8 Facts About Nebulae

1. Nebulae are a mixture of the gases hydrogen and helium, as well as dust and plasma.

2. The beautiful pictures of nebulae that the Hubble telescope beams down are actually three different channels of black and white, which are mixed and painted by scientists to produce the vibrant colors we see in magazines and on television. (The layers are painted according to the composition of the different gasses within the specific nebula.)

3. The word nebula means “cloud” in Latin; indeed, nebulae are space. Variously, the meaning has also been given to mean “mist”; it’s fitting, because their varying appearances sometimes do look like a cloud of mist.

4. The galaxy Andromeda was initially believed to be a nebula before Edwin Hubble proved that Andromeda was actually a galaxy all its own in the 1920’s. Before then, it was believed that other galaxies were merely nebulas and that the universe only consisted of the Milky Way.

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Orions Showcase 

Ive imaged this part of the sky on numerous occasions and will probably keep imaging it until I die because it just looks fucking wicked. 

30x2min, ISO800, Canon 700D mod, Canon 200mm at F4 

Orion Nebula - NGC 1976

Its been a while since ive targeted this but its nice and easy and takes very little processing due to its distance to Earth. 

Taken in Earls Colne, Essex 26/12/2016 Canon 700D, Canon 400mm L F6.3, ISO 800, 46x1min

Horse Head IC434

Took this in Kessingland Suffolk on the 29/12/2016. I was very lazy in my set up and my polar alignment was pretty bad so only managed to salvage 42 subs of 75 secs. Canon 700D, Canon 400mm L, F6.3 ISO800, iOptron SkyTracker. 

Messier 78 in Orion

Messier 78 is a spectacular reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. It is located just to the north east of Orion’s Belt at a distance of about 1500 light years. The area comprises the nebulae NGC 2064, NGC 2067, NGC 2068 and NGC 2071.

In the centre of Messier 78 lies two bright stars, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, which cause the illumination of the area’s dense clouds of gas and dust. The nebula is mostly blue due to the reflection and scattering of light from the young bright stars, but this light is reddened significantly in places where complex patches of thick dust clouds obscure the scene.
Throughout the image several Herbig-Haro objects can also be seen, especially towards the upper left. These are small reddish irregular patches of nebulosity caused by jets shooting out from newborn young stars within the clouds.

Credit: Rolf Olsen


Seagull to Sirius 

This broad, beautiful mosaic spans almost 20 degrees across planet Earth’s sky. The nebula-rich region lies near the edge of the Orion-Eridanus superbubble, filled with looping, expanding shells of gas and dust embedded in molecular clouds near the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy. Recognizable at the left is the expansive Seagull Nebula, composed of emission nebula NGC 2327, seen as the seagull’s head, with the more diffuse IC 2177 as the wings and body. Some 3,800 light-years away, the wings of the Seagull Nebula spread about 240 light-years, still within our local spiral arm.

The bluish light of Sirius, alpha star of Canis Major and brightest star in the night, easily dominates the scene at right but shines from a distance of only 8.6 light-years. Study the big picture and you should also be rewarded with star cluster Messier 41, also known as NGC 2287, not to mention the mighty Thor’s Helmet.