Flintstone Stargazing

January 4, 2008

The Running Man Nebula (and more)

NGC1973/75/77 on 1/3/08

This is really one of the first objects outside the planets, the moon and the Messier catalog that I have imaged. It is from the New General Catalogue which is one of the largest general catalogs of deep sky objects. If you’re interested, you can read about it at the link.

NGC1973/75/77, also known as the Running Man Nebula, is a nebula found just north of the Great Orion Nebula, which I’ve been imaging quite a lot lately. I imaged this area before in my post several months ago on Orion’s Sword. That image was created with my 4 1/2 inch Tasco scope. This one is created with my new scope. You can easily see how much more detail is present in this one – how much more nebulosity was captured by the larger 8″ mirror and with the much better DSI II.

I also was able to image M82-The Cigar Galaxy again, but most of the images didn’t turn out very well, so it’s not too much better than the one from the other night.

M82-Cigar Galaxy on 1/3/08
M82-Cigar Galaxy on 1/3/08

Finally, I really debated today whether or not the image of Mars I got was really that detailed or if the brightness/color variations might have been caused by dirt on the eyepiece. This evening I saw an image someone had created where they compared their image of Mars to the way Starry Night software displayed Mars (it’s sky simulation software) because it should display it pretty much as it looks. Here’s the result:

Mars on 1-3-08 Comparison
Mars Comparison: My Image (left) | Starry Night Simulation (right)

After looking at it this way, I feel much more confident in my image. I need to try it again with a better eyepiece.

Update: I re-stacked the best 140 images of Mars and then worked with it a bit further in Photoshop. Here’s the result.

Mars-Restacked on 1/3/08
Marson 1/3/08 – Restacked



  1. Good work. BTW, check the link in your first paragraph – I think it got muddled when posted.

    Comment by stelmodad — January 5, 2008 @ 12:03 am

  2. Yup – sure was. Fixed now. Thanks.

    Comment by Ed — January 5, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  3. 1 down, 7999 to go?

    Comment by stelmodad — January 5, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

  4. Um, no. I may be obsessed, but that’s nuts.

    Comment by Ed — January 5, 2008 @ 10:23 pm

  5. Ohhh… just give yourself some time 🙂

    Comment by stelmodad — January 7, 2008 @ 9:18 am

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