Van den Berg 152


About VDB 152


Catalogue Name VdB 152
Constellation Cepheus
Distance (Light Years) 1400 LY
Photographic Information
Exposure L-7x20min R-4x15min G-4x15min B-4x15min Total Integration Time: 5 hours and 20 minutes
Equipment SBIG ST-8300M, Paramount MyT, Astro-Tech 111mm refractor
Processing Deep Sky Stacker, Pixinsight
Imaging Location Lake San Antonio, CA


VdB 152 is a faint reflection nebula in the constellation Cepheus. This nebula is possibly the faintest object we have yet attempted to image. This required us to take very long exposures both to bring out the extensive reach of the interstellar dust and to show the dusty brown hue of the nebula. While processing this image, we also used some new techniques that significantly improved the quality of the final result. This was also our first time using our new mount. As a result, while climbing the steep learning curve, we ended up exposing for almost 13 hours, but only got only 5 hours and 20 minutes of useable data.

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Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Region


About Rho Ophiuchi region


Popular Name Star field near Antares
Catalogue Name NA
Constellation Scorpius, Ophiuchus
Distance (Light Years) 460 Light Years
Photographic Information
Exposure 5×240 second (Total exposure 20 minutes) @ 800 ISO
Equipment Canon 60d, 80mm EF lens, Atlas EQ-G
Processing Deep Sky Stacker, Pixinsight
Imaging Location Likely, CA


We took this image while we were testing our new mount at Likely, CA. Because we still had our Atlas, we decided use it with our camera and lens to do some wide field. This short exposure image shows a great potential, and we would want to return to take a better exposure or maybe a mosaic of this region. The blue regions are reflection nebulae. The yellow regions are emission nebulae. You can also spot the globular cluster M4 right of the bright star Antares.


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Flaming Star Nebula IC405



About IC405


Popular Name Flaming Star Nebula
Catalogue Names IC 405, SH 2-229, or Caldwell 31
Constellation Auriga
Distance (Light Years) 1500 LY
Photographic Information
Exposure TBD
Equipment SBIG ST-8300M, Atlas EQ-G
Processing Deep Sky Stacker, Pixinsight
Imaging Location Lake San Antonio, CA


The Flaming Star nebula is in the constellation of Auriga. It is an emission nebula and an active star forming region in the Orion Arm of the galaxy. Its origins can be traced back to the Orion star forming region.

The red regions emit hydrogen-alpha due to ionized hydrogen gas in the molecular clouds. The nebula also have bluish regions which are called reflection nebula. These gases are shining reflected light from the nearby newly formed star in the center of the image.

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Elephant Trunk Nebula IC1396


About the Elephant Trunk Nebula IC1396

Popular Name Elephant Trunk Nebula
Catalogue Name IC1396
Constellation Cepheus
Distance (Light Years) 2400 LY
Photographic Information
Exposure L-2x15min, 8x10min, RGB-6x10min
Equipment SBIG ST-8300m, Atlas EQ-G, Astro-Tech 111mm refractor,
Processing Deep Sky Stacker, Pixinsight
Imaging Location Lake San Antonio, CA


We took this image during the wee hours of morning at Lake San Antonio, when Leo was just starting to rise. Processing took a long time, but the result is quite worth the effort. It is interesting to note that the extremely faint tail of NGC 3028 (bottom center) is barely visible in the image.

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Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year Category Winner

The Horsehead Nebula (IC434): 

The famous Horsehead Nebula is arguably the most recognizable celestial object. This image comprises the dark nebula (Barnard 33), the surrounding red emission nebula (IC 434) and the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024).

We took the image during a trip to remote Lake San Antonio, where Milky Way is easily visible. We decided to spend the entire trip capturing this iconic nebula, and the results were quite impressive for us.

This image was taken with a monochrome CCD camera, which we had recently acquired. We took multiple images with red, green, blue, and clear filters in front of the camera . We then combined the images into one full-color image. In total, we took 1 hour and 30 minutes of exposure.


What the judges said:

This is a superb image of the Horsehead Nebula. It shows clearly the well-known red glow that appears to come from behind the horsehead. This glow is produced by hydrogen gas that has been ionized by neighbouring stars. The image draws particular attention to the cloud of heavily concentrated dust within the horse’s head. This is silhouetted against the red glow because it blocks so much of the light that is trying to get through.

Will Gater, a judge in the competion said: “The star colours are beautifully controlled in this image. The detail in the horse’s head and the Flame Nebula are particularly good, too.”


Another image of ours, the Heart Nebula, won Highly Commended in the same competition.

More about the images at:

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