Ever since I was a teenager, I have been interested in astronomy and taking photos of the night sky.  On this site I want to show you my astrophoto highlights.  Some images are taken from my private back-yard observatory located close to the North Sea at the island of Hidra in south-western Norway (which must bne the poorest place in the world for an astronomical observatory observatory), others through internet based online telescopes at and yet others by the use of mobile astro photo equipment operating at various locations.

At present my backyard observatory (Osmundstø Observatory) is beeing upgraded and new equipment installed.  The increasing light pollution and very few clear nights, makes it challenging to take high quality astrophotos from my back-yard observatory.  Therefore a set of portable equipment has been obtained, which I plan to bring to darker sites better suited for astro photography. 

The photos below are sorted chronologically with the latest image appearing at top. Click the images for larger versions. Your comments are much wanted.....

As you probably understand, my interest and love for nature spans from the deepest universe to the tiniest organism. Enjoy.....


M81 (73161 D)

Image #73161-D
Bode's Galaxy (Messier 81)

Not more than 12  million ly away and only half the size of the Milky Way. M81 known as Bode's Galaxy that harboring a massive black hole in it's centre, is an icon among amateur observers.  Forming an interactive pair with M82 the two galaxies in Ursa major can be seen most of the year from northern Europe.

This was the first LRGB image with my new 10'' RC. 36x300 sec LUM and 23x300 sec RGB give a total of 8.8 hrs. exporsure in April 2020.

M81 and M82 (73160 D)

Image #73160-D
Bode's Galaxy (Messier 81) and The Cigar Galaxy (Messier 82).

"Only" 12  million ly away and not more than half the size of the Milky Way is M81 known as Bode's Galaxy harboring a massive black hole in it's centre.  It interacts gravitationally with Messier 82 that glows hydrogen filaments (red in the photo).

Just above M81 lies Holmberg IX, a dwarf galaxy and satellite to M81. This galaxy is believed to be among the youngest of nearby galaxies, formed during the last 200 million years.

7 hrs exporsure (84x300sec subs) through Nikon 600mm with TC14 for a FL=840mm and ASI294MC camera.

M101 (73159 D)

Image #73159
The Pinwheel Galaxy (Messier 101)

This face-on spiral galaxy in Ursa Major contains 1 trillion stars and lies about 21 million ly away from us!  That is a lot of stars and a long way from home!

With a diameter of about 170 000 ly it is nearly the double size of the Milky Way also when it comes to number of stars....

The smaller galaxies NGC 5174 and PGC4545422 are seen bottom right in this 7.1 hour exporsure (85x300sec subs) through Nikon 600mm lens equippen with TC14 for a FL=840mm.


NGC4565 (73162 D)

Image #73162-D
The Needle Galaxy (NGC 4565)

Viewed through my 10'' RC this galaxy certainly looks like a needle. An edge-on galaxy somewhere between 30 and 50 million ly away from us in the constallation Coma Berenices.

This 10.6 hrs exporsue (84x600sec subs) was obtained over three nights in mid April 2020.




M51 (73158 D)


Image #73158-D
The Whirpool Galaxy (Messier 51)

The Whirpool Galaxy (M51) and its companion (NGC 5195) are interacting, they form a pair.  Lying about 25 million ly from us and can easily be observed ieven through a binocular. Found in the constellation Canis Venatici, they are a good object for most of the year from southern Norway.

This 9 hrs image (108x300sec subs) was obtained in March 202 using my 10'' RC and the ASI 294 MC camera.

IC405 (73157 D)


Image #73157-D
Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)

The emission and reflection nebula in the constellation Auriga surrounds the bluish star AE Auriga (mag +6,0) shown in the centro of the photo. 5 ly across and about 1 500 ly from Earth.

My first attempt using Nikon DSLR on the 10'' RC.  I cannot wait to experiment further with this configuration.

84x300sec (total 7 hrs) exporsure through 10'' RC f8 with Nikon D850 at ISO800.

Moon (73154 D)

Image #73154-D
The Apennines and Apollo 15 landing site.

