M1, the Crab Nebula. M103, the Christmas Tree Cluster. Two of my favorite objects. I’ve imaged the M103 cluster several times before but it remains one of my favorites. The obvious grouping of this open cluster gives it a triangular shape and the varied color remind many Westerners of a Christmas Tree. Given that it reaches its highest point in the winter months that naming is fairly obvious.
The Crab Nebula is an object that has eluded me for many years. The star exploded about 7,500 years ago but we only saw the light in 1054 AD as recorded by Chinese astronomers. Capturing the excited Hydrogen ribbons running through the gas cloud has always been difficult for me but I finally got it with 5 hours of data on a nearly perfect night in the middle of the work week. Thank goodness for automagically guiding telescopes and mounts that don’t need constant tinkering!
M103 taken October 10, 2015. 32 frames of 5 minutes.
M1 taken October 13, 2015. 150 frames of 2 minutes.
Both with a Celestron EdgeHD 8″ Schmidt-Cassegrain, Celestron 0.7x focal reducer, Orion StarShoot Pro v2 CCD camera, Hutech IDAS-LPS light pollution filter.