Winter has begun in California. We only have 2 seasons: Summer and Winter. The cold and wet weather arrives very suddenly, and we tend to go straight from 84-90F to 35-55F in a matter of days. With this change comes a lot of clouds. The only chance I've had this month was during the nearly full moon, in which I attempted to capture an RGB (true color) object: The Iris Nebula. This proved to be a bit too much with my local light pollution and the moon's light. This is about all I could pull, a very noisy image:

It looks like the clouds are going to linger for quite some time.. and then the moon will be back. So it will be a while before I can bring the scope back out!

  • Amir

Deep sky exposures get photobombed all the time. In fact, 1 out of 30 of my exposures on average of a satellite trail, usually nothing too spectacular. Once in a while, I get photobombed by terrestrial aircraft, and those tend to be a bit more interesting. Here's one from last night, which I found pretty cool because the beacon light underneath the aircraft lit up mid-way through the frame and exposed the engines with just enough light for it to show up quite well in my 5 minute exposure.

Based on my focal length and position in the sky, it appears this aircraft was at cruising altitude, at least 25,000ft. Now if you look at the whole picture, it become quite interesting. A terrestrial transportation aircraft moving through our planet's atmosphere.. with a massive nebula in the background which harvested the heavy elements used in the aircraft's construction.

  • Amir

The whole nebulous region of Cassiopeia within the Heart Nebula, Soul Nebula and the Fishhead nebula is really stunning to capture, especially at higher focal length to get all those details in the structure. Like the previous 2 captures, this is a region of star formation and it's very active ... well.. at the time that the photons left this region 7,500 years ago.


Centered in the shot are the most prominent grand structures of the Soul Nebula, a very active region in which you can spot brand new stars within the clouds of dust and gas. The left side features some stunning wind-swept (literally) pillars from new stars.. and the right side shows some really interesting formations in which stars are still embedded in the clouds. The darker formations on the right side are in the foreground.. and are backlit by the radiation on the other side.



I shot this for a total of 20.5 hours, with the vast majority in Ha (Hydrogen-alpha) filter. More specs below:


Skywatcher Esprit 120ED Super APO Triplet ZWO ASI1600mm-Cool Orion Atlas EQ-G Guiding telescopes: Orion ST80 Guiding cameras :ZWO ASI224MC Software: Adobe Photoshop 2020 , PixInsight 1.8 , DeepSkyStacker (DSS) Deek Sky Stacker 4.2.0, Starnet++ Chroma SHO 1.25" mounted filters Sesto Senso 2 Electronic Focuser

Chroma HA 3nm - 200x300s Chroma OIII 3nm - 27x250s Chroma SII 3nm - 27x250s