Owl Nebula M97 in Ursa Maior. Very tiny object pictured with the C11 / F6.3. I ran this exposure on an half hour before clouds drifted in and with a crescent moon setting in the west, with the 'grey' nights setting in at SQM 19.50, only as a test to see how well the guiding performed on the NEQ6 + C11. Very happy with the result and actually amazed on the level of detail on such as short session. Image had to be cropped substantially to escape vignetting of the C11 / limited amount of flatfield even with the F6,3 reducer.


May 22-23 2015 NEQ6 C11 F6.3 Nikon D5100 10x180" on ISO800 IDAS LPS D1



May 2017: The "Fireworks Galaxy" in Cygnus with Supernova 2017. One hour of 10minute subs on ISO800 with the Nikon D750 and the C11

M51 or the Whirlpool galaxy in Canes Venatici (Hunting Dogs). Picture taken from Hoegaarden April 27th 2017.


Equipment: C11, Starizona SCT Corrector LF, Nikon D750 Modified DAW, OAG, Lacerta MGEN II


10-minute exposures with a focal length of 2010mm


Both galaxies are actually interacting. The estimated distance should be somewhere around 31 million light years.

Below: the Rosette nebula in Monoceros. Imaged under the dark skies of Grandpré, France. TS65mm 14x600seconds Nikon D750 A large area of Hydrogen Alfa with the pretty rose-shape. Spiced up by a small but bright stellar cluster NGC 2244.

Below: The Markaian chain of galaxies that stretches across the skies in Virgo and Coma Berenices. This cluster counts thousands of galaxies and are typically millions of lightyears away. . Some of the weakest spots in this picture are magnitude 18! Not bad for a small 65mm refractor. Imaged under the darks skies of Grandpré (France) with SQM 21.30. Nikon D750 12x600seconds ISO800

Hoegaarden the nights of November 28th and November 29th (happy birthday Bas!). This is the well-known supernova remnant M1, the leftover of an exploding star in the year 1054.


In total 250 minutes of imaging time both with 300 seconds (30x) as with 600 second (10x) frames on ISO800, the good old Nikon D5100 and the 'good old' C11, with the Starizona F7.2 LF corrector. With the previous image, the focal plane was not very flat. This has been corrected and was due to the V-ring of the off-axis guider.


Circumstances were average with SQM 20,15 and street lights blazing full power only twenty meters away.

NGC 891 in Andromeda. A nearly edge-on galaxy told to be very similar to our own.


Captured in Hoegaarden under a misty sky (SQM 20) with the C11, Starizona SCT Corrector LF and the Nikon D750. In total 1hr20m exposures of 4 minutes on ISO1600.

Picture below: the region in Cassiopeiea (the 'W' around the polar star) with the Double Cluster h & Chi Persei, and the double nebula called 'Hearth & Soul'. The nebula stands out in ornaje-red as it is completely emitting it's light in one single bandwidth of Hydrogen Alpha (near-infrared). The Nikon D750 was modified by DDW to remove the infrared filter (DAW Conversion) so this light is captured more easily.


Picture taken @ Meldert October 4th in total 4hrs15mins of integrated subs of 300 seconds each @ 800 ISO. Lens: Nikkor 180mm ED @ F5.6 with external IDAS LPS D1 filter.

Below: an image of September 9th 2016, taken in Meldert, Hoegaarden. Since a number of weeks two streetlights around my home are broken. The effect is very noticeable: perfectly dark at night, what a relieve! Also the best spots for observing in the garden can now be used. Perfect.


For this picture I used a new technique which is OAG or Off Axis Guiding. FOr me it's new. And the first result is already marvellous. Perfect guiding of the stars. I used an old C11 with an old Nikon D5100 (Unmodified), a Starizona LF SCT Corrector/Reducer resulting in a focus of 2010mm @ F7.2 ; also an IDAS LPF D1 was used as the TS OAG 9mm with a Nikon adapter. 5x300S and 11x600seconds on ISO800. The guider was the Lacerta MGEN. It was rather difficult to find a guidestar, later I discovered I placed the IDAS before the guider, which takes away light. Next time it will move to the back. In fact, I tried to image NGC6888 after this shot and did not succeed in finding a suitable guidestar.


Processing was done by myself this time using Photoshop.

Below: a crop and reprocessing of the same Triangulum galaxy M33, picture taken in Castellet with a 65mm F6.4 flat-field telescope F=420mm. Processed by Jean Lammertyn in PixInsight and post-noise reduction in PhotoShop. This is a 100% crop and actual pixels. There are a few H-Alfa area's visible inside the galaxy like NGC 588 and NGC 604. It has taken to the middle of last century for astronomers to understand these were actually part of the galaxy itself. The distance is 3 million lightyears and we are closing in at a speed of 180km/s. Under very very dark conditions, this is actually the most far away, and the most back in time (3 million years) that you can ever see with the unaided eye (no binoculars or telescopes). Second best is the Andromeda galaxy (2.2 million light years).

