I tend to not enjoy going out in the summer thanks to the mass of biting insects, hot and sweaty conditions and a multitude of other things. Unfortunately some of my favorite objects are out in the summer months. M57 is one of them. Easily seen in modest telescopes this small but bright nebula really sparkles in the northern summer sky.
A little bit of playing around with a GoPro and some clever software.
But I’m not. M42/43 continues to make me smile. The new-ness never seems to wear off even after 15 years of imaging the same region of space every (cooperative) winter. Even from the backyard in the North Dallas suburbs you can get reasonable detail with enough exposure time and a good light pollution filter. That will change as outdoor LED lighting becomes more prevalent in the city.
37 frames of 300 seconds
30 frames of 30 seconds (to get some detail in the central Trapezoid region)
Celestron Advanced VX mount
AstroTech AT65EDQ w/Orion StarShoot Pro v2. Exposure control by Nebulosity 4
Orion Mini-Guider w/Meade DSI Pro operated by OpenPHD2
Cities are the bane of the amateur astronomer. Light pollution continues to grow at an astonishing rate as our cities increase in size and population. That doesn’t mean astronomy is impossible, just more challenging. The use of filters designed specifically to quench low pressure sodium and mercury vapor lights has gone a long way. Enjoy the days of these ionized lamp because they are coming to an end. I’ve begun to see the impact of LED lighting in my own back yard. These next few years will likely be the last I’ll be able to capture nebulae from inside the city so I better enjoy it while I can.