The Lagoon Nebula
Who doesn't love nebulas? This is one of my favorite objects of the summer sky. The Lagoon Nebula is in the rough direction of the galactic center, so it's in a very crowded part of the sky. You can see it by looking in the direction of the "steam" (actually, the Milky Way) coming out of the "spout" (actualy, the archer's arrow) of Sagittarius.
This particular image has a special place in my heart. It hangs on the wall of my observatory, it is my desktop background, and it is even one of my Zoom backgrounds. You see, this is the very first color image I took with my telescope. I spent all night at my observatory, taking many 300-second exposures through red, green, and blue filters. Then I digitally stacked the images and corrected them for known optical and equipment flaws. I.e., this is the first image that I even tried to adjust for "flats" and "darks". Then I combined the different images to create the final colors. I can't lie. The image is not very good. You can see problems with tracking, which is expected since I had just gotten my big, new telescope, and I hadn't quite managed to align it properly. With my poor polar alignment, 300 seconds for a single exposure was overly optimistic! And I hadn't quite learned the image processing techniques to really do color photography yet. But, it's my first color image, so yeah it's still my favorite!