Deep sky

Because I hand-guide on a ricketty mount, deep sky photography is pretty much limited to widefields, or the brighter, larger deep sky objects.  Suits shooting at 55mm, but occasionally I can zoom up a bit.  Included below is a small sample of some of the types of shots I am able to produce.

Some great deep sky shots by an Australian astrophotographer:

Mike Sidonio


Here's another good Australian gallery:

Paul Haese


Deep sky stacking freeware:




Globular cluster Omega Centauri, taken at 200mm, Canon 400D, 18 September 2009

Great Nebula in Orion and Running Man Nebula, 23 October 2009 (12 x 75 sec subs at 200mm, Canon 400D)

Galaxy NGC 253 & globular cluster NGC 288, 15 November 2009 (Canon 400D, 200mm, 15 x 60 sec)

Full frame of the above crop

Pushing it, but here's a  200% re-size.  Happy to get this with just a cheapo zoom lens on an entry-level DSLR!

Milky Way, 5 September 2007 (30-sec subs taken on tripod, Canon 400D)

Andromeda Galaxy, M31, 19 November 2008 (four 2 & 3 minute subs).  Not that great at 55mm and short subs!

NGC3372, NGC3114, IC 2602, 2 January 2008

 NGC 6822 Barnard's Galaxy,
10 October 2010.
This low surface brightness dwarf galaxy is a bit beyond my set-up really, but wanted to give it a try anyway!
NGC 55, 1 Feb 2011.  Experiment at guiding with my wobbly set-up at 300mm.  Not really successful.
Crux widefield, 5 March 2011

Click on images to enlarge...

Large Magellanic Cloud, 27 October 2008

Canon 400D, 55mm, hand-guided with slo-mo knob on EQ1 mount.  6 x 240 sec at ISO 1600, F/5


Eta Carinae nebula, 26 November 2008

Canon 400D, 200mm, tracked with RA drive on EQ1 mount.  11 subs between 60 & 120 sec each, ISO 1600, F/5.6

 Small Magellanic Cloud and globular cluster 47 Tucanae, 21 December 2009. 

Canon 400D, 200mm, 10 x 60 sec, ISO 1600, F/5.6

A more colourful version of the Large Magellanic Cloud, taken on 21 October 2009

Canon 400D, 200mm, 7 x 75 sec, ISO 1600, F/5.6



"Sagittarius moving".  The night sky viewed through trees recovering from the devastation of wildfire, Haunted Stream, Victoria, Australia, 6 May 2008.

Canon 400D on tripod, 7 x 30 sec at ISO 1600, F/5.6


"The Scorpion"

Widefield freeform mosaic of the constellation of Scorpius.  This is a large pic - 3 MB download.  Don't forget to click the linked image to bring to full size.

Canon 400D - mosaic of several images taken over a two-month period in 2008, each hand-guided and taken at 55mm, ISO 1600, F/4.5


"Galactic Central"

Amazing what a heap of short 30-sec subs will give you when stacked.  This is a large pic - 2.4MB download

Piggybacked Canon 400D at 55mm, fully hand-guided with slo-mo knob on non-motorised EQ1 mount, through illuminated reticle.