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Banard and Friends (Banard's Loop)

​Orion is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky. It is named after Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology.​ Deep in this constellation, there is a loop extends over about 600 arcminutes as seen from Earth, covering much of Orion the hunter himself. It is well seen in long-exposure photographs, although observers under very dark skies may be able to see it with the naked eye.

Barnard's Loop (catalogue designation Sh 2-276) is an emission nebula in the constellation of Orion. It is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex which also contains the dark Horsehead and bright Orion nebulae. The loop takes the form of a large arc centered approximately on the Orion Nebula. The stars within the Orion Nebula are believed to be responsible for ionizing the loop.

Recent estimates place it at a distance of either 159 pc (518 light years) or 440 pc (1434 ly) giving it dimensions of either about 100 or 300 ly across respectively. It is thought to have originated in a supernova explosion about 2 million years ago, which may have also created several known runaway stars, including AE Aurigae, Mu Columbae and 53 Arietis, which are believed to have been part of a multiple star system in which one component exploded as a supernova.

Although this faint nebula was certainly observed by earlier astronomers, it is named after the pioneering astrophotographer E. E. Barnard who photographed it and published a description in 1894.

IN this image, one can make out the well-known Orion Nebula (M42) and the Horsehead Nebula (IC434), which are in fact close in vicinity to each other. 

A total of 5 clear nights was used to image this object with an average of 1-1.5hours each night)

Camera: QHYCCD 294M-Pro (main), QHY5Lii-M (guide)

Lens: Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 @ 50mm F/4 (Main), William Optics Uniguide 50mm (Guide)
Mount: iOptron CEM-70
Filters: Antlia 3.5nm Ha, 3nm Oiii, 3.5nm Sii
PC: Beelink Mini PC (Gemini M)
Software used: SGPro, Pixinsight, Photoshop, Deep-Sky-Stacker

Corona Australis Molecular Cloud

Paid a visit back to the place where I first saw the Milky way galaxy. There's something about this patch of the night sky that ceases to amaze me. Still feels surreal! So what's up with this collection of interstellar dust? NGC 6729 (also known as Caldwell 68) is a reflection/emission nebula of the Corona Australis Molecular Cloud in the constellation Corona Australis. It was discovered by Johann Friedrich Julius Schmidt in 1861.

This fan-shaped nebula opens from the star R Coronae Australis toward the star T CrA to the south-east. R CrA is a pre-main-sequence star in the Corona Australis molecular complex, one of the closer star-forming regions of the galaxy at a distance of 130 pc. NGC 6729 is a variable nebula which shows irregular variations in brightness and in shape.

This was a great target to shoot with a one-shot colour camera: QHY 533C. Even though it was only 90 mins worth of exposure, it was pretty amazing how much duty details it ws able to pull in via my 90mm refractor. Before this, there was a data-loss scare which thankfully did not happen.

Hope you enjoyed it!


iOptron CEM26

Stellamira CF 90mm triplet

Astronomik L2 UV/IR filter

Imaged in Mersing

Full Resolution can be found here:

Fox Fur Complex

The Christmas Tree Cluster, also known as NGC 2264, is a well-studied region in the Monoceros (the Unicorn) constellation. The Christmas Tree Cluster, the blue reflection nebula surrounding bright stars, was so named because it looks like a tree in visible light. The nebula is roughly 2,500 light-years away.

IC 2944

​IC 2944, also known as the Running Chicken Nebula or the λ Centauri Nebula, is an open cluster with an associated emission nebula found in the constellation Centaurus, near the star λ Centauri. It features Bok globules, which are frequently a site of active star formation. However, no evidence for star formation has been found in any of the globules in IC 2944.

The ESO Very Large Telescope image on the right is a close up of a set of Bok globules discovered in IC 2944 by astronomer A. David Thackeray in 1950. These globules are now known as Thackeray's Globules. In 2MASS images, 6 stars are visible within the largest globule.