However, I have tried on numerous occasions, under dark conditions, and it is really, really difficult !!

A very nice nebula which is a combination of red hydrogen gas clouds, black dust & gas clouds dividing the nebula, and blue reflection nebula surrounding the core. This nebula is M20 also called the Trifid nebula. For my location in Meldert (Brabant), Belgium, it is that low in the sky that I need to wait for it to clear a gap in the treeline and houses. While imaging it skimmed the hedge bordering my garden. That low in the sky it also suffers a lot from turbulence and artificial lights "Light Pollution".

Image with the C11 and Starizona LF reducer/flattener @F7,2 or 2000mm focal length, and the old Nikon D5100. An IDAS LPS D1 was used. ISO800 and 16x300seconds.

The dwarf planet Pluto amid the stars of the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. You wonder how ever they were able to find this little spec in our solar system. Actually smaller then our Moon, Pluto lost it's status of planet a number of years ago. More similar objects have been detected in the outer region sof our solar system and this group of objects is now called "Dwarf Planets". You need a fairly large telescope to be able to visually see this object in the sky. I took several images in Castellet (Vaucluse, France) which show the proper motion.

Below: the red-pink clouds of interstellar hydrogen gas illuminated and glowing by the energy of nearby stars. This is IC1805 also called the Hearth nebula in Cassiopeia.

The famous Pinwheel galaxy in the constellation of Triangulum. It's visible in binoculars not far below the large and bright Andromeda galaxy. Both are also members of a local group of galaxies that includes our own Milky Way. This picture was taken in Castellet (Fr., Vaucluse) where a hint could be detected by naked eye under good conditions. Messier numbered it 33.

The famous Helix nebula - also called "The Eye of God" :-) - in Aquarius. Total of 2hrs 9mins exposure on ISO800 with the small 65mm telescopeF 6.5 an the old Nikon D5100 (Unmodified). I managed to break my Nikon D750 before the first night of imaging. ... Optolong CLS clip-in filter. The low position of the nebula made it reach the light pollution of Aix-en -Provence. SQM at the horizon was about 21. Location: Castellet D42 Vaucluse. This image is a crop.

August 12Th, 2016. An widefield overview of the region around Gamma Cygni, or also called "Sadr". The bright hydrogen nebula surrounds the star, more nebula can be found in this image with the famous Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888). Unguided image of 22x600s or in total 3hrs 40minutes of exposure. Nikon D5100 ISO800 Optolong Clip-In CLS filter. The sky was pretty clear at the site in Castellet (Fr.) with an SQM of 21,15

The famous North-America nebula or NGC7000 in the constellation Swan. This is an area of hydrogen emission (red) and reflection (blue) gas and dust nebula's. Dark patches of dust or inert gas obstruct the view on the stars. This picture was actually a testrun of a mobile platform to be used for travel. A half moon was watching during the entire 11x330s shots! Also this camera is unmodified for hydrogen emmisions, so it delivers true colors. ISO800 TS65APO-Q Full Frame Nikon D750 IDAS D1 Credit to J. Lammertyn for processing

July 3th 2016 It has been raining and cloudy for two months! it's difficult to move forward using new equipment, as time lacks to experiment and fine tune the setup.

I got a new opportunity between clouds passing over but with a very clear sky SQM 20,52 (even in these grey summer solstice nights). The result below is the well-known planetary M27 in Vulpecula, the little fox. Called also the "Dumbell Nebula" it's at a distance of 1360 light years and discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. The nebula is the result of the central star (a white dwarf) pushing out gas layers. The size of this object is 8 arc minutes. The picture was taken with the C11 Starizona LF SCT Corrector F7.2 and the Nikon D750 FUll Frame. M68 Zeiss extension tubes with an M48 Nikon adapter, embedding an IDAS LPS D1 filter. Total imaging time about 50 minutes @ ISO 800. Below picture is zommed in a little bit. Credit to Jean Lammertyn for final image editing in PixInsight.

M27 C11 Starizona SCT LF Nikon D750

A first image taken end April 2016 with the new image train: C11 F7.2 (Starizona LF corrector) and the Nikon D750 (Unmodified). Image of M51 in Canes Venatici, 28x120" on ISO1600, no darks or flats.


