The first set of images (5 photos) were taken by Tom Montemayor using the 30 inch (76 cm) telescope at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, located in west Texas. Each image is a composite of 3 black and white images taken through blue, green and red filters. The exposure times were generally 5 minutes in blue and shorter for the longer wavelengths.
The original images are over 2.5 megabytes in size, so these images have been resampled to reduce the loading time. Click on each thumbnail for a larger image and a description of the object. The colors are authentic...they are what you would see if you were in a spacecraft near the object.
Many telescope owners are disappointed when they look at these objects through their own telescopes. Remember, these are time exposure photographs through a 30 inch observatory telescope. The beautiful colors cannot be seen visually through a telescope, they require long exposures. Some of these objects (the Horsehead) are virtually invisible through amateur telescopes. Even the brightest object (the Omega Nebula) will be disappointing compared to the photograph.
NGC 7293
IC 434
M 17
M 20
M 33
Helix Nebula
Horsehead Hebula
Omega Nebula
Trifid Nebula
I also use my personal, amateur setup to do astrophotography. I use a Celestron C-11 telescope, a Sony DSLR camera, and various other components to produce some pretty good astrophotos!