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Shawn Nielsen VisibleDark.caWelcome to my astronomy and astrophotography site. I’m Shawn Nielsen and I’m an amateur astronomer, astrophotographer and YouTuber. I’m also an advocate for better lighting at night, reducing light pollution. The astro images featured on this website were taken from various locations including dark sites in rural southern Ontario, up in northern cottage country (South Bruce Peninsula) as well as remote observatories in New Mexico, Australia and Spain. Some of the images were even taken from my home in Kitchener, a relatively light polluted city. Astrophotography is a passion of mine Continue reading…

My first image of M31 galaxy. Shawn Nielsen 2008

This was my first image ever taken upon getting into astrophotography. It was of the M31 galaxy and was taken with a Celestron CPC800 SCT. While I had taken some images as a teenager of the planets… 

For those of us living in a mid to large size cities and dealing with light pollution, we can do narrowband astrophotography and get some great results! One of the biggest challenges in astrophotography is dealing with light…  

IC 1805 the Heart Nebula in Hubble Palette SHO

Meet IC 1805, the Heart Nebula.  This is an image I’ve been working on for a while in the Fall here. Mostly due to weather not cooperating.   I was able
NGC 281 pacman nebula SHO

NGC 281 Pacman Nebula in Hubble Palette SHO

Meet NGC 281, also known as the Pacman Nebula. Can you spot the pacman? NGC 281 is a bright emission nebula and part of an H II region in the

NGC 7822 Nebula in Hubble Palette SHO

Meet NGC 7822. This is 29 hours of data I collected over 6 clear nights. This is a Hubble palette image (false colour). NGC 7822 is a young, star-forming region
Starfest 2019

I went to the Starfest 2019 star party!

I went to Starfest 2019 which is an annual star party held in Ayton, Ontario during the month of August. It’s considered a top ten star party with hundreds of

Optolong L-eNhance Filter for Astrophotography

The Optolong L-eNhance filter is fast becoming the talk of the astro town. It’s affordable for even the tightest astro budgets but also delivers exceptional performance for imaging emission nebula

Deepsky astrophotography with and without a narrowband filter

City lights, neighbours outside lights, limited number of clear nights and astrophotography from your backyard, all mean having to battle not only light pollution but time and opportunity to engage