The Apollo 15 landing site was located at 26° 4' 54" north latitude by 3° 39' 30" east longitude at the foot of the Apennine mountain range. The Apennines rise up to more than 15,000 feet (4572 m) along the southeastern edge of Mare Imbrium (reference).

I used my 10'' RC with ZWO ASI 178 camera and captures AVI-files with ZWO's ASICap. About 1500 images in each file. The ~200 best were combined to this image.

Hopefully we are returning to the surface of the Moon soon!


NGC891 (73156 D)


Image #73156
The Silver-Silver Galaxy (NGC 891)

This is the very first long esporsure deep sky image taken with my new telescope mounted in my backyard observatory.  Ever since I first started observing manyb years ago, I have observed and loved this edge-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Andromeda.

Lying about 30 million ly away from us and visible in a small telescope.

84x600sec exporsure for a total of 14 hrs. 10'' RC f8 and ZWO ASI 294 MC pro camera.

M13 (72151 D)

Image #73151
The Great Globular Cluster in hercules (Messier 13)

An unguided test exporsure to test the tracking cfapability of my new mount (iOptron CEM60EC).

The cluster contains several hundred thousand stars and is about 145 ly in diameter and about 25 ly away from Earth. It was the very first deep sky object I observed with my Unitron 2,4'' refractor when I was a kid.

55x120 sec (1.8 hrs) with 10'' RC f8 and ZWO ASI 294 MC pro camera.


Image #73142-D

The Twin Quasar (Q0957+561)

I am fascinating by the quasars, lying an extreme distance away from us, but still visible on amateur CCD-images due to their enormous release of energy (light).

David Haworth's site inspired my to try to photograph the "Twin Quasar" and a few other quasars. The "Twin Quasar" is actually one quasar that appears double due to gravitational lensing from the galaxy YGKOW G1 lying 3.7 billion light years away.

The inverted B&W image to the right (click for larger version) is a 12x300 second image trough ITelescope's 17'' Planewave f4.5 (telescope #21) located in New Mexico (USA).At leaset two other quasars are visible in the FOV together with the bright galaxy NCC3079 and hundreds of weaker galaxies where only PGC28960 is labelled on the image.

Below is a 3D illumination diagram of the cropped field of the area with the "Twin Quasar" lies (click for larger version).




Dumbbell nebula Messier 27

Image #73140-D
The Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27)

The Dumbbell Nebula was one of the first images I observed as a kid using my 6'' reflector from the rooftop of our house. It still belongs to the most popular deep sky objects for amateur astronomers. At a distance of "only" 1 360 lightyears, it is close to home.  It's central star is a white dwarf. Planewave 17'', f4.5, 195 minutes through LRGB-filters. December 2018 and January 2018.

Image #73139-D
The Pleiades (Messier 45)

At a distance of about 436 light years, the open cluster Messier 45 is among the closest of all cluster of starts in the Milky Way. Easily visible by the naked eye in the constellation of Taurus. The cluster is dominated by hot blue and luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Takahashi FSQ 4,2'', f5, 250 minutes through HaLRGB-filters. December 2017 and January 2018.

Messier 31

Image #73132-D

The Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31)

The Andromeda galaxy is the nearest galaxy to our home town the Milky Way and can be spotted with the naked eye.  It lies about 2,5 million light years away from us (which means that the light hitting the camera left the galaxy before our species wandered the plains of East-Africa) and is about 220 000 light years across.

Next to M31 are the two elliptical galaxies M32 and M1100. Takahashi FSQ 4,2'', f5, 275 minutes through LRGB-filters. October 2016 to January 2017.

Milky Way

Image #73131-D
The Milky Way from the Amazon

In 2016 we visited Brazil and the Amazon rainforest. We were lucky to match the visit with the new moon and could access a point on the rim of Cristalino River where the sky was visible through the canopy and where the light pollution was close to zero. Our home galaxy revealed itself in all it's beauty!

The lights from Alta Floresta were barely visible with the naked eye but created an interesting effect in the image.

