Russell Croman Astrophotography  



The North America Nebula Region in Hydrogen

About This Photograph

"First light" is the term astronomers use for the first real proof of a new telescope and imaging system... something that demonstrates that it is working to its potential and most of the kinks are worked out. This photo was intended to be just that sort of test, but it ended up coming out nicely enough that it seemed worth sharing. This is the North America Nebula region, high overhead in the constellation of Cygnus in summer months in the northern hemisphere. This region is a fascinating combination of nebula types – the bright areas of hydrogen emission bisected by sinuous dark lanes of opaque gas and dust.

Eventually I'll make color images of this view, but for now this is a black-and-white rendition using a special filter that only allows the light emitted by hydrogen atoms through.


Technical Details

Optics:Takahashi FSQ-106EDX4
Camera:SBIG STX-16803
Mount:Software Bisque Paramount MX+
Filters:SBIG H-alpha
Dates/Times:13-17 June 2020
Location:Flying Horses Ranch Observatory, Buda, Texas
Exposure Details:Two-frame mosaic, 3 hours each frame
Acquisition:MaxIm DL/CCD 6, TheSkyX, CCDAutoPilot5
Processing:PixInsight, Photoshop