Sunday, August 19, 2018

Not Mars, But a Shiny Bauble!

Conditions for astronomy were bad this weekend.


I'm pretty disappointed because I really would like to watch Mars as it recedes and the dust storm abates.

Maybe next weekend?  More Mars images?

Instead, how about this image?  It is indeed a shiny bauble.  It's the Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635.

It's a giant gas bubble floating in outer space.

It is an image that I made in June of last year.

It reminds me of the Starchild from the end sequence of the "2001: A Space Odyssey" movie.
The Bubble Nebula, NGC 7635
The Bubble Nebula was nearly impossible to see through my 32mm wide field eyepiece.  I could see the stars in its vicinity, but there was no hint of nebulosity.

The Bubble Nebula has a surface brightness magnitude of 14.94.

So, I used SkySafari to figure out exactly where the bubble should be in the star field and made sure that it was exactly centered.

Then, I put on my ZWO ASI224MC imager and started SharpCap.

After a couple of image frames accumulated, the bubble started to appear in the video window on my laptop screen.

This image is 21 frames stacked.  The exposure time for each frame was 8 seconds.  Gain setting of the imager was 525. 

Pretty, huh?  Oh, the things I can see from my backyard!


  1. Great post... lots of info as usual.

    1. M52 was in the same field of view with the 32mm wide field eyepiece. It kept pulling my eye toward it when I was trying to see the Bubble Nebula visually.

  2. Such a pretty image . . . a shiny bauble indeed!

    1. It's really fun to watch the image forming on the laptop screen as the frames start to stack.


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