★ A REPORT FROM 2016 STARGAZE: INCLUDING THE TALE OF HANS‘ BROKEN HEART (NEBULA)
– HANS HEYNAU


The 2016 edition of the mid-Florida Stargaze was a gathering of both veterans and first timers to the
Stargaze event. For my own part, I arrived early on Thursday March 3rd, but departed early on Saturday
the 5th. Thursday night did not offer a lot of observing or imaging, but was worthwhile for my own
interests in that I got enough star interactions to get my scope aligned and whet my appetite for Friday
night – which turned out to be fortuitous in that my primary imaging successes on Friday night were
enabled by being able to start even before total dark and before a cloud front moved in from the south
and degraded those items first and later moved toward the north to hamper further efforts in that area.
I was successful in capturing some new and/or better images (for me), so I did come home with some
image data for further refinement. Some of those around me at the Stargaze were able to see some of
the raw images as they were being captured by my DSLR camera so they got to see why I was hopeful
for some nice images to share with friends after further processing.
My little “joke” is turned out to be Hans’ broken heart nebula photo. I was trying to capture an image
of the Heart Nebula (IC 1805). I knew I was getting something for about the right region of the sky, but
wasn’t sure if I was set up for the center of where the image would be. After final processing at hme, I
find that a little less than half of the “heart” is in the top right of the image I got – thus the tale of Hans’
broken heart (Fig. 1 below). If you look at what all of IC 1805 looks like in your planetarium software,
you’ll probably see how I got at least part of the “heart”.
Fig. 1: Hans’ broken Heart Nebula (grin). Fig. 2: A full capture of California nebula (on its side)
I was more successful at capturing the full extent of the California Nebula (NGC 1499) – which I had
captured earlier this year, but with part of it cut off. That nicely competed that task for the evening.
Another repeat attempt for me was to capture the cone nebula (and/or christmas tree cluster) (NGC
2264). I tried this at the start of the evening, which turned out to be fortuitous since it was to the south
of us and a cloud front moved in shortly; hence it would not have been possible later in the evening.
Another repeat attempt for me was to capture the cone nebula (and/or christmas tree cluster) (NGC
2264). I tried this at the start of the evening, which turned out to be fortuitous since it was to the south
of us and a cloud front moved in shortly; hence it would not have been possible later in the evening.
Fig. 3. The cone (and/or christmas tree cluster) (NGC 2264)
Left image has the cone more visible, right the christmas tree cluster (tree on its side with base toward
left and top toward right.)
Hope the rest of the attendees enjoyed their Stargaze 2016 event as much as I did! My early return
enabled me to capture some additional items on Sunday night near home, but that’s another story…..

See April 2016 club newsletter for photos!