being circular with only a slight elongation, and no detectable central star. This image consists of only the best 19 out of 99 frames I had, noticeably sharper (but somewhat noisier) than the image I obtained using 75% of the best quality images according to DSS shown here. This shows you the slight advantage you get from hand picking the best frames vs. relying on DSS completely - detail within the nebula itself is also subtly improved, despite the fewer frames.
Designation: NGC7139
Alternate Name: Planetary Nebula
Constellation: Cepheus
Imaging Date: August 8, 2016
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 75 frames@20sec ~ 25.0min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 77" x 77"
Comment: Difficult planetary to image due to its low surface brightness. I was barely able to see it even in a 30 second ISO6400 exposure. This definitely needs a longer exposure (or a more sensitive camera) to do it any justice! At mag 13.3, this planetary is thought to be about 4300 light years away. It's central 18th magnitude star is just barely visible here.
Designation: NGC7293
Alternate Name: Helix Nebula
Constellation: Aquarius
Imaging Date: September 22, 2014
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 148 frames@20sec ~ 49.3min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 25' x 25'
Comment: This is one of the closest planetaries to Earth, a mere 700 light years away. Its apparent size is almost the size of the full moon! Its low altitude makes it a difficult object to image, so extensive post-processing was applied to improve the overall visual appeal of this beautiful nebula. See what this nebula looked like before I processed the image here.


NGC7009

NGC7009 - Saturn Nebula  by Terry Riopka
Designation: NGC7009
Alternate Name: Saturn Nebula
Constellation: Aquarius
Imaging Date: October 12, 2012
Imaging Location: Concord
Exposure Time: 23 frames@20sec ~ 7.7min
ISO Setting: 1600
Imaging Device: Canon Rebel T3i
Optics LX200R 10" SCT
Focal Reducer: Optec Lepus 0.62X
Apparent Size: 49" x 41" / 82" x 41"
Comment: This is a beautiful planetary, with intricate detail and a very distinctive "ring" pattern, both of which came out very nicely.

 

 

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Last Updated: Jul. 20, 2017

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