For this image the DSLR body was attached using M48 and a SCT-2" connector using a non-threaded connection (pressure screw). This setup can give a skewed field and also vignetting. There were also some tracking issues. The image was taken in DX but further cropped. Stacked and aligned with Nebulosity, processed with PS. No darks or flats applied.SOmehow in Nebulosity it lost all color and came out as a grey image 16bit TIFF. The color picture was processed by Jean Lammertyn.

Latest picture: M101 in Ursa Major wide-field. April 11th, 2016: 54x300s on ISO800 with the nikon D5100 and TS65APO_Q, SQM 20,44.

The impressive Orion Nebula picture on February 7th with the C11 and the Starizona LF SCT Corrector (DX format no cropping). Total of 7 minutes in frames of 10" on ISO3200 Nikon D5100 no darks no flats

Again Comet Catalina C/2013 imaging during the night of 17-18 january 2016 around 4-5am.


This picture was stacked on both the stars as the comet itself. Because of the comet movement being pretty steep against the star movement, stars are really smudged as can be seen in the picture inset.


Image from Meldert, Hoegaarden where it was pretty cold -9°C in the snow

Comet Catalina in the January sky: because the 5 different images that compose this picture are aligned on the comet nucleus, the stars appeard trailed. This technique brings out more detail in the comet itself.


It's the same picture as the one below but stacked and processed differently.


There are some very small galaxies on the picture too, NGC 5406 (magn 12.3).


Im' pretty happy to have processed out the double tail again because this is quite a challenge for me!


180s on ISO800 / Nikon D5100 & TS65APO, @j SQM 20,45 Total exposure 15 minutes


Picture date: January 12th, 1u50 MET


To bring out more tail details, it's really required to have shorter exposures, or to track the comet's movement.

To the right: the famous Horsehead nebula in the constellation of Orion. This is a particular interesting region in the winter Milky Way, where darks dust clouds are obscuring brighter Hydrogen emission nebula. The part which resembles a little sea-horse gave it's name. The two brightest stars are the two left stars of Orion's belt: no surprise they are so bright in this picture!


Picture taken during the night of 9th -10th of January 2016 with the TS65APO, LDAS D1 light pollution filter, on the HEQ5 guided by a 10x50 finder and the MGENII Lacerta autoguider. ISO 800 was used in 3-minute frames for a total of 1hour and 20 minutes data.


Location: Meldert, Hoegaarden, (under the bright streets lights)

Above: bright reflection and emmission nebula in Auriga (9th-10th of January 2016)



Comet Catalina during the night of January 9th-10th. The two tails are barely visible and the image had to be stretched to it's limits

The famous Rosetta nebula in the Winter sky. Picture taken with the TS 65mm F 6.5 Flat-field APO and the Unmodded (TrueColor) Nikon D5100.


Frames of 5 minutes eacht were combined over 4hrs of data - with darks and flats to get this image. A light-pollution filter was used which rejects monochromatic light sources (Low Pressure Sodium).


The sky was exceptionally dark (in a relative manner) with SQM values around 20,66.





Comet Catalina


Double-tailed comet aaarrgh! Bad luck must be coming


December 2015 Hoegaarden

November: between clouds a few hours of light from the "Plejades" or M45 in the constellation of Taurus


TS65APO-Q Quadruplet

Unmodified Nikon D5100

ISO 800 2hrs of data


To the left: an image of NGC891, an edge-on galaxy in the constellation Andromeda. It is a member of the Local cluster of galaxies and as such a neighbour of our own galaxy, at a distance of 27 Million lightyears.


The image is similar to what we would see if we would look at our own galaxy (the Milky Way). Also the luminosity and size of both are very similar.


Because it is edge-on, most 'inhabitants' of NGC 891 would not be able to see our Milky Way, since it will be simply made invisible by the central dust line.


The dust line is very obvious in this picture, but visually you would need a 20 cm aperture telescope to be able to see it.


Picture taken in Meldert Sunday October 12th. In total 2hrs of integration time with the C11 at F6.3 Nikon D5100 @ 800 ISO. SQM values were around 20,30 a bit hazy.


The astrometry.net results are:


Center (RA, Dec):(35.633, 42.352)

Center (RA, hms):02h 22m 31.903s

Center (Dec, dms):+42° 21' 05.478"

Size:27.2 x 17.6 arcmin

Radius:0.270 deg

Pixel scale:0.602 arcsec/pixel

Orientation:Up is 96.5 degrees E of N

Pictures above: the faboulous lunar eclips of September 2015.


To the left: an animation of the Moon that moves during the event between the stars. It's rare to see the Moon moving in a field of background stars. Normally these stars are not visible due to the glare of the bright Moon. The resulting video is only a few seconds but the movement is clearly visible.

