Observatorio ARVAL


Astrophotography with the Meade 127ED APO Refractor and the Canon EOS 10D DSLR Camera



M42 - The Great Nebula in Orion, by Ashley Stevens


 [M42 - The Great Nebula in Orion]

10 minutes guided photograph of M42 - The Great Nebula in the "Sword" of the constellation Orion.
Combined with a 1 minute exposure to bring out details in the "Trapezium" region.
Slightly corrected to improve contrast and enhance color. Sharpness slightly enhanced with Photoshop "unsharp masking". Taken in January 24 '04, 23:10 EST, from Mahogany Hammock, Everglades National Park, Florida, USA.

North is to the top, East to the left of the photograph made with a Canon EOS 10D DSLR camera at ISO 400 at the focus of a Meade 127ED 5" f/9 apochromatic refractor, F.L. 1,143 mm, on a Meade LXD650 German-equatorial telescope mount.

The image above is a reduced (1/4 size) and compressed JPG version of the original photograph.
Image Credits: Ashley Stevens.


The very bright stellar region near the center of the photograph is the "Trapezium", the stars that light up the nebula from within. There are 4 bright stars forming the Trapezium, 2 of them have much dimmer companion stars. These 6 stars are visible with a small telescope, about a dozen stars with a medium telescope.

See ARVAL - The Orion Nebula.




Astrophotography with the Canon EOS 40D DSLR Camera




The Winter Milky Way East of Orion, by Ashley Stevens


 [The Winter Milky Way East of Orion]

North is to the left, East to the bottom of the image, made with a Canon EOS 40D DSLR camera at ISO 800 and a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM zoom lens at 17 mm f/5.6, on a Meade LXD650 German-equatorial telescope mount.

The very bright star near the center of the image is Sirius, in Canis Major, the brightest star in the sky.
To the Northwest there are 3 aligned bright stars forming the "Belt" of Orion. The "Sword", with M42 - The Great Nebula in Orion, can be seen to the South of it. The orange star Betelgeuse can be seen to the Northeast of the "Belt", Bellatrix to the Northwest and Saiph to the Southeast (Rigel, to the Southwest, is not shown).
To the Southeast of Betelgeuse and Northwest of Sirius is the bright "Rosette Nebula", in Monoceros.
To the Northeast of Sirius is the bright star Procyon, in Canis Minor.
To the South of Procyon and East of Sirius are the bright Open Clusters M46 and M47, in Puppis.


Photographic mosaic of the Winter Milky Way in Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Monoceros and Puppis; 4 frames of 10 minutes each, taken in February 5 '08, around 23:30 EST, from West Summerland Key, Florida, during the "2008 Winter Star Party". Sky conditions: clear, dark sky, good transparency.

The image above is a reduced (1/8 size) and compressed JPG version of the original mosaic.
Image Credits: Ashley Stevens and Andrés Valencia.




The Rosette Nebula around NGC 2244, by Ashley Stevens


 [Rosette Nebula around NGC 2244]


50 minutes guided photograph of the Rosette Nebula around the Open Cluster NGC 2244, Mag. 4.8, in Monoceros.
Taken on February 6 '08, near 22:30, from West Summerland Key, Florida, during the "2008 Winter Star Party".

North is to the top, East to the left of the picture.
NGC 2244 is at RA 6h 32m 24s, Dec 4° 52'. The brightest star near the center is 12 Monocerotis, Mag. 5.88.

Taken with a Canon EOS 40D DSLR camera at ISO 800 at the focus of a Meade 127ED 5" f/9 apochromatic refractor, F.L. 1,143 mm, on a Meade LXD650 German-equatorial telescope mount.
A stack of 5 frames of 10 min. each, for a total exposure of 50 min, processed with Photoshop CS2 and Noise Ninja for noise reduction.

Image Credits: Ashley Stevens and Andrés Valencia.




Milky Way in Monoceros, by Ashley Stevens


 [Milky Way in Monoceros]


Digital photograph of the Milky Way around the Rosette Nebula (NGC 2244), in Monoceros.
20 minutes exposure taken on February 24 '09, near 21:30, from West Summerland Key, Florida, during the "2009 Winter Star Party".

North is to the top, East to the left of the picture.
The Rosette Nebula, Mag. 4.8, is at RA 6h 33m, Dec 4° 52'.
Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris), some 17° to the left, is Mag. 0.4 at RA 7h 40m, Dec 5° 12'.

Taken with a Canon EOS 40D DSLR camera with a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens at 40mm f/6.3, at ISO 800 on a Meade LXD650 German-equatorial telescope mount.
Processed with Photoshop CS2 and Noise Ninja for noise reduction.

Image Credits: Ashley Stevens and Andrés Valencia.




Comet Lulin (2007/N3) in Leo, by Ashley Stevens


 [Comet Lulin (2007/N3) in Leo]


Digital photograph of Comet Lulin (2007/N3), in Leo.
3 minutes exposure taken on February 23 '09, near 23:00, from West Summerland Key, Florida, during the "2009 Winter Star Party".

North is to the top-left, East to the bottom-left of the picture.

Taken with a Canon EOS 40D DSLR camera at ISO 800 through a Meade 127ED 5" f/9 APO Refractor telescope on a Meade LXD650 German-equatorial mount tracking the sky and auto-guided on the comet.
Processed with Photoshop CS2 and Noise Ninja for noise reduction.

Image Credits: Ashley Stevens and Andrés Valencia.


Comet 2007/N3 Lulin:
Is a non-periodic comet with a hyperbolic orbit (this will be its only visit to the Sun), discovered in 2007 by a Taiwan and Chinese group, it will be in perihelium on March 24 '09 1.16 UA from Earth, in Gemini.
Quanzhi Ye, a student at China's Sun Yat-sen University, found Comet Lulin while examining images from the Lulin Observatory in Taiwan as part of an asteroid sky survey. See Yeiht (Quanzhi Ye).
On February 23 '09 at 11:00 it was in R.A. 11h 19m, Dec. 4° 19', some 2° Southwest of Saturn, in Leo, 0.41 A.U. from Earth and 0.39 A.U. from the Sun with Magnitude ~6.




Ashley Stevens is a member of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (SCAS)
and the owner of PreciseParts - Custom Parts for Astronomy.




Websites with information on Meade telescopes:

Meade Instruments Corporation

Meade Advanced Products Users Group (MAPUG)


Websites with information on Canon digital cameras:

Canon U.S.A.



This page was updated in: March 2 '09

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Spanish: Astrofotografía con el refractor apocromático Meade 127ED y la Canon EOS DSLR

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