A mosaic of two images with Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm @ 14mm, f3.2, 2x10 seconds exporsures. August 2016.

Mercury transit

Image #73135-D
Mercury transits the sun

On May 9th 2016 Mercury, the innermost and smallest planet in our solar system, passed in front of the sun. The complete transit lasted about 7,5 hours.

This photo was taken at 16:58 local time from my private observatory. Mercury's relative size to the sun is displayed very well in this photo.  Two sunspots are also visible.

Nikon D810 on Fujigawa 4'' achromatic refractor. 1/2000 sec, ISO 1250.

Orion's belt

Image #73130-D
Orion's Belt

The constellation of Orion contains a number of deep sky object. Orion's Belt is composed of the three bright stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. The area around Orion's Belt is filled with beautiful emission, reflection and dark nebulas, well visible in this photo.  At lower left is the emission nebula IC434 with the familiar shape of the dark Horsehead Nebula (B33).  The reflction Nebula NGC2024 - known as the Flame Nebula - lies just north of Alnitak., Takahashi FSQ ED, f5, 95 minutes through LRGB-filters. December 2015.


IC434 Horsehead nebula
Image #73133
The Flameand the Horse

In this image, which is a crop and enlargement of the above image, the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), the emission nebula IC434 and the dark Horsehead Nebula (B33) are highlighted., Takahashi FSQ ED, f5, 95 minutes through LRGB-filters. December 2015.
Orion nebula Messier 42
Image #73129-D
The Great Nebula in Orion's Sword

The Great Nebula in Orion, Messier 42, is perhaps the most famous of all nebulas. Visible with the naked eye and excellent in a binocular or small telescope, it is loved by all amateur astronomers. 

At a distance of 1270 light years it is relatively close to Earth.  Inside the nebula new stars are formed from huge clouds of interstellar dust and gass.  The smaller nebula Messier 43 is also visible here. Takahashi FSQ ED, f5, 170 minutes through HaLRGB-filters. November 2015.
Trifid nebula and lagoon nebula
Image #73134-D
Trifid- and Lagoon Nebula

The Trifid Nebula (M20) and the large Lagoon Nebula (M8) lies close to the galactic centre in the constellation Scorpius, not observable from Norway.

The Lagoon Nebula lies at a distance of 4-6000 light years and spans 50-110 light years., Takahashi FSQ ED, f5, 115 minutes through LRGB-filters. 17. August 2015.
Horsehead nebula

Image #73128-D
The Horsehead Nebula (B33) in Orion.

This famous dark nebula makes a great silhuette against the red emission nebula IC434. At lower left is the reflection nebula NGC 2023.

Orion is my favorite constellation and as this was an object that attracted me a lot when I was a teenager, using my 6'' Newtonian reflector and trying to visually see the horsehead (which was of course not possible), I have alwasy wanted to make a great image of the nebula., Planewawe 17'' CDK f6.8, 295 minutes exporsure through HaLRGB-filters. September 2014 to February 2015.

Samburu tribe milky way

Image #73124-D
Where do we come from?

On our Kenya safari in July/August 2014, we took on a special project; to photograph Samburu tribe members looking at and pointing to the Milky Way.

In Samburu national Reserve we did get permission to drive into the bush after dark. The visibility was great and the tribe members were happy to act. 

A laser pointer did the trick!  The Samburu warrier asks: Where do we come from?
Nikon D4, Nikon 14-24mm @ 15mm, f3.2, composition of two 30 seconds exporsures with fill-in-light.


aurora borealis
Image #73120-D
Aurora borealis

In February 2013 we visited beautiful Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, one of the most scenic places in the World!  At the tiny group of islands called Røst, we photo-graphed the Northern Light.

This photo was taken with Nikon D4, Nikon 24-70mm @ 24mm, f4, 15 seconds exporsure.

Image #73137-D

Virgo Galaxy Cluster

Virgo Galaxy Cluster contains at least 1300 galaxies including the bright, diffuse ellpitic galaxies M87, M86 and M84 in the constellation Virgo.  The cluster lies about 54 million light years away from us.