Right: this is the magnificent "Veil nebula" in the constellation Cygnus.


It's remnants of a star thas has blown away it's outer gas shells, now we can witness the beautiful lace-like filaments across a milky way background filled with thusands of stars. The colors of this nebula are alwys a challenge.


This was captured using the TS65APO-Q with the Unmodified Nikon D5100,hence true colors.


A total of 4 hours of data captured during the night of September 20th, 2015 Hoegaarden.

Left: The giant nebula IC1396 in Cepheus is a very large area of Hydrogen-Alpha gas crossed with dark dust or gas nebula. The beautiful "Garnat Star" shines very orange at it's left in this picture. The apparent size in the sky is about a dozen moon diameters! Unfortunately this is not visible in binoculars.


I used a simple 180mm pre-AIS 180mm Nikkor, equipped with a frontal 48mm diafragm using the IDAS D1 filter. The effective diafragma calculates as 3,75.


Three hours of 5-minute frames were used with the unmodified Nikon D5100.


Recorded at home in Hoegaarden under a SQM 20,35 sky. The camera runs automatically on the EQ6 guided by the Lacerta autoguider. I missed about 2 hours of data due to a focus shift (maybe temperature drop related).

Right: the familiar galaxy in Andromeda, M31. Easily seen in binoculars or even the naked eye on better nights.


TS65APO about three hours of 5-minute frames on ISO800 Unmodified Nikon D5100. SQM 20,25 Hoegaarden


The processing of this copy was a little bit artistic.

Left: The Eagle and Swan nebula's M16 and M17 in Serpens and Sagittarius.


Both can be seen in binoculars on good nights, they are placed low in the sky above the horizon. This picture was taken from Meldert, Hoegaarden. Twelve frames of 5 minutes using the Nikon and the TS65APO. It was my intent to capture these on my holiday from down south in the Provence, however a broken-down HEQ5 mount crossed all imaging plans.

September 2015

Right: the Helix nebula in Aquarius. 6x300" Nikon D5100 and 65mm F6.5 APO taken from Castellet, Vaucluse.


Amazingly only 30' of data in 6 frames made a smooth noise-free image possible, credit to the clear dark skies of the Provence

Left: Messier 57 June 2015 from Meldert, Hoegaarden.


also known as the 'Ring Nebula' is a tiny ring in space. It's diameter can be compared to 2 disks of Jupiter next to each other. It's a so-called Planetary Nebula in the constellation Lyra. At about 1400 lightyears from our own planet, this is really a showpiece in the summer skies. It requires magnification to visualize the ring shape and the central star, which shines at 15,75 magnitude. This star used to be a red giant, but after expulsing it's outer gas layers (which form the ring) only a white dwarf remaines.


The galaxy North of the ring is IC1296, a sprial of magnitude 14. It's rare to find a galaxy between our Milky Way stars. We look through our own galaxy's stars to see another galaxy "far far away" ...


The picture was made during the 'grey' june nights in 2015. An old C11 with a Nikon D5100 (TrueColor) on a NEQ6 mount from Skywatcher combined with a 400mm lens + Lacerta autoguider.


Challenges with this setup is the mirror drift: as the picture is taken during several minutes, the mount turns the scope tube to follow the stars. During this movement the mirror shifts due to the gravtity change.


No flatteners or reduction used (hence cropped image).



The three pics below are the result of a few nights in Banon, a French town in the Lubéron region. SQM was pretty good at 21.30 to 21.60 but at times the sky was quit foggy too. I'm happy I got this out! Because I was travelling over there I ran the system fully automated over night. May 10-11-12 2015 All pics with the TS65APOQ and the Nikon D5100.


I call all pictures "Truecolor" because the Nikon is not modified. Still amazing how much H-Alfa is shown, even after moderate exposure times (like 40 mins for the Sadr region gives an equal amount of nebula, more noisy and less refined in detail, but as clear as the 2hr+ version).

To the right: an attempt to picture M101, the giant spiral galaxy in Ursa Maior, with the little 65mm Quadruplet. The ATIK16 B/W CCD camera was used. LRGB


Under the clear skies of Grandpré, France on April 19th, 2015

Unguided on NEQ6


Exposures made in Grandpré, FR April 2015

Starfield with galaxies M81 and M82 in March 16, 2015.


Image with the TS65APO-Q Flatfield.

Nikon D5100 unmodified ISO800 8x180s IDAS LPS

An closer look at both M81 and M82. TS65APOQ with the ATIK16HR+

April 2015

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Comet lovejoy on january 21th, 2015.