Cygnus Wall
Cygnus Wall © Irwin Seidman

FLI Microline 16803 Camera | Planewave CDK 14 Telescope | Eastland County, Texas | 10 hour exposure 
Image data acquisition courtesy of Remoteskies.net | Image processing by Bluespeck.ca

The Cygnus Wall is a part of the North American Nebula (NGC 7000) in the constellation Cygnus.  Located roughly 1900 light years (~11 quadrillion miles) away from Earth, the Wall portion of the nebula spans roughly 120 trillion miles across and exhibits the most concentrated star formations in the nebula. This emission nebula is made up of interstellar clouds of ionized hydrogen (HII) along with some ionized sulfur (SII) and oxygen (OIII).
M33 • Triangulum Galaxy
M33 Triangulum Galaxy © Irwin Seidman (Data Acquisition Douglas Gardner (www.remote-astrophotography.com)
SBIG STL-11000 3 CCD camera | Takahashi 150mm Refractortelescope | AstroCamp Observatory (Nerpio, Spain) | 44 minute exposure  | Image data acquisition courtesy of Douglas Gardner (www.remote-astrophotography.com) | Image processing by Bluespeck.ca
I haven’t been able to get out under the night sky for a while and have been feeling a little star withdrawal, so I’ve turned to processing some remote telescope third party image data for a bit of astro-therapy. 😜
Here is one of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33).  This spiral galaxy is located 2.73 million light-years (ly) from Earth in the constellation Triangulum. 
​​​​​​​I had fun stacking and processing his LRGB and Ha data using Astro Pixel Processor and did some final clean up in Photoshop.  
M101 • Pinwheel Galaxy
M101 - Pinwheel Galaxy © Irwin Seidman

2021-06-01 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 56 min exposure | ref  #210601-50

Sitting fairly small in my telescopes field of view, the Pinwheel Galaxy is seen here near the zenith in the northern spring sky. Ideally I would like to collect much more digital data to build on this exposure, but for now I am quite pleased with my first attempt at this target.
The Pinwheel Galaxy (aka M101, NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy sitting roughly 21 million light years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major (The Great Bear). It is about twice the size of our Milky Way Galaxy and contains an estimated one trillion stars.  Also seen in the image below and to the right of M101 is the dwarf galaxy NGC 5474.  
Virgo Cluster
Virgo Cluster © Irwin Seidman

2021-05-18 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 2 hrs, 39 min exposure | ref  #210518-09032

This image of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster (in the constellation Virgo) pushes both my equipment and my current processing abilities to their limits.  A target better suited for a larger telescopes and a CMOS sensor camera, I photographed it here using a fairly small diameter wide-field scope and standard DSLR camera.  The image quality is further hampered by the less than ideal weather conditions (high moisture levels in the atmosphere) during the period that the image was captured, but nevertheless does reveal a large number of galaxies in this region.
Located almost 54 million light years away, M87 (aka Messier 87, NGC 4486, Virgo A) is located near the centre of the cluster (and centre of this image). Also seen prominently in the image to the left of M87 are the spiral galaxies M88 (in the constellation Coma Berenices) and M90 (also in the constellation Virgo). Also visible near the top centre of the frame is the Markarian's Chain stretch of galaxies. Still part of the Virgo Cluster, Markarian's includes among other deep sky features, the elliptical galaxies M84 and M86. It is estimated that in its entirety, the Virgo Cluster contains somewhere between 1,300 and 2,000 individual galaxies. 
There is a lot  going on in the Virgo Cluster image.  Click anywhere on this image to see enlarged annotated view.
M63  • Sunflower Galaxy
M63 • Sunflower Gallery © Irwin Seidman

2021-05-12 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 68 min exposure  (cropped) | ref  #210512-15

The Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Canes Venatici.  Located about 29.3 million light years away, it is roughly the same size as our own Milky Way.  Like the Milky Way, the Sunflower Galaxy is estimated to contain around 400 billion stars. Also seen in the image near the upper right corner of the frame is the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 5023. Also part of the constellation of Canes Venatici, NGC 5023 is about 30 million light years from Earth.
Happy Trails
Star Trails and Lego Astronomer  © Irwin Seidman

2021-04-18 | Nikon D7100 | Sigma 24-70mm  1:2.8 @ 24mm  | 2 hrs, 51 min exposure | ref  #8100072

Living vicariously through Lego during the covid pandemic.  

