Welcome to my Astrophotography webisite. My name is Michele Vietri, I live in Tuscany and this is a website of deep sky astrophotography. I'm not a professional astrophotographer, the photos I've taken are the results of passion and patience. All images are Copyright © 2012-2019.
M8 and M20 nebulae. M8, the Lagoon Nebula, is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius. It is classified as an emission nebula and as an H II region. The Lagoon Nebula is estimated to be between 4,000-6,000 light-years from the Earth. In the sky of Earth, it spans 90′ by 40′, which translates to an actual dimension of 110 by 50 light years. Like many nebulas, it appears pink in time-exposure color photos but is gray to the eye peering through binoculars or a telescope, human vision having poor color sensitivity at low light levels. The nebula contains a number of Bok globules (dark, collapsing clouds of protostellar material), the most prominent of which have been catalogued by E. E. Barnard as B88, B89 and B296. It also includes a funnel-like or tornado-like structure caused by a hot O-type star that emanates ultraviolet light, heating and ionizing gases on the surface of the nebula. The Lagoon Nebula also contains at its centre a structure known as the Hourglass Nebula (so named by John Herschel), which should not be confused with the better known Engraved Hourglass Nebula in the constellation of Musca. In 2006 the first four Herbig–Haro objects were detected within the Hourglass, also including HH 870. This provides the first direct evidence of active star formation by accretion within it. M20, the Trifid Nebula is an H II region located in Sagittarius. Its name means ‘divided into three lobes’. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars; an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent ‘gaps’ within the emission nebula that cause the trifurcated appearance. The close-up images show a dense cloud of dust and gas, which is a stellar nursery full of embryonic stars. This cloud is about 8 ly away from the nebula’s central star. A stellar jet protrudes from the head of the cloud and is about 0.75 ly long. The jet’s source is a young stellar object deep within the cloud. Jets are the exhaust gasses of star formation and radiation from the nebula’s central star makes the jet glow.
The inner region of the Milk Way. This photo was taken on august 2019 by using a filter modified Canon Eos 400D with EF 135 mm lens at f/2.8 on Astrotrac. The photo is the sum of 38 frames, each of 2 minutes. The Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 7000 light-years distant. A spire of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula in the northeastern part is approximately 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers long. The cluster associated with the nebula has approximately 8100 stars, which are mostly concentrated in a gap in the molecular cloud to the north-west of the Pillars. The brightest star (HD 168076) has an apparent magnitude of +8.24, easily visible with good binoculars. It is actually a binary star formed of an O3.5V star plus an O7.5V companion. This star has a mass of roughly 80 solar masses, and a luminosity up to 1 million times that of the Sun. The cluster’s age has been estimated to be 1–2 million years. The Omega Nebula is between 5,000 and 6,000 light-years from Earth and it spans some 15 light-years in diameter. The cloud of interstellar matter of which this nebula is a part is roughly 40 light-years in diameter and has a mass of 30,000 solar masses. The total mass of the Omega Nebula is an estimated 800 solar masses. It is considered one of the brightest and most massive star-forming regions of our galaxy. Its local geometry is similar to the Orion Nebula except that it is viewed edge-on rather than face-on.
Bubble nebula region. This photo was taken on august 2012 by using a filter modified Canon Eos 400D with EF 135 mm lens at f/2.8 on Astrotrac. The photo is the sum of 30 frames, each of 2 minutes. NGC 7635, also known as the Bubble Nebula, Sharpless 162, or Caldwell 11, is an H II region emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It lies close to the direction of the open cluster Messier 52. The “bubble” is created by the stellar wind from a massive hot, 8.7 magnitude young central star, SAO 20575 (BD+60°2522). The nebula is near a giant molecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble nebula while itself being excited by the hot central star, causing it to glow.
The Tulip nebula (SH2-101). This photo was taken on august 2012 by using a filter modified Canon Eos 400D with EF 135 mm lens at f/2.8 on Astrotrac. The photo is the sum of 30 frames, each of 2 minutes. Sharpless 101 (Sh2-101) is a H II region emission nebula located in the constellation Cygnus. It is sometimes also called the Tulip Nebula because it appears to resemble the outline of a tulip when imaged photographically. It was catalogued by astronomer Stewart Sharpless in his 1959 catalog of nebulae. It lies at a distance of about 6,000 light-years (5.7×1016 km; 3.5×1016 mi) from Earth. Sh2-101, at least in the field seen from earth, is in close proximity to microquasar Cygnus X-1, site of one of the first suspected black holes. Cygnus X-1 is the bright star near the bottom right corner of the image presented here.
NGC6940 and the Veil nebular complex. This photo was taken on august 2012 by using a filter modified Canon Eos 400D with EF 135 mm lens at f/2.8t on Astrotrac. The photo is the sum of 30 frames, each of 2 minutes. NGC6940 (upper right corner) is a rich and large open cluster that lies approximately 2,500 light-years away and near the border between Vulpecula and Cygnus. The Veil nebular complex (bottom center) is what remains visible of a Milky Way star exploded about 9,000 years ago. The Veil nebular complex is physically huge, however, and even though it lies about 1,400 light-years distant, it covers over five times the size of the full Moon. The bright star on the left is Epsilon Cygni.
Cederblad 214 and Sharpless 170 nebulae. This photo was taken on august 2012 by using a filter modified Canon Eos 400D with EF 135 mm lens at f/2.8t on Astrotrac. It is the sum of 30 frames, each of 2 minutes. This photo shows two distinctly different nebulae, Cederblad 214 and Sharpless 170.
The nebular complex around Gamma Cygni (IC1318). This photo was taken on august 2012 by using a filter modified Canon Eos 400D with EF 135 mm lens at f/2.8 on Astrotrac. The photo is the sum of 30 frames, each of 2 minutes. IC 1318 is one of the brightest nebulas in the Cygnus complex. The bright star in the center of the field is Gamma Cygni, also known as Sadr. Its true location is only 750 light years away and not related to the nebulosity which is much more distant at 5000 light years. There is considerable obscuration of the region due to dusty clouds within the great rift of the Milky Way which attenuates the light of many of the bright stars spread through the region. This region contains many dark nebulae in addition to the emission diffuse nebulae.