The region of nebulosity visible in modern images includes both IC 2944 and IC 2948, as well as the fainter IC 2872 nearby. IC 2948 is the brightest emission and reflection nebulae towards the southeast, while IC 2944 is the cluster of stars and surrounding nebulosity stretching towards λ Centauri.

Other designations for IC 2944 include RCW 62 and G42.

Total Imaging Time: 7 hours

Camera: QHYCCD 294 mono

Lens/Scope: Skywatcher Esprit 100 f/3.6 with APEX-L Reducer

Mount: iOptron CEM-70


IC 410 Tadpole Nebula

Seen here is a populary imaged deep sky object: The Tadpole Nebula. In professional astronomy, it is also known as IC 410. This is a faint and dusty emission nebula of more than 100 light-years across, located near the Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405) in a large star forming (HII) region about 12,000 light-years away from Earth in the northern constellation of Auriga.

The cloud of glowing gas is sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from the embedded open star cluster catalogued as NGC 1893, which is just about 4 million years old. The massive, hot stars of this cluster are all very young, having only been recently formed from IC 410. The bright stars of this cluster are seen just below the prominent dark dust cloud near picture center. There are two gaseous streams in the centre of the image which is the “Tadpoles". These tadpoles, which consist of denser, cooler gas and dust, are approximately 10 light-years long and potentially sites of ongoing star formation.

Melotte 15 (The Heart Nebula)

Higher resolution can be found here:

| A Bristle in the heart of the Heart |

Cosmic clouds form fantastic shapes in the central regions of emission nebula IC 1805. The clouds are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster, Melotte 15. About 1.5 million years young, the cluster stars are toward the right in this colorful skyscape, along with dark dust clouds in silhouette against glowing atomic gas. A composite of narrowband and broadband telescopic images, the view spans about 30 light-years and includes emission from ionized hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms mapped to green, red, and blue hues in the popular Hubble Palette. 

Took just over 2 months since the commencement of the first sub-exposure!

Tried out a new processing workflow which was meant bring more emphasis on the dark and central gas structures while keeping the highlights toned down. I made a few variants of the Hubble palette but eventually settled on the good ol' traditional Hubble Palette colour grading. I finally created my own Luminance layering technique, which also brought out the sharp and cripsy details in the dark nebula region. The use of good masks were crucial for selective sharpening of the Luminance layer while the final layering was done traditionally in Photoshop CS 6.

Imaged from Central London

Image Details:

122 x 180s Ha
41 x 180s Oiii
80 x 180s S2

Scope/Lens: Skywatcher Quattro Series 8" F/4 newtonian
Camera: QHY 294M-pro
Mount: Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT
Edited in Pixinsight and final tuches in Photoshop CS6.

Hope you enjoy it and Clear Skies!

NGC 3372 The Great Nebula in Carina

The Carina Nebula is a bright, large emission nebula surrounding the star Eta Carinae, located in the southern constellation Carina. The nebula’s designation in the New General Catalogue is NGC 3372. It is one of the largest diffuse nebulae known, one that contains several open star clusters.

The Carina Nebula lies in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way, at a distance between 6,500 and 10,000 light years from Earth. The estimated distance of the nebula is 7,500 light years.

The nebula spans about 460 light years in diameter, covering an area of three degrees of the sky. It is one of the largest known star forming regions in the Milky Way

This image above was shot over 10 nights in April 2020 wíth a total of 15 hours of data obtained for this image.

Entirely shot in from home in Singapore

Telescope: William Optics Zenithstar 61

Camera: QHY 163M

Mount: Explore Scientific IExos100

Filters: Antlia 3.5nm Ha, SII, OIII filters

5 hours each (75x 4mins subs)

Stacked in DSS, post processed in Pixinsight + Photoshop

An alternative to this version


This was my first attempt with the same old camera. Although this was shot under the dark skies of Tioman, Malaysia, a clip in light pollution filter was used as this was shot near a light source.

