Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Contains:  Eagle Nebula  ·  IC 4703  ·  M 16  ·  NGC 6611  ·  Star Queen
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First Light Image in H-Alpa using the William Optics 12" RC with the QHY600 Monochrome CMOS, 


            Terry Hancock
First Light Image in H-Alpa using the William Optics 12" RC with the QHY600 Monochrome CMOS
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First Light Image in H-Alpa using the William Optics 12" RC with the QHY600 Monochrome CMOS

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics 12" RC

Imaging cameras: QHYCCD QHY600m

Mounts: software bisque Paramount ME

Guiding telescopes or lenses: William Optics G61 Guide Scope

Guiding cameras: QHYCCD QHY178MM

Focal reducers: William Optics 0.8 Reducer

Software: PixInsight 1.8  ·  Adobe Photoshopc CC


Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 3492122

RA center: 18h 18' 54"

DEC center: -13° 50' 27"

Pixel scale: 0.393 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 0.432 degrees

Field radius: 0.628 degrees

Resolution: 9576x6357

Data source: Own remote observatory

Remote source: Grand Mesa Observatory


Captured from Grand Mesa Observatory, both the WO 12" RC and QHY600 Mono CMOS are coutesy of and recently supplied by William Optics. I was so encouraged by these great results and with permission from William Optics this setup is now available as an option "System 5" on GMO's subscription plans.

The Eagle Nebula was captured over 2 nights using the QHY600M with just 4 x 300 second exposures (bin 1x1) each channel LRGB and 8 x 600 second H-Alpha (bin 2x2). The William Optics WO12 RC is currently setup using the William Optics .8 reducer providing a 1971mm focal length @ F6.4. Bin 1x1 the image scale is 0.39 arcsec/pix and Bin 2x2 the image scale is 0.79 arcsec/pixel.

Total acquisition time 2.66 hours.

Filters used were supplied courtesy of Optolong

Plate Solve Information
Referentiation matrix (world[ra,dec] = matrix * image[x,y]):
+1.09243694e-04 -9.03580643e-07 -5.20203876e-01
+8.72695046e-07 +1.09320113e-04 -3.53349451e-01
WCS transformation ....... Linear
Projection ............... Gnomonic
Projection origin ........ [4788.284896 3194.021007] px -> [RA: 18 18 54.820 Dec: -13 50 32.63]
Resolution ............... 0.393 arcsec/px
Rotation ................. 179.514 deg
Observation start time ... 2020-04-25 09:58:01 UTC
Observation end time ..... 2020-04-25 10:03:01 UTC
Focal distance ........... 1971.28 mm
Pixel size ............... 3.76 um
Field of view ............ 1d 2' 47.5" x 41' 53.2"

Technical Details
Captured and processed by: Terry Hancock
Location: GrandMesaObservatory.com Purdy Mesa, Colorado
Dates of Capture April 26 and 27th 2020
HA 80 min 8 x 600 sec
LRGB 80 min 4 x 300 sec
Filters by Optolong
Camera: QHY600 Monochrome CMOS
Gain 60, Offset 76 with Dark, Bias and Flat Frames
Optics: William Optics 12" RC @ F6.4
EQ Mount: Paramount ME
Image Acquisition software Maxim DL6 Pre Processing in Pixinsight Post Processed in Photoshop CC

The incandescence of the Eagle Nebula is laced with intricate dark lanes, globules, and huge clouds of dust which shroud ongoing star formation from direct view. The most prominent dark structures are the so-called “Pillars of Creation”, three long fingers of gas and dark dust nearly ten light years long. The Pillars are a field laboratory for the study of star formation and have been examined intensely by astronomers at visible, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths. Within the Pillars are much smaller, warmer, and denser regions called evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs), some of which contain just a few solar masses. The EGGs are ground zero for star formation, though it’s difficult to catch these new stars in the act of igniting because they remain obscured by cloaks of dark dust. EGGs located near bright stars are elongated by winds of light and charged particles into what look like schools of celestial tadpoles.

The stars within the Eagle Nebula appear to be in an intermediate state. Stars within the Pillars and other dusty regions remain obscured, while a cluster of some 400 new stars clearly appears in a more transparent section of the nebula. The largest of these stars has a mass some 80 times that of our Sun and the luminosity of perhaps a million Suns. The cluster formed just 2 to 5 million years ago. The nebula itself is only slightly older.

The light we see from the Eagle Nebula and its associated stars left some 7,000 years ago, but some astronomers suspect the Pillars of Creation may have already been obliterated when a massive young star within the nebula detonated as a supernova. The Spitzer Space Telescope detected evidence of a patch of hot gas near the Pillars which may have been caused by such an event about 8,000 years ago. Information from our e-book https://cosmicpursuits.com/astronomy-courses-and-e-books/armchair-astronomer-volume-1-nebulae/



Terry Hancock
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


First Light Image in H-Alpa using the William Optics 12" RC with the QHY600 Monochrome CMOS, 


            Terry Hancock