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M17 - The Omega nebula taken from our backyard

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

M17 is a fairly bright diffuse emission nebula, and is also commonly named the Swan nebula. M17 is very similar to the famous Orion nebula (M42), but it is seen from its edge, while M42 is seen face-on. Messier 17 is also about three to four times farther than the Orion nebula.

Object Designation: M17

Also known as: Omega Nebula, Swan Nebula, Checkmark Nebula, Lobster Nebula, Horseshoe Nebula

Constellation: Sagittarius

Object Type: Emission Nebula

Distance: 5,500 light-years away

Magnitude: 6.0

Discovery: October 18, 1745 by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux

In Astrophotography, getting the bright part of M17 is an easy feat, but if you would like to get some of the faint outer gases, make sure to spend some more time on gathering enough light. You will also want to keep those fainter gases in mind during your entire processing workflow, so you don’t accidentally make your image too dark and lose the data from the gases all around.


The Omega Nebula Astrophotography with the L-Ultimate Filter

September 2022

Optolong L-Ultimate Filter

Shortly after imaging M17 with Vespera, it was time to attempt it again but this time back with our regular astrophotography setup. We used a 75mm telescope and full frame color camera, once again from our backyard, but this time with the Optolong L-Ultimate narrowband filter.

The total exposure time for this image was just 2 and a half hours, as the target went behind the neighbor's trees pretty early. The filter did a great job at blocking unwanted light pollution, including the bright moon that was in the sky while imaging this!

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