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Images of our universe.

Equipped with modern photographic emulsions and sensitive cameras, today's amateur astronomers are probing the depths of the cosmic void and creating spectacular views of our universe. Here's just a sampling of their work.

The Rosette Nebula

By George Greaney

The Rosette is a well-known gas cloud and star-forming region in the constellation of Monoceros that surrounds the star cluster NGC 2244. George Greaney combined two 50-minute exposures taken with his 6-inch refractor and specially treated Fujicolor Super HG 400 film. North is up.

Lunar Vista

By Gerard Therin

From his home in Blanc-Mesnil, France, Gerard Therin captured this CCD image centered near the smooth-bottomed crater Stofler when the Moon was waning gibbous. Stofler is roughly 125 kilometers (80 miles) in diameter. The smaller crater Faraday overlays Stofler's southeast (upper left) rim, while large Maurolycus is prominent at upper left.

The California Nebula

By George Greaney

Located in Perseus, the California Nebula is a challenge to observe visually in any telescope, and long exposures are required to photograph its entirety. The bright star below it is 4th-magnitude Xi Persei, which causes the nebula to glow. Greaney combined two 60-minute exposures using the same telescope-film combination as for the Rosette Nebula image.

IC 2177 By George Greaney

Stars litter the sky in this 212[degrees]-wide view of IC 2177, a vast cloud of energized hydrogen that stretches across the Canis Major-Monoceros border. The bright nebula at the southern (bottom) end is Cederblad 90, while the one above center and crossed by a prominent dark lane is van den Bergh 93. This composite, made from two 60-minute exposures, was enhanced in the darkroom to increase contrast and color saturation.

Waning Gibbous Moon

By Gregory Terrance

Our closest celestial neighbor presents a bright target for would-be astro imagers. This view of the waning gibbous Moon by amateur Gregory Terrance is rich in detail. He obtained the 0.01-second exposure November 29, 1996, with his 10-inch f/6 Newtonian reflector and CCD camera.

Omega Centauri Cluster

By Stefan Binnewies, Peter Riepe, and Dieter Sporenberg

A burst of stardust against the black velvet of space, the Omega Centauri cluster is a favorite object of observers and astro imagers alike. Binnewies, Riepe, and Sporenberg made this black-and-white, 30-minute exposure with an 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain.

The Pleiades

By Tony and Daphne Hallas

Easily visible to the unaided eye, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, is the most recognized deep-sky object in the northern sky. The star cluster contains several hundred members, which softly illuminate the dust cloud they are embedded in.

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Article Type:Illustration
Date:Jan 1, 1998
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