The stars are seen trailing around Polaris (North Star) in this vignette of the little Lego Hiker watching the night sky :)

Bode's Galaxy (M81) and Cigar Galaxy (M82)
M81 - Bode's Galaxy and M82 - Cigar Galaxy © Irwin Seidman

2021-03-07 & 2021-03-20 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 2 hrs, 51 min exposure | ref  #8100072

The spiral galaxy M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and the starburst galaxy M82 (Cigar Galaxy) in the constellation Ursa Major.  Both galaxies are located roughly 12 million light years away from earth.
M44 • The Beehive Cluster
M44 The Beehive Cluster © Irwin Seidman

2021-03-19 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 69 min exposure | ref  #2100024

The Beehive Cluster also known as Praesepe (Latin for "manger"), M44 or NGC 2632 is an open cluster in the constellation Cancer. At a distance of 610 light years, it is one of the closest open clusters to Earth. 

M44 The Beehive Cluster © Irwin Seidman
The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237)
The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237) © Irwin Seidman

2021-03-07 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 81 min exposure | ref  #2100005

The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237) is a large emission nebula located in the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn).  The bright cluster of stars near the centre of the nebula is NGC 2244.  Ultraviolet light from the bright hot cluster stars near the centre (NGC 2244) causes the surrounding nebula to glow. The Rosette Nebula spans about 100 light-years across, lies about 5000 light-years away.
The Orion Nebula (M42)
The Orion Nebula (M42) © Irwin Seidman

2021-02-03 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 64.5 min exposure | ref  #7508165

Here is another look at the Orion Nebula. Located about 1,344 light years away the Orion Nebula (M42) is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way. On a clear night (and from dark sky locations) it can be seen as faint fuzzy patch just south of Orion’s Belt in the constellation of Orion.
The Heart Nebula (IC 1805)
The Heart Nebula (IC 1805) © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-11-09 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 85 min, 51 sec exposure | ref  #7507847

Located roughly 7,500 light years away, the Heart Nebula (IC1805) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia.  It glows brightly with ionized hydrogen gas making the dark dust lanes really stand out. The bright region in the upper right portion of the nebula is classified separately as NGC 896. The nebula's intense red output and its morphology are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula's center. This open cluster of stars, known as Collinder 26 or Melotte 15, contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun's mass.  Just to the upper left of the nebula lies the open cluster NGC 1027.  Also seen in the lower left of the image (albeit mostly cut off from view) is the neighbouring  Soul Nebula (IC 1848). 
Ruchbah and star clusters in the constellation Cassiopeia
Ruchbah and some of the star clusters in the constellation Cassiopeia © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-11-04 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 70.5 minute exposure | ref  #2100073

The bright star in the upper left of this image is the variable star Ruchbah.  It is the lower left point in the “W” shaped constellation Cassiopeia.  Also know as Delta Cassiopeiae (δ Cassiopeiae, abbreviated Delta Cas, δ Cas) it is located approximately 99.4 light-years from the Earth.
Also seen in the image moving clockwise from Ruchbah are the the star clusters M103, the Yin-Yang Cluster (NGC 659), the Lawnmower Cluster (NGC 653) and the Fuzzy Butterfly Cluster (NGC 654).  These star clusters range from between 6,850 and 15,600 light years away.  (Btw… if my math is correct, that works out roughly to between 40 and 92 quadrillion miles away!)
Blue Halloween Moon
Blue Halloween Moon © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-10-13 | Nikon D750 | WO Zenithstar 61ii  360mm  | 1/125 sec and 5 sec exposures blended | ref  #7507595

Lens flares create a spooky glow highlighting the full moon on this Halloween night.  This was the second full moon of the month with the earlier instance occurring on October 1st.  
When two full moons occur in the same month, the second is referred to as a blue moon (as in "once in a blue moon"). This is a relatively rare event happening on average only once every two and a half years. 
One More Look At The Perseids
One More Look At The Perseids © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-08-14 | Nikon D7100 | Sigma 18-24mm  1:1.8 @ 27mm  | 80 sec timelapse | ref  #7104987

