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Main page  Observations

G2CCD-1600 first light images
 Recently introduced KAF-1603ME based CCD cameras prove their capabilities to gather precise scientific data (e.g. in exoplanet transit observations) as well as to capture beautiful images of deep sky images. We introduce some very first images obtained with the G2CCD-1600 prototype.

Warm nights with temperatures slightly below 20° C, absence of real darkness due to Sun passing close north horizon at midnight and light pollution from the nearby city Zlin—typical night of the end of June 2006 does not favor deep sky imaging. But digital image processing can easily subtract sky background and cooled astronomical camera can easily keep the CCD chip at -15° C to almost eliminate noise.

NGC 7048

The small planetary nebula NGC 7048 in Cygnus angular size is only 1' × 0.8'. It is about 1600 pc (approx. 5200 l.y.) apart. It is quite difficult to capture it as it appears so small and quite dim.

NGC 7048 planetary nebula in Cygnus

NGC 7048 planetary nebula in Cygnus

Date June 13th, 2006
Filter Exposure Binning
Luminance (IR-block) 14.5 min 1 × 1
Red 14.5 min 1 × 1
Green 19 min 1 × 1
Blue 20.5 min 1 × 1

This is the first deep-sky image captured by G2CCD-1600 prototype camera. Image by V. Pribik.

M13 Hercules Cluster

Famous globular cluster M13 in Hercules is probably the best known globular cluster on the northern hemisphere. It is bright and big and easy to image. We pointed our telescope to it only to check the mount setup and camera focus. But we cannot resist to spend a few minutes imaging of this beautiful object before we move the telescope to the XO-1 star in Corona Borealis for the newly discovered exoplanet transit observation. The resulting image is far from perfect, but we consider it is aesthetically satisfying so we publish it here.

M13 globular cluster in Hercules

M13 globular cluster in Hercules

Date June 20th, 2006
Filter Exposure Binning
Luminance (IR-block) 2 min 1 × 1
Red 2 min 1 × 1
Green 2 min 1 × 1
Blue 2.5 min 1 × 1

M27 Dumbbell Nebula

Dumbbell is a nice target for telescopes of all sizes. Although even small telescope shows two bright spots, its shape is much more similar to apple core than to dumbbell. Good image shows rich details in the nebulosity. M27 angular size is 8' × 6' and it is 380 pc (approx. 1,250 l.y.) apart.

M27 Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula

M27 Dumbbell Nebula in Vulpecula

Date July 4th, 2006
Filter Exposure Binning
Clear 17 min 1 × 1
Red 15 min 1 × 1
Green 20 min 1 × 1
Blue 21 min 1 × 1

M57 Ring Nebula

M57 Ring Nebula is bright but angularly small. It can be easily mistaken for ordinary star at low magnifications. Successful imaging requires long focal length and good seeing. But it is bright enough to be easily captured using slow telescopes. M57 is approx. 700 pc (2300 l.y.) apart.

M57 Ring Nebula in Lyra

M57 Ring Nebula in Lyra

Date July 4th, 2006
Filter Exposure Binning
Clear 4.5 min 1 × 1
Red 8 min 1 × 1
Green 7 min 1 × 1
Blue 10 min 1 × 1

NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula

Crescent nebula in Cygnus is relatively large, but considerably dimmer then Dumbbell or Ring. Even the big CCD chip in G2CCD-1600 camera cannot show the whole nebula in one frame thanks to long focal length of the used telescope. The bubble of interstellar gas comprising the nebula has approx. 25 l.y. across and its distance is estimated to 5,000 l.y. The bubble was created by the solar wind of the bright star close to the nebula center.

NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula in Cygnus

NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula in Cygnus

Date July 25th, 2006
Filter Exposure Binning
Clear 30 min 1 × 1
Red 20 min 2 × 2
Green 7.5 min 2 × 2
Blue 9.5 min 2 × 2

We have imaged the nebula once again a few days later with cheap, 8 inch f/4 Chinese reflector to cover wider field of view. The image had to be cropped to 800 × 600 pixels, because image borders was distorted by coma aberration. But fast f/4 mirror cannot reach the image quality of the larger f/8 mirror—even star images at the center are fuzzier than stars on the image above. Also the nebulosity is less distinct, but this can be the result of shorter exposure.

NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula imaged through cheap 8 inch f/4 reflector

NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula imaged through cheap 8 inch f/4 reflector

Date July 27th, 2006
Filter Exposure Binning
Clear 20.5 min 1 × 1
Red 10.5 min 1 × 1
Green 10 min 1 × 1
Blue 10 min 1 × 1

All images (if not explicitly stated) were captured by 27 cm f/8 Newtonian reflector of the Zlin city observatory and G2CCD-1600 CCD camera.

Images by Pavel Cagas, Petr Cagas and Vaclav Pribik.

 
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