Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Ursa Major (UMa)  ·  Contains:  M 97  ·  NGC 3587  ·  Owl Nebula
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M97 the Owl Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major, 



    
        

            Mark Wetzel
M97 the Owl Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major
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M97 the Owl Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M97 the Owl Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major, 



    
        

            Mark Wetzel
M97 the Owl Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major
Powered byPixInsight

M97 the Owl Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Celestron C9.25 Edge HD

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI 1600MM-Pro Cool

Mounts: Celestron CGEMⅡ

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Celestron C9.25 Edge HD

Guiding cameras: ZWO 174MM Mini

Software: Celestron CPWI  ·  Main Sequence Software Seqence Generator Pro 3  ·  Pleiades Astrophoto PinInsight  ·  Adobe Photoshop CC 2021 Photoshop 2021  ·  PHD 2

Filters: ZWO 36mm 7nm OIII  ·  ZWO 36mm 7nm Ha

Accessory: Celestron OAG


Dates:March 30, 2021April 6, 2021

Frames:
ZWO 36mm 7nm Ha: 22x600" (3h 40') (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
ZWO 36mm 7nm OIII: 24x600" (4h) (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1

Integration: 7h 40'

Darks: ~25

Flats: ~50

Flat darks: ~50

Avg. Moon age: 20.49 days

Avg. Moon phase: 62.05%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 1.50


Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 4401813

RA center: 11h 14' 48"

DEC center: +55° 1' 4"

Pixel scale: 0.534 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 145.338 degrees

Field radius: 0.222 degrees


Resolution: 2400x1800

Data source: Traveller

Description

Walton, Oregon March 30, 2021 and Casitas de Gila, Gila, NM April 6, 2021

I started the M97 project in Oregon and finished it in New Mexico. Cloudy skies and rain in March delayed image acquisition. M97, the Owl Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the constellation Ursa Major. It is a popular target for astrophotographers and is ideal for my Celestron C9.25” Edge HD SCT. Hydrogen-a (Ha) and Oxygen-III (Oiii) narrowband filters were used. M97 is about 2000 light years from Earth and has a diameter of about 1.8 ly. The estimated age of the Owl Nebula is about 8,000 years. The nebula has some resemblance to an owl’s face. The 14th magnitude central star is white dwarf, the remains of the death of a sun-like star. (NASA and Wikipedia).

For this project, I experimented by setting the camera sensor cooling to -15C. I wanted to determine how much more power would be consumed when operating the rig with 12VDC batteries. I lost about 30 minutes of battery time. Camera noise was reduced relative to the -10C temperature I had been using. This was the first time in a long time where I removed the 0.7x focal reducer and ran the system at a 2350mm focal length and at f/10. Plate solving required longer exposures and Sequence Generator Pro auto focus struggled with the few stars in the sensor’s field of view. Guiding was worse due to the focal length increase. I am also comfortable with taking 10 minute subframes with narrowband filters, since not many stars are clipped. In the future, I will capture Red, Green and Blue filter data to correct the star colors.

Imaging details:

Celestron 9.25" Edge HD SCT with off-axis guider
Celestron CGEM II mount
ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro cooled monochrome camera (-15oC)
36mm ZWO Hydrogen- and Oxygen-III filters

Software: Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2 guiding, Celestron CPWI mount control, PixInsight and Photoshop CC 2021

Hydrogen-a 10 min x 22 subframes (220 min), Gain 139, Offset 21, 1x1 binning
Oxygen-III 10 min x 24 subframes (240 min), Gain 139, Offset 21, 1x1 binning

Comments

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M97 the Owl Planetary Nebula in Ursa Major, 



    
        

            Mark Wetzel