M17 - The Swan Nebula in Sagittarius
M17, the Swan Nebula, is one of the most special summertime sites that you could hope to see. It's a bright emission nebula resting among the considerable dust of the Milky Way. From dark skies, it is can be detected with ease using the naked eye. With a telescope of even small and moderate apertures, M17 is quite beautiful, with the brighter portion of the nebula tracing the shape of a swan. Using a narrowband or OIII filter, the nebulosity really stands out. Binoculars give a great view as well since the wide views provide a greater perspective in the midst of the Milky Way. M17 is also known as the "Omega Nebula," a name given to it because its overall shape seems to resemble the Greek letter.
Observatory in Azle, Texas
Exposure Notes: These are very short exposures taken with the object in the midst of considerable city glow near morning twilight. Despite this fact, it's still a decent image. Goes to show how great CCD technology truly is! Special thanks to Fred Koch for the loan of both the NJP mount and the ST-10xme camera. This was a "first light" shot using that mount.
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