The Eye of God (Helix Nebula NGC 7293)

 Download Full Resolution (2048x2048) 1450KB 4,385

'The Eye of God (Helix Nebula NGC 7293)'

Date: 10th Nov 2015

The Eye of God (Helix Nebula NGC 7293)

[Public Domain] 11 Nov 2015 Dylan O'Donnell
CATEGORY : Astrophotography
4,386 others viewed this post.

That’s a dramatic name isn’t it? It certainly does look like an eyeball. Many people now call it the “Eye of Sauron”, the evil omnipresence from Mordor in Lord of the Rings. What it actually is, is a planetary nebula, but that’s wrong too. It’s only called that because early astronomers hard a hard time distinguishing them from planets with their crude and low powered telescopes.

This image is created from 11 exposures, 9 taken with my Celestron SCT telescope at Astrofest earlier this year, and 2 taken last night by remote control. By renting time on a telescope I’ll never be able to afford, a Planewave CDK700 in Siding Springs Observatory, I was able to grab 20 minutes of Hydrogen emission spectrum data in black and white, which reveals all the structure and detail in the shock waves. Then in photoshop, I combined my earlier RGB colour exposures I’d made using a blending layer set to “multiply”.

Renting time on such insanely good gear isn’t cheap though. The total cost without discounts for the 2 exposures I took last night cost a grand total of $79AUD! Considering a typical astrophoto may include 2-4 hours at a minimum, that’s a cost of $600 – $1200 just for a single completed astrophoto. I could buy a new telescope for that! It’s definitely a great experience to use the big equipment but not something I can afford for my photos generally. Also it’s not quite as satisfying as imaging with your own gear in the backyard.

 Download Full Resolution (2048x2048) 1450KB


EQUIPMENT DYLAN USED
Here is some of the gear this photo was made with. Click for info

More Astrophotography ...

Geostationary Satellites (Animated)
Astrophotography
The Flame Nebula
Astrophotography
Heaven`s Gate & The Pink Panther
Astrophotography
Dragon's Head Nebula NGC2035
Astrophotography
The Rosette Nebula (Caldwell 49/50)
Astrophotography
Horsehead Nebula up Close
Astrophotography
The Clouds of Orion
Astrophotography
The Horsehead Swims in Hydrogen
Astrophotography
M45, The Pleiades (Seven Sisters)
Astrophotography
Luminous Supermoon Corona in Full Colour
Astrophotography
M31 Andromeda, King of the Visual Galaxies
Astrophotography
Looking Directly at the Sun.
Astrophotography
Sculptor Galaxy up Close
Astrophotography
Collaborating on a Photo - M20 Trifid
Astrophotography
Double Iridium Flare - Satellites catching a Sunbeam
Astrophotography
M16 Eagle Nebula. Widefield and Narrowbands!
Astrophotography
M8 Lagoon Nebula (with new camera!)
Astrophotography
My Astro Selfie (And I was on TV!)
Astrophotography, Notable
Lagoon M8 Up Close ...
Astrophotography
The Tree of Life (M17) Omega Nebula
Astrophotography
Celestial Beauty, The Trifid Nebula
Astrophotography
Cape Byron Lighthouse Animation
Astrophotography
The Dark Clouds of IC4603, 4604, 4605 in Rho Ophiuchus
Astrophotography
Cats Paw Nebula, NGC 6334
Astrophotography
Astrophotography Archives ...