Many of the galaxies are weak and invisible in an amateur's telescope, but can be seen in a long-exposed CCD image taken throug a relatively small telescope.

This inverted version of a B&W-photo contains a lot of weak galaxies down to mag. 18 at least.  Some of the galaxies are labelled with id. and mag. just to give you an idea of the variation in luminition of the objects.  Click on the image for a large version (2625x1871 pixels)., Takahashi 4,2'' FSQ, f 5, 145 minutes exporsure. April 2013.

Virgo galaxy cluster
Messier 33

Image #73110-D
Triangulum Galaxy

The large spiral galaxy Messier 33 in the constellation Tringulum lies about 3 million light years from Earth. It is the third largest member of the local galaxy group and spans about 60 000 light years in diameter. Containing some 40 billion stars, it is, however, smaller than the Milky Way, which is home to some 400 billion stars.

This 220 minute LRGB photo was taken on October 12th 2012 using Planewave 20'', f4.5.


Helix nebula
Image #73109-D

The Helix Nebula

The helix Nebula, or NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula found in the constellation Aquarius and is the closest of all bright planetary nebulas lying only 700 light years away.

The very energetic central star is the remnant of a star that sheds its outer layers at the end of its life now forming this beautiful nebula.

This was one of my my very first image with, taken  in July 2012.  Planewave 17'', f4.5, 125 minutes exporsure through LRGB-filters.
 Trifid nebula  

Image #73108-D
The Trifid Nebula

This beautiful nebula is a  star-forming region in the constellation Sagittarius. Known as Messier 20 and lying about 5 000 light years from Earth.

This image from July 2012 was my very first shot with Planewave 17'', f4.5, 125 minutes exporsure through LRGB-filters.
solar eclipse

Image #73136-D
Partial solar eclipse

On August 1st 2008 a partial solar eclipse was visible from my observatory. This photo is taken at 11:35 local time, close to the time of maximum cover.

Fujigawa 4'' achromatic refractor, f10, Nikon D300, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200.


Image #73106-D
Half moon

The half moon photographed on 17th December 2007 with Nikon D2Xs through Astro Physics 5'' APO-refractor, f6.3. A composition of 28 images each 1/200 sec, ISO 200.
Comet 17P Holmes
Image #73100-D
Comet 17P Holmes

This beautiful comet that visited us in the Autumn of 2007 brightened to mag 2,8 during a period of only 42 hours, making it visible to the naked eye. 

This image from 15th November 2007 at 01:10 (local time) from my private observatory, was taken with a Nikon 200-400 lens @ 200mm, f4, using the SBIG ST2000XM CCD-camera and LRGB-filters. 16x30 seconds exporsures.
 Network nebula

Image #73075-D
The Network Nebula in Cygnus

The Network Nebula (NGC6992 and NGC6995) is part of the Veil Nebula complex in the constellation Cygnus. The cloud of ionized gas and dust is the remains of a spuernova that exploded around 3 000 to        6 000 B.C, probably lying some 1 470 light years away from us.

Astro Physics 5'' APO-refractor, f6.3, SBIG ST2000XM CCD-camera, 250 minutes through HaLRGB-filters. October 2007.

Image #73078-D
Waxing cresent Moon

On 2nd February 2006 I took this image of the waxing cresent moon using Nikon D200 and Astro Physics AP130ED, f6.  1/100 sec, ISO 160.
 Messier 13 Hercules

Image #73073-D
The great globular cluster in Hercules

Messier 13 or the great globular cluster in the constellation Hercules contains about         300 000 stars, is about 145 light years in diameter and lies  25 100 ligyhtyears from Earth.

The cluster is one of just a very few globular clusters that are visible with the naked eye. In a telescope it looks spectacular.

Do note the tiny galaxy (OGC 2085077, mag. 16) just above the cluster in this photo.

