Observatory

Astrophotography

Astrophotography is the art of imaging of astronomical objects, usually through telescopes. Above: The Black Eye Galaxy, imaged March - April 2015 at the BSU Observatory.  Distance: 24 million light years.

There is nothing quite like seeing a planet, galaxy, nebula or star cluster with your own eyes through a telescope. However, astrophotography can catch lovely detail and color that the human eye cannot detect alone.

Images have been taken through our large and small telescopes, the old and new facility, various cameras, and by various photographers. Please explore our image gallery.

Galaxies

Color composite image of the Firework galaxy made using images taken through red, green and blue photometric filters and a luminance filter.  Edited by Marissa Carco.

The Fireworks Galaxy, calibrated and colorized by BSU Student Marissa Carco.  Taken by the BEAR Team with our new SBIG STXL-6303 camera through our main research telescope using photometric red, green and blue filters as well as luminance.

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The Whirlpool Galaxy taken with our new SBIG STXL-6303 camera through our main research telescope using photometric red, green and blue filters as well as luminance.

Image of NGC 4438, the Eyes Galaxies, taken at the BSU Observatory.  Two blue spiral-armed galaxies with golden cores are interacting, leaving faint trails of light in the space between them.

NGC 4438, The Eyes Galaxies, imaged in photometric red, green, blue and luminance filters in the BSU Observatory dome in April 2015 using our old Apogee Alta U47 camera.  The images were extremely faint, but when stacked reveal a faint trail of material between the two interacting galaxies.

Image of the Pinwheel Galaxy taken at the BSU Observatory.  The large galaxy fills the entire image with blue spiral arms.

The Pinwheel Galaxy (M101), 22 million light years from Earth, imaged by our student Maria Patrone with our old Apogee Alta U47 camera.  The image is a color composite created by stacking red, green, blue and clear images of the galaxy.

Color image of the Whirlpool Galaxy taken by our student Maria Patrone with our old Apogee Alta U47 camera.  Color composite image created by combining red, green, blue and clear images.

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Color image of M82 (the Cigar Galaxy) taken by Shane Johnson and Jamie Kern with our old Apogee Alta U47 camera.  Color composite created by stacking red, green, blue and clear images.

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The Sunflower Galaxy (M63) taken in April 2015 and re-processed with a high pass filter to bring out more detail in the spiral arms.  Taken with our Apogee Alta U47 camera through photometric red, green and blue filters plus luminance.

 

Image of spiral galaxy M94 taken by physics graduate Dale Smith in 2009. Telescope: 8-inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain. Camera: Meade DSI.

 

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Field of Galaxy IC 4304.  A multitude of galaxies are visible in this image thanks to many hours of exposure time and painstaking image processing to bring out the dim objects without brightening the background.  Most of the images were taken by BSU graduate Shane Johnson using the Apogee Alta U47 and its filters.

 

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NGC 4567 & NGC 4568, also known as the Siamese Twin Galaxies, taken in April 2015 with the Apogee Alta U47, using its photometric red, green and blue filters and luminance.

Planets

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Jupiter and two of its largest moons taken on 5/2/15 with our old Apogee Alta U47 camera in the main research dome.

Image of Saturn and its largest moon Titan taken by BSU aviation graduate Ross Rossetti on 3/9/08. Telescope: 12-inch Meade LX-200. Camera: Meade DSI.

 

Image of Saturn taken by BSU aviation graduate Ross Rossetti on 4/8/08. Telescope: 12-inch Meade LX-200. Camera: Meade DSI.

 

Image of Saturn and image of Saturn's largest moons overlaid. Taken by observatory manager Jamie Kern on 7/5/13. Telescope: 14-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain. Camera: Canon Rebel T1i.

Nebulae

Eagle Nebula mosaic.  Images taken in 2016 by Adam Gustafson and Jamie Kern using the Apogee Alta U47 camera, later processed in MaxIm DL to form this large image.

 

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Image of the Little Dumbbell Nebula (M76) taken by BSU physics major Maria Patrone on 10/19/2016.  This nebula is about 2500 light years away.  Camera: Apogee Alta U47.  Telescope: 14" Celestron EdgeHD. Filters: RVB and Luminance.

 

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Image of the Dumbbell Nebula - a planetary nebula formed from the death of a low-mass star like the Sun.  Taken 7/11/15 by the BEAR Team.  Camera: Apogee Alta U47.  Telescope: 14" Celestron EdgeHD.

 

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The Ring Nebula, taken 7/29/15 with our old Apogee Alta U47 camera in the main research dome.  Made using photometric red, green, blue and luminance filters.

 

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The Blinking Planetary Nebula, taken in photometric red, green, blue and luminance filters on July 11, 2015 by BSU graduate Shane Johnson and Jamie Kern.

 

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The Bubble Nebula, taken August 3, 2016 by the BEAR Team with the Apogee Alta U47 camera and photometric and luminance filters.

 

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Image of the Orion nebula - a star-forming region, or stellar nursery - taken by BSU graduate Jeffrey Venancio on 1/30/12. Telescope: 8-inch Celestron. Camera: Canon Rebel T1i.  Image has been brightened to bring out more of the outer nebula.

 

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The Cat's Eye Nebula, taken in September 2015 by the BEAR Team with the Apogee Alta U47 camera, with photometric red, green, blue and luminance filters.  A high pass filter was used to bring out some detail.

 

Image of the Ring Nebula - a planetary nebula formed from the death of a low-mass star like the Sun - taken by BSU Visiting Lecturer Ron Reynolds on 10/21/13 using his personal camera. Telescope: 14-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain.

 

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"Superstack" of the Owl Nebula made by using photometric red, green and blue plus luminance images taken on three dates from 2015-2018 by the BEAR Team.

Moon

Image of the Moon taken by BSU graduate Jessica Sircar in March 2009. Telescope: 12-inch Meade LX-200.

Image of the Moon taken by BSU physics major Talia Martin and observatory manager Jamie Kern on June 20, 2013. Telescope: 14-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain. Camera: Canon Rebel T1i.

Other

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Globular Cluster M13 is one of the largest such clusters in our galaxy.  20,000 light years away from us, this ancient object is populated with 12-billion year-old stars swarming around a central massive black hole.  We expect many of the stars in this cluster to live another 10 trillion years or more.  We made this image by combining luminance and photometric red/green/blue pictures taken with our Apogee Alta U47 camera by BEAR Team members on various dates in 2015.

 

Image of star cluster Messier 5 taken by Jamie Kern on 7/5/13. Telescope: 14-inch Celestron. Camera: Canon Rebel T1i.

 

Image of star cluster Messier 3 taken by physics major Talia Martin and Professor Jamie Kern on 5/28/13. Telescope: 14-inch Celestron. Camera: Canon Rebel T1i.