Vega and the Ring Nebula


Vega is a bluish-white star, two and one half times the size of our Sun and is 40 % brighter. It is the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra and is the second in the Northeren Hemisphere after Arcturus. This star has been discovered by Nasa in 2013 to have an asteroid belt- like, ring of debris and dust which strongly makes it suspect to have orbiting planets of its own. In just over 10,000 years this variable star (varying in brightness) will become the next Pole Star after Polaris.


Vega – 2017-09-28- Lunt Telescope, 70 mm, 420 mm, ZWO 224 camera, from a video (less than 20 sec) stacked in Registax and processed in Windows 10 Photo Editor


Vega (EAA -Stacked)

Vega – 2017-05-28- Telescope 1000mm, 190mm, Canon 70D EOS, 30 sec, iso 800, post processing in Windows 10 Photo Editor


Ring Nebula (M57) – 2017-07-18- Telescope 1000mm, 190mm, Canon 70D EOS, post processing in Astrotoaster

The Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula in the Constellation Lyra. The central star is the remainder of a sun-like star which will eventually cool down to become a white dwarf. The Ring Nebula is very easy to locate between Sheliak and Sulphat.
Through my 8 inch telescope using a 20 mm eyepiece (50X magnification) the Ring Nebula shows itself as a hazy ring. Slightly more detail may be detected with a 2x or 4x barlow but any color or central detail such as the central star is not apparent. I found that the Orion Ultra Block Filter is quite useful for finding this type of nebula but gives no more added detail … just a bit more contrast


The images above of  the Ring Nebula were all short exposure (30 sec or less and stacked using 5 or less images) They look different due to variations in image processing and the combination of software used (Astrotoaster, Windows 10 Photo Editor, Digital Photo Professional, Light Zone, Rawtherapee). My Canon 70D DSLR camera was not full spectrum modified and hence the full colors of this nebula could not be seen. However, I found that by using the HDR Tool in Digital Photo Professional (Canon Utility software) more color detail could be extracted as seen in some of the images that show red and blue hues in the regions of the nebula where they would normally appear but be associated with better detail using the method of longer exposure and/or increased stacking.

The following is a video in avi format taken for less than 30 sec and the resultant images derived from stacking and processing shown below.
The images above were taken with the same telescope but using a ZWO 224 camera and Sharpcap software. The top images were derived from an avi video file less than 30 sec and stacked in Registax. The resultant Tif file was processed in Lightzone, converted to a Jpg and the clarity increased again in Windows Photo Editor. The bottom file was from a Ser video file acquired with the same camera, using Firecapture.
Notes: I did not do precise polar alignment but this was not a problem using the ZWO 224 camera as the images are acquired rapidly allowing more images to be acquired before motion affects the image. However the resultant avi and ser videos of less than 30 sec produced a surprisingly more detailed image…the center stars of the nebula could now be seen. (see cropped image, top right)

M57 Screen StarTools

This image of the Ring Nebula was taken with the ZWO 224 and the same telescope. I used a stack of 5 fits files.

See other Video And Images
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