Gregg's Astronomy & Astrophotography
Recent Images 12/3/2017
NGC 1555 and LDN 1543NGC 1555 Bright nebula and LDN 1543 dark nebula in Taurus. The contellation Taurus is home to quite a few nebulae, both bright and dark. NGC 1555 is somewhat small but intriguing. It is also known as Hind's Variable Nebula, as well as the desginations of Van den Bergh 28 and Sharpless 2-238. The nebula is illuminated by the variable star T Tauri, which itself describes a class of young variable stars, surrounded by dust and gas. T Tauri was discovered by John Russell Hind in 1852, whose name is also associated with the nearby nebula. T Tauri has one or more companions stars, also likely very young. As T Tauri varies in brightness (from magnitude 9.3 to 13.5), so does NGC 1555, although not in perfect synchrony. The dark cloud of dust and gas surrounding NGC 1555 is cataloged as Be 84. Nearby is the 3.5 magnitude star epsilon Tau, and it shines partially through the dark nebula LDN 1543 (lower left in this image). The dust and gas in this area is part of the Taurus Molecular Cloud. For a close up view of Hind's Variiable nebula, see the image by Bill Snyder. For more information about T Tauri and similar variables see the AAVSO description.
This image is an LRGB of 330:90:100:110 minutes (about 10.5 hours total exposure) acquired using CCD Commander with an ASA 10N astrograph and SBIG STL11000 CCD camera from Dark Sky New Mexico near Animas, NM. Processing was done in MaximDL and Photoshop 6.

 
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This page illustrates what can be photographed using amateur telescopes and a CCD camera.  I currently use an SBIG STL11000M camera and have previously used SBIG and Starlight Xpress cameras, as well as a Cookbook 245 camera that I built myself.  Many of the images o this web site were taken from my backyard near a busy street with several street lights.  Not only is the CCD camera a great imaging tool, but it allows "real time" observation of objects not normally visible in areas with moderate-severe light pollution.