We have finally reached the end of my recent batch of new astrophotos from my night in the observatory a few weeks ago. I have no idea when conditions will be favorable again for spending another night out in the observatory but hopefully it won’t be too long from now! But to wrap up this group of new images, I present to you NGC 6543, the Cats Eye Nebula!
Much like the last nebula I posted about, the Saturn Nebula, this one faces the same challenge of being so bright that its hard to get any of the dimmer details that require longer exposures because the main part of the nebula is so bright that it is easy to blow it out. So just like the other image, the longest I could manage was 15 second exposures so there is like a couple dozen images stacked and processed to make this final photo.
Ultimately, I’m still quite happy with how it turned out with the detail I did manage to get and I can certainly see why its called the Cats Eye Nebula. Perhaps someday I will figure out what it takes to get some of the dimmer details. Although I might be an old man by the time I master those skills with as rare as it is that I get to spend any time out in the observatory these days between clouds, smoke from forest fires and my inconsiderate neighbor’s outdoor lighting.
While this run of astrophotos might be over, I will have more eventually so stay tuned! In the meantime, your regularly scheduled geeky posts will resume! And since the question is always asked what equipment I use to take photos like I do, you can find my telescope setup for astrophotography here.
Share this with any space lovers you know! And if you like seeing cool images of space like I do, I suggest following me on Twitter (@pcnerd37) because I am always sharing photos on there from other amateur astrophotographers. We have quite the community on there!