Ring and Dumbbell nebulae

After quite a long period of poor weather, I finally had the opportunity to do some imaging with my Orion VX12 telescope. I encountered some problems due to my operating close to the limit of the capabilities of the Celestron CGEM, but did manage to get a few useable frames of the Ring and Dumbbell nebulae.

Equipment used:

Celestron CGEM mount, Orion VX12 12″ F4 Newtonian, Olympus E-PL5 full-spectrum camera, Astronomik 2″ CLS-CCD filter, Orion thin off-axis guider, Lacerta MGEN autoguider and Baader MPCC III coma corrector. Subs are 2 minutes at ISO 1600.

First the Ring nebula or M57. I remember seeing this with my friend’s telescope in his back garden with his 12″ Dobsonian telescope. And now this is my first true attempt at imaging it. As can be seen, the single frame already manages to capture a fair amount of detail, particularly as the light magnitude of the Ring nebula is 9.0 which is pretty dark.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Single frame of Ring nebula
Picture saved with settings embedded.
Ring nebula – stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Ring nebula - post-processed with Pixinsight
Ring nebula – post-processed with Pixinsight

Next is the Dumbbell nebula or M27. As can be seen, the single frame already captures a fair amount of detail from this nebula.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Dumbbell nebula single sub
Picture saved with settings embedded.
Dumbbell nebula stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Dumbell nebula - post-processed with Pixinsight
Dumbell nebula – post-processed with Pixinsight

I only managed to get about 3 good frames of the Ring nebula and about 6 frames of the Dummbell nebula, so clearly the images can be improved. But it does give me hope that the Orion VX12 is able to grab very good amount of light, even with shorter exposures of 2 minutes. And when post-processed with Pixinsight, I am able to get even more from the images.

Boon