Total Imaging Time: 2h 56mins with 120s subs

Camera: Canon 60D

Filter: SvBony Light pollution filter

Lens/Scope: William Optics Zenithstar 73

Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS-100

NGC 3576 Statue of Liberty Nebula

​NGC 3576 (also known as The Statue of Liberty Nebula) is a bright emission nebula about 100 light-years across, located some 9000 light-years away in the Sagittarius arm of our Milky Way in the constellation Carina.

NGC 3576 also contains scattered small dark nebulae known as Bok Globules, which are very dense, opaque clouds of gas and dust, and potential sites for the formation of new stars. Because NGC 3576 is very dense, many of the stars are hidden from view. A cluster of stars is visible in infrared observations, but not enough young, massive stars have been identified to explain the brightness of NGC 3576. Astronomers have found a large flow of ionized gas in radio observations and huge bubbles in optical images that extend out from the edge of the HII region. Taken with the X-ray data, this information hints that powerful winds are emerging from this hidden cluster.

Taken under light polluted skies of Singapore.

Note: This image includes NGC 3576, NGC 3603, NGC 3572, will definitely go deeper in the future!

Red: Hydrogen Alpha

Green: Oxygen III

Blue: Oxygen III

Total Imaging Time: 5h 40mins

Camera: QHYCCD 163 (Mono)

Lens/Scope: William Optics Zenithstar 61

Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS-100

NGC 6188 Fighting Dragons of Ara

NGC 6188 is an emission nebula located about 4,000 light years away in the constellation Ara. The bright open cluster NGC 6193, visible to the naked eye, is responsible for a region of reflection nebulosity within NGC 6188.

In 1836, astronomer John Herschel discovered this with his reflector telescope. Through is 18 1/4 inch reflector, he noted a 'faint nebula in which the preceding part of the cluster is involved.

NGC 6188 is a star forming nebula, and is sculpted by the massive, young stars that have recently formed there – some are only a few million years old. This spark of formation was probably caused when the last batch of stars went supernova.

Bottom right of the picture is another emission nebula, NGC 6164-5. Expelled gaseous material from the centre star possibly due to its fast roattion led to this symmetric shape of this bi-polar nebula. Its diameter spans 4 light years across.


NGC 6357 War & Peace Nebula

As Autumn draws to a close, the familiar wintery scene pops up yet again. Seen here is one of the galactic arms of the Milkyway galaxy, our very own galactic neighbourhood where interstellar dust and newborn stars fill the void.

Towards the centre of the image lies a faint nebula (Greek for ‘clouds’) called the Flaming star nebula, IC405. Looks like a Yin-Yang symbol!

Shift your sight towards the right and you’ll spot two extremely familiar nebulae, made famous by NASA’s APOD. The reddish ‘band’ that lies near the top right is the California nebula, NGC1499 (resembles the state if you tilt your head to the right)

Shift your gaze downwards and you’ll find the famous Pleaides star cluster aka ‘The Seven Sisters’ aka ‘Subaru’. The bluish ‘blob’ is actually faint wispy interstellar dust surrounding the star cluster, illuminated by the surrounding stars nearby.

Keep looking up!

10x 2mins (tracked)

Sony A7iii

Sigma 35mm @ f/2.8

NGC2359 Thor's Helmet Nebula

Thor’s Helmet is an emission nebula with an ionized HII region in the constellation Canis Major. The name of this nebula stems from its striking resemblance to the helmet of the famed Norse God of thunder and lightning.

Thor’s Helmet is composed of cosmic dust and gas, which is revealed to have a blue-green appearance through astrophotography. NGC 2359 spans roughly 30 light-years across and appears as an interstellar bubble that has been inflated by a central Wolf-Rayet star.

This image was taken under light polluted skies of Singapore.

Individual channels were collected via dedicated astronomical camera and combined with special software to form a complete "true colour" RGB image.

Red: Hydrogen Alpha

Green: Oxygen III

Blue: Oxygen III

Total Imaging Time: 8 hours over 4 nights

Camera: QHYCCD 183 (Mono)

Lens/Scope: William Optics Zenithstar 61

Mount: Explore Scientific iEXOS-100

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