M16 in Sulfur II, Ha and OIII ("Pillars of Creation")

click on image to enlarge


to see the famous NASA/Hubble "Pillars of Creation" shot click here. Or to see a convenient side by side image of the Hubble shot with one that is a combination of my color data and the luminance data of Stan Moore, see this below.  Stan had a wonderful image of luminance (no color) data of this object. Another fantastic astroimager, Mike Cook, also know in amateur radio circles as AF9Y, created this image composite of the data from Stan and from me. Thanks to Mike for his idea and work. And special thanks to Stan Moore for agreeing to let his work be used in this composite.


Back to my shot:

Taken on June 16, 2003 from my backyard in Castro Valley, Ca. and on June 21, 2003 from Plettstone, a private residence/astronomy retreat in the California Gold Country

Celestron C14 Imaging Scope, F=3910mm (f/11)

SBIG ST10XME imaging camera w/ FLI CFW1 Filter wheel

Astro-Physics 80mm guidescope

SBIG ST7E guide camera

Astro-Physics AP900GTO Mount (Castro Valley, Ha components)

Astro-Physics AP1200GTO Mount (Plettstone, [SII] and [OIII] components)

Custom Scientific Sulfur II, Hydrogen Alpha and Oxygen III filters (3nm, AR coated)

4 x 10 minutes [SII]

6 x 10 minutes Ha

5 x 10 minutes [OIII]



In case you think the Red channel is poorly focused, the problem is that the red channel is well focused but has little signal in it. When the weights are assigned to make the colors look more balanced, the additional "gain" applied to the red channel makes the stars bloat. Here is an equal weight image of the same data showing the stars are about the same size in each of the component channels


click to enlarge image


First light for custom-made mirror locks for C14:

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Click on image to enlarge


No mirror Locks


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