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Astronomical cameras

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“Rosette” nebula
 “Scientific” and “aesthetic” astronomical imaging split only recently. Images of galaxies, star clusters and nebulae, published in popular astronomy books only a few tens of years ago, were mostly captured for research purposes. When a state-of-the-art technology like CCD cameras, wide-field optics, precision telescope mounts and powerful computers become accessible to amateurs, the very best images of deep sky wonders start to be captured by amateurs for pure joy and satisfaction from beautiful universe. Still, sometimes they illustrate some interesting and important astronomical phenomena, like the birth on new stars on the Rosette Nebula image acquired by Thomas Lelu.

If you look to the edge of the central empty space of this wonderful nebula, you can see dark trunks of dense interstellar matter. These trunks are created by strong stellar winds of the young, bright stars in the nebula center. Each trunk originates in gaseous globule, which can shrink enough over time and create a new star. Or the stellar winds from already born stars win and the globule is dispersed before its gravity is able to keep the gas together.

Thomas Lelu used his G2-4000 camera on 10” corrected Newtonian telescope to acquire this image. Exposures were taken through photographic red, green and blue filters as well as through narrow-band Hα, OIII and SII filters and combined together. Total exposure time exceeds 21 hours.

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