“Scientific” and “aesthetic” astronomical imaging split only recently. Images of galaxies, star clusters and nebulae, published in popular astronomy books only a few tens of years ago, were mostly captured for research purposes. When a state-of-the-art technology like CCD cameras, wide-field optics, precision telescope mounts and powerful computers become accessible to amateurs, the very best images of deep sky wonders start to be captured by amateurs for pure joy and satisfaction from beautiful universe. Still, sometimes they illustrate some interesting and important astronomical phenomena, like the birth on new stars on the Rosette Nebula image acquired by Thomas Lelu.
NGC7000 North America and NGC6888 Crescent nebula in narrow band
Thomas Lelu sent us another wonderful examples of great images captured with small camera. Thomas uses his G2-4000 camera on 10" Newtonian telescope (and also G1-0301 guiding camera) to capture very long exposures through filters, passing only very small interval of wavelengths.