The Perseids looking north west over Georgian Bay from Owen Sound. The Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by dust and debris shed by the Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle as it passed through the inner solar system and across Earth’s orbital path.  Comet Swift-Tuttle was last seen from Earth in 1992 and is not expected to return before 2126, however the result of this and previous visits can be seen annually (late summer) in the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Deneb and the North America Nebula
Deneb and the North America Nebula © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-08-11 | Nikon D750 | Sigma 24-70mm  1:2.8 @ 24mm  | 36.5min exposure| ref  #7507304

Deneb and the North America Nebula stand out in this northern look at the Milky Way, however, there is actually a lot more going on here... First towards the bottom centre-right of the frame is the constellation Cygnus with the bright stars Deneb and Fawaris, the North America Nebula and the Pelican Nebula.  Moving towards the top and middle of the frame is the constellation Cepheus with the bright star Alderamin and the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula.  Next, over to the upper left of the frame is the constellation Cassiopeia with the bright stars Caph, Shedar and Navi.  Lastly at the middle-left of the image is the Andromeda Galaxy.
Perseid Meteor Shower
Perseid Meteor Shower © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-08-11 | Nikon D750 | Sigma 24-70mm  1:2.8 @ 24mm  | 5.5 min timelapse | ref  #7507220

The Perseid Meteor Shower as seen from the lookout at the Kemble Women's Institute monument north of Owen Sound (Ontario, Canada).
Four meteors are captured radiating outward from the constellation Perseus (which is actually behind the tree).  The Andromeda galaxy can also be seen as a faint fuzzy oval near the centre of the frame.
Scutum Star Cloud
Scutum Star Cloud © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-08-07 | Nikon D750 | Sigma 70-200mm  1:2.8 @ 200mm  | 30.5 min  exposure | ref #7506924

The fifth smallest constellation, Scutum lies in the southern sky.  Its name means “the shield” in latin. 
The main part of this image includes a particularly bright part of the milky way called the Scutum Star Cloud.   The bright orange star just below centre-right is Alpha Scuti (α Scuti).  It is the brightest star in the constellation and is almost 200 light years from earth. Also prominent in the frame is the Wild Duck Cluster (aka M11) which can be seen just to the left of the star cloud.  M11 is an open star cluster located around 6120 light years from earth.  Slightly smaller and seen just below the star cloud is M26. This open cluster is located about 5160 light years away.  This extremely rich part of the night sky is home to many other wonders. If you look closely you can also see the globular cluster NGC 6712, open clusters NGC 6649 and 6664, the planetary nebula IC 1295 and the Blue Reflection Nebula (IC 1287).
Comet Neowise (C/2020 F3) 
Comet Neowise (C/2020 F3) © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-07-17 | Nikon D750 | Sigma 24-70mm  1:2.8 @ 24mm  | 30sec exposure | #7506521

Comet Neowise (C/2020 F3) passing under the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major.  This image was captured from the shores of Georgian Bay near Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.
Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) 
Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-07-17 | Nikon D750 | Sigma  70-200mm  1:2.8 @ 165mm| 6 min exposure | #7505885

Comets are made up of ice, rock and dust. As their orbit brings them closer to the sun, they heat up and often stream two tails.  The brighter whitish tail is made up of dust and gas, and the somewhat dimmer bluish tail is made of electrically-charged gas molecules, or ions.  An eerie greenish glow (diatomic carbon) is sometimes also visible around the comet’s coma.
Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) seen here was photographed over Georgian Bay as it passes through the constellation Ursa Major. Having only recently been discovered (March 27, 2020) by astronomers working on the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope, it is a welcome surprise in the night sky.  Neowise is the brightest comet seen in the northern hemisphere since Hale–Bopp in 1997. Neowise originates in the outer reaches of our solar system and won't be seen again from Earth for another 6,800 years.  It is expected to make its closest pass to Earth (64 million miles) on July 22/23, 2020.  (Note: The bright star almost directly above the comets nucleus is Talitha in the constellation Ursa Major.)
Strawberry Moon
Strawberry Moon © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-06-04 | Nikon D750  | Nikkor 200-500 1:5.6 @ 300mm |1/160sec & 1/4sec exposures | #7505576

