About Planet of Mystery Astrophotos

Our producer, Jim Craig, also dabbles in astrophotography.

Clicking on the thumbnail images will open the full sized images in a new tab.

Solar Eclipse

These images were taken by Corrie Ann Delgado after Jim's equipment was knocked out of focus. He did the processing on these images.


Taken from a wonderful site in Anna, IL on April 8, 2024, Corrie Ann captured hundreds of images of the corona at a wide variety of shutter speeds.

Jim combined these in GIMP to produce this HDR image of the corona with streamers of material coming off the solar surface.


This image is a stack of 16 images of the eclipse at 1/3200th of a second

The red prominances are quite visible as the sun was very active at this time.

The loop prominance at the bottom is particularly noteworthy and was visible to the unaided eye.

Planetary/Lunar Images

This image of Jupiter was taken in October 2022 during Jupiter's opposition.

In 2024, it won first prize in the planetary imaging category at the Regional Gathering of Amateur Astronomers (AKA BofFest) in Hickory, NC.

Mars has always been one of Jim's favorite subjects so he was delighted to be able to get images of features on its surface using fairly modest equipment.

Because Mars is a small target, the thumbnail is the full sized image.

The Moon

The Moon from the Apollo Observatory taken on the evening of June 14, 2024.

Unlike the other photos on this page, this one used a DSLR (Canon EOS Rebel T7) rather than a dedicated astronomy camera.

Deep Sky Images

M 81 (Bode's Galaxy)
This is M 81 or Bode's Galaxy, a galaxy visible in the constellation Ursa Major.

It's a composite image taken using two telescopes, Jim's Celestron C8 XLT and the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club's PlaneWave telescope.

M 1 (The Crab Nebula)
This is M 1 or the Crab Nebula, the remnant of a star that exploded in the constellation Taurus.

In 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers wrote of a "guest star" in the sky that was so bright it cast shadows.

This is what's left of that star.

M 1 (The Crab Nebula)
This is the same data that was used to make the previous image of the Crab Nebula but processed using new techniques.

It was processed using PixInsight with the BlurXTerminator plugin.

M 27 (The Dumbbell Nebula)
This is M 27 or the Dumbbell Nebula. It's also called the Apple Core Nebula.

The image is combined data from two nights of astrophotography.

It's the remains of a sun-like star after it has left the main sequence to die as a white dwarf.

M 42 (The Great Orion Nebula)
This is M 42 or the Great Orion Nebula, a region of star birth found in the constellation Orion.

This was taken using the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club's 10" Meade imaging scope.

NGC 891 (The Silver Sliver Galaxy)

This is NGC 891 or the Silver Sliver Galaxy found in the constellation Andromeda.

This was Jim's first image of an edge on spiral galaxy.

M 13 (The Hercules Cluster)

This is M 13, a globular cluster of more than 100,000 stars found in the constellation Hercules.

It was discovered by Sir Edmund Halley in 1714.

IC 5146 (The Cocoon Nebula)

This is IC 5146 or the Cocoon Nebula found in the constellation Cygnus.

This was a collaboration between Jim and his friend Rick Johnson using the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club's PlaneWave telescope.

NGC 7635 (The Bubble Nebula)

This is NGC 7635 or the Bubble Nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia.

The hot star SAO 20575 is blowing away the gas cloud forming the bubble-like structure found in the cloud.

M 51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy)

This is M 51 or the Whirlpool Galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici just below the handle of the Big Dipper. It sits at a distance of 23.5 million light years.

This amazing face-on spiral galaxy is interacting with its smaller companion galaxy which is distorting the shape of its larger companion.

A keen eye can see other, more distant galaxies including IC 4277 (to the right of the smaller galaxy of the pair) which is a distance of 547 million light years.

This is the first image taken entirely at Planet of Mystery's fully completed Apollo Observatory.

M 51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy)

Like the Crab Nebula above, this is the same data as the previous M51 image but with new processing.

It was processed using the commercial package PixInsight with the addition of the BlurXTerminator plugin.