|Galaxy M108 and Owl Nebula M97 in Ursa Major
In the lower right of this image, the Owl Nebula taunts us "behind blue eyes." This planetary nebula is the ghost-like outer shell of gas blown off by a dying star, at a distance of
about 3000 light years. Discovered in 1781, even small telescopes can detect the faint hollow eyes of the nebula, which earned its name in 1848. In the upper left of this image,
Galaxy M108 lies over a thousand times further away, at a distance of 45 million light years. Its spiral form is concealed by its nearly edge-on orientation.
The image above was obtained at the relatively dark skies of the Hidden Lake Observatory with a limiting magnitude of about 6.0. I combined 50 minutes of red, 60 minutes of
green, and 70 minutes of blue, and 210 minutes of clear luminance exposures, all unbinned. My camera was a QSI583wsg with Baader filters, through an Astro-Physics 130mm f/6
telescope mounted on an Astro-Physics 900 GTO mount.
The image below was obtained 8 years earlier from my light polluted backyard that has a limiting magnitude of 3.5. I combined 2 hours 35 minutes of Luminance exposures with 20
minutes of green and red and 30 minutes of blue exposures, using an ST10XME camera through a TEC 140 mm refractor at f/7.
Music: Behind Blue Eyes, by the Who