Clouds dissipate around an eerie Strawberry Moon (98% full) over Georgian Bay.  The term "Strawberry Moon" comes from a combination of Native American, Anglo-Saxon, and Germanic folklore.  It marks the June full moon and celebrates the first strawberry blooms of the season.
Maple Buds Silhouetted Against The Flower Moon
Maple Buds Silhouetted Against The Flower Moon © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-05-06 | Nikon D7100 •|Nikkor 200-500 1:5.6 @ 500mm  (EFL 1000mm) | 1/125sec  exposure | #7104709

Referred to as the Flower Moon, the name honours the Native American tradition of using celestial events to trace the seasons.  According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, as the month of May is a time when frost subsides and plants bloom in the northern hemisphere.
The Flower Super Moon
The Flower Super Moon © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-05-06 | Nikon D7100 | Nikkor 200-500 1:5.6 @ 500mm  (EFL 1000mm) | 1/125sec exposure | #7104730

When the new moon (full moon) occurs during the Moon's closest approach to Earth, its perigee, it is often called a super moon.  This month marks the third and last super moon of 2020.  
Waxing Gibbous Moon
Waxing Gibbous Moon © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-05-04 | Nikon D7100 | Nikkor 200-500 1:5.6 @ 500mm (EFL 975mm)  | 1/250sec exposure | #7104623

This 90% full moon was captured 2 hrs and 42 min after moonrise (and 3 days before the full moon)
Cassiopeia and the Pacman Nebula
Cassiopeia and the Pacman Nebula © Irwin Seidman (bluespeck.ca)

2020-03-17 | Nikon D750 | Sigma 70-200mm 1:2.8 @ 200mm | 31 min exposure | #7504349

Cassiopeia is easily recognizable in the northern sky by the distinctive 'W' shape, formed by five bright stars. This image features a nebula and two of the constellations brightest stars in a sideways view of the right hand side of the constellation Cassiopeia.  Lying roughly 9200 light years away, NGC 281 is the bright emission nebula seen in the upper right of the frame.  It is  part of an H II region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Milky Way's Perseus Spiral Arm.  NGC 281 is also known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the 1980s video game character.  The bright star to the right of the Pacman Nebula is Eta Cassiopeiae (η Cassiopeiae, abbreviated Eta Cas, η Cas).  Eta Cas is a binary star system and is located about 19.5 light-years from earth. The bright star seen below and to the right of the nebula is Alpha Cassiopeiae (α Cassiopeiae, abbreviated Alpha Cas, α Cas), also known as known as Schedar or Shedar.  It is located about 228 light years away.  The bright star to the right of centre near the bottom of the frame is Beta Cassiopeiae (β Cassiopeiae, abbreviated Beta Cas or β Cas), also known as  Caph. This variable star sits approximately 54.7 light years from earth. 
Orion Nebula (M42)

2020-02-23 | Nikon D750 | Sigma 70-200mm 1:2.8 @ 200mm | 28min 31sec exposure | #7503834

The Orion Nebula (M42) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion.  It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is visible to the naked eye under ideal dark sky conditions. M42 has a mass of about 2,000 times that of the Sun and is situated roughly 1,344 light years away.  
Located in close proximity and just to the left of the Orion Nebula is De Marian’s Nebula (M43). This diffuse nebula lies at a distance of 1,600 light years from Earth. Together with the Orion Nebula, it is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth.
Just above and to the left of the Orion and De Marian’s nebulae is the Running Man Nebula (NGC 1977).  Also part of the constellation Orion, NGC 1977 is a cloud of interstellar dust and gas sitting about 1,600 light years away from earth. 
If you look closely towards the upper left of the frame (still within the constellation Orion) you can see the bright star Alnitak as well as faint traces of of two more nebulae.  Lying approximately 1,375 light years away, the Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) is a small dark nebula and at a distance of about 1,350 light years, the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) is an emission nebula.
Back to Top