Astrophysics FS130 APO-refractor, f6.3, SBIG ST2000XM CCD-camera, 45 minutes exporsure, september 2004.

Venus transit 2004
Image #73099-D
Venus transit

On June 8th 2004 Venus passed in front of the Sun and I managed to photograph the event from Hidra using Takahashi FS60c mounted on Loosmandy G-11 and Nikon D70 (my first digital SLR).

solar eclipse 2003
Image #73035
The Moon eats the Sun

On May 31st 2003 a partial solar eclipse could be seen from our home island in south-western Norway. Several people have gathered on the island's highest peak and watched the sun rizing while the moon started eating it.

Nikon AF601 SLR on "Baby Takahashi" FS60c with tele Vue 2,5X powermate, f14.8, FL=883mm, Fuji Velvia 50ASA, 1/125 sec.
solar eclipse 2003
Image #73037
Solar eclipse sequence

This image of the partial solar eclipse that was visible from Hidra, south-western Norway on May 31st 2003, is the result of several double exporsures.  The background was shot 40 minutes prior to sunrize using Nikon F100 and Sigma 70mm lens, f4, 1/3 sec on Fuji velvia 50ASA.  The solar sequence was shot through a Hoya "polar filter" using variable exporsures every five minutes, escept close to maximum when the interval was three minutes.

All in all... several lucky shots as in the analog times no result could be previewed :).
five planets

Image #73018
Five planets

In April/May 2002 Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury lined up in the western horizon,  It is rare that five planets can be captured in one and the same image!

This photo from May 2nd overlooks the NV-horizon from the hyill known as "Varen" in Kirkehamn on the island of Hidra, south-western Norway.  It is shortly after sunset. The light on the sea comes from a boat carrying salmon from our local fish farms. Five planets overlook the scene.

Nikon F100, Nikon 24-70mm, Fuji Velvia 50ASA.

 S5 0014+813


The hyperluminous quasar S5-0014+81 in the constellation Cepheus

In 1999 I tried to locate one of the most extraordinary objects in the sky, the very luminous quasar S5 0014+81.  Situated as far away as 12,1 billion light years from Earth means that the 16,5 magnitude dot of light we see left the quasar not long after the universe was formed.

I used my 10'' LX200 SC f6,3 and SBIG ST2000XM CCD camera for this 900 seconds exporsure and processed it with artificial colours. 

Can you imagine that the tiny dot is actually 25 000 times more luminous than all the stars in the Milky Way added?

Read more HERE.


solar eclipse
Image #73004
Partial solar eclipse

On August 11th 1999 a partial solar eclipse that covered much of the sun's surface was visible from my observatory.  This images is taken at 12:30:40 (local time), which is the moment of maximum cover.

Fujigawa 4'', achromatic refractor, f10, with Nikon AF601 SLR and Fuji Velvia diapositive film, 1/125 sec.
 Hale Bopp  

Image 73033
Comet Hale-Bopp

In the mid 1990-ties two spectacular comets visited us.  C/1995-O1 "Hale-Bopp" turned out to be one of the most viewed comets in history. its closest approach to the Earth came in 1997 and was visible with the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere for about 18 months.

Sadly, there was a tragic footnote to the appearance of Hale-Bopp. About 40 people who were part of the "Heaven's Gate" cult in San Diego committed mass suicide as the comet came close to Earth.

This photo from April 6th 1997 was shot with Nikon SF601 and an old Soligor 400mm telephoto lens, f6.3, 9 seconds exporsure on 400ASA diapositive film.

 comet hyakutake

Image 73060
Comet Hyakutake

Another great comet from the mid 1990-ties was C/1996 B2 Hyakutake (see above for the othe great comet). It passed very close to Earth and was very bright in the sky. It will return to us in about 70 000 years.

This photo from March 27th 1996 was shot with Nikon AF601 with Sigma 70-300 mm lens @ 75 mm, f5.6,  mounted piggyback on Meade LX200 SC and guiden with SBIG ST4 autoguider. 18 minutes exporsure on Kodak Panther 1600 ASA diapositive film.