Galaxies - Galactic Nebulae - Star Clusters

A galaxy is a large collection of stars, planetary systems, gas nebulae, dust clouds, dark matter and other astronomical objects with a total mass of typically 10 to the 9th (Billion) up to 10 to the 13th (quadrillion) solar masses bound by gravity. Their diameter can be several hundred thousand light years (Wikipedia).

Galactic nebulae are gas or dust regions that are stimulated to shine by hot stars (emission nebula, mostly red) or reflect their light (reflection nebula, mostly blue, Wikipedia).

A dark nebula or absorption nebula is a type of interstellar cloud, particularly molecular clouds, that is so dense that it obscures the visible wavelengths of light from objects behind it, such as background stars and emission or reflection nebulae, Wikipedia.

Star clusters are large groups of stars. Two main types of star clusters can be distinguished: globular clusters are tight groups of hundreds to millions of old stars which are gravitationally bound, while open clusters are more loosely clustered groups of stars, generally containing fewer than a few hundred members, and are often very young, (Wikipedia).

Because of the little light the stars give off, many pictures have to be taken for a single picture - the little light of the stars or galactic gas nebulae has to be collected in many pictures.

The following pictures were taken with a special astro camera and a DSLR reflex camera. Telephoto lenses and an 8" Ritchey Chetrien telescope were used, see corresponding captions.

In order to compensate for the earth's rotation during this long exposure time, the telescope / lens must track the stars / galaxies very closely. This is done using a special motorized device (mount, Wikipedia).

The individual recordings are then combined on the computer with special software, e.g. PixInsight, for the final astro record.