Updated: Jan 4
Welcome to January! Let's keep our monthly series of targets going with five new astrophotography objects you can capture this month!
Below you will find 5 deep sky objects that are at their highest elevation in January. If you don't see a popular object listed below, don't worry! It is most likely featured in a different month as we are doing this guide for every month of the year and are making sure we avoid duplicates.
In order to make sure you find some inspiration no matter your skill level, we will go over three easy objects and will add two more difficult targets for the more experienced amateur astrophotographers at the end.
Make sure to watch our video guide on YouTube for more information and a bit of fun!
Want more inspiration for Fall targets? Read our full guide about the 15 best Winter Astrophotography targets!
5 December Astrophotography targets:
NGC 2244 - The Rosette Nebula
NGC 2359 - Thor's Helmet Nebula
IC 443 - The Jellyfish Nebula
IC 2177 - The Seagull Nebula
The Rosette Nebula is made up of several nebulous sections as well as an open cluster in the center. All have their own NGC numbers but the target as a whole is often designated as "NGC 2244".
The Rosette Nebula looks like a colorful flower floating in space. It is large, beautiful, and easy to capture. It is best photographed in Winter and can be found in the constellation Monoceros, close to the famous Orion.
You can easily photograph this object with any telescope/camera combination, and can also capture it with just a camera lens without too much trouble thanks to its size and brightness. Make sure to click on the image below to check out our high definition image and much more information!
Antoine's favorite nebula: Thor's Helmet. NGC 2359 is also not far from the Orion constellation. It lies in Canis Major, a tiny bit South of the Rosette Nebula.
Thor's Helmet was our very first target captured with a monochrome camera after getting our ZWO ASI1600MM. It is a great narrowband target and you can get really nice result using either all three narrowband filters or just doing a bicolor combination (HA+OIII).
NGC 2359 is not very large and isn't super bright either, so you might not want to attempt this with just a DSLR camera and a lens, but it is a relatively easy object through a telescope and the right filters.
NGC 1999 is a bright nebula that is surrounded by dark dust, giving it a really unique look. It can be found in the constellation of the Hunter: Orion.
NGC 1999 will be "easy" for some people as it depends on what size telescope you have. Owners of high focal length instruments will be able to capture this object much easier than those who have a wide field telescope. It is a little tricky to bring out the faint dark gas around the bright areas though, so be careful when you process your data as it is easy to blow out the bright part when trying to reveal the exterior gases.
NGC 1999 by NASA
The Jellyfish Nebula is a strange looking object in Gemini, very close to the Messier cluster M35.
IC 443 is very faint and difficult to capture. It is also tricky to frame, because the "Jellyfish" itself is bright and full of structure, but there is a lot of faint gas expanding in one specific direction.
When attempting this object, you will want to use a small wide telescope and use the image below to help yourself frame the object just right. The two bright stars (one of them being Propus) are helpful in centering the target with the live preview.
Click the image below for much more information and to watch a video showing how we captured this Jellyfish in the desert!
The Seagull Nebula, or IC 2177, is a large emission nebula that lies just in between the two constellations Monoceros and Canis Major.
This is a fantastic target for small to medium size instruments, and we really love how the colors pop out in the Hubble Palette combination.
The Seagull Nebula also "touches" another nebulous object, designated NGC 2327 (visible as the orange/red blob on the upper left part of the object below).
There is also some very faint gas visible on each side of this target, and a few bright stars here and there. Enjoy this magnificent image of the Seagull Nebula below taken by Chuck's Astrophotography!
IC 2177 by Chuck Ayoub
And that's it!
We hope this list will help you pick a target to photograph tonight. If you do image one of these beautiful objects, make sure to show us your results in the comments section!
You can read our pick for the TOP 15 Winter Astrophotography Targets if you want to see more great objects for this season.
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