Author Archives: Shawn Nielsen

M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy

A very popular target of the late Winter and Spring night sky is the Whirlpool Galaxy; cataloged as Messier 51 (M51). It is visible in small telescopes and even binoculars. It resides in the constellation of Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs, which is near the Big Dipper. M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy is positioned not far […]

IC 405 and IC 410 in Auriga HaRGB

IC405 and IC410 HaRGB. Shawn Nielsen and Steve Holmes 2010

This image of IC 405 and IC 410 consists of 2 hours colour data acquired using a Canon DSLR and 3 hours H-alpha data taken by a fellow astrophotographer, Steve Holmes of Kitchener, Ontario. For a more detailed description of this region please see my post IC405 and IC410 Nebulae in Auriga, H-alpha Technical: Skywatcher […]

Horse Head Nebula (B33) and Flame Nebula in Orion

Horse Head Nebula and Flame Nebula. November 2010

Returning once again to this marvelous pairing in the constellation of Orion my objective was to image the Horsehead (B33) and Flame Nebulae at a longer focal length (1260mm) for a more closeup perspective. In order to accomplish my goal I used a Celestron CPC800 SCT with a 0.63x reducer for a focal length of […]

IC405 The Flaming Star Nebula

IC405 Flaming Star Nebula. November 2010.

The IC405 nebula is quite intriguing I thought when doing some background reading on it. IC405 is a diffuse nebula that surrounds the bluish star AE Aurigae, the brightest star in the photo. This star is passing through this area of gas and dust, illuminating it. AE Aurigae is believed to be a runaway star […]

M11 The Wild Duck Cluster

M11 The Wild Duck CLuster. Shawn Nielsen Sept 2010

Continuing my learning curve with astro-imaging. This was a short run on the Wild Duck Cluster, M11. located near the constellation Scutum. M11 is an open cluster, also called a galactic cluster. It contains thousands of stars. The stars in M11 are believed to have formed together about 250 million years ago. Bright young stars […]

M45 The Pleiades Star Cluster

M45 the Pleiades star cluster. Shawn Nielsen, 2010

One of my first images of M45 The Pleiades Star Cluster with the Skywatcher Equinox 80mm ED APO refractor. Just 2 hours and 20 minutes of data. The Pleiades are a prominent sight in winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and are also known as the Seven Sisters. This is an impressive image for me because […]