NGC2237 - The Rosette Nebula in Monoceros

This is NGC2237, The Rosette Nebula in the constellation of Monoceros.
The Rosette Nebula is a large spherical H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros region of the Milky Way Galaxy. The open cluster NGC 2244 is closely associated with the nebulosity, the stars of the cluster having been formed from the nebula's matter.
The nebula is around 130 lightyears across and about 5,200 lightyears distant.
Imaged with my SkyWatcher ED72 scope and ZWO ASI183MM PRO cmos camera, through a Hydrogen Alpha filter.
16x300sec lights, with Darks and Flats. I will try and add colour in the coming week, weather permitting.

IC443 - Jellyfish Nebula in Gemini

This IC443, The Jellyfish Nebula in Gemini, imaged a couple of nights ago.
IC 443 (also known as Sharpless 248 (Sh2-248)) is a galactic supernova remnant in the constellation Gemini, roughly 5,000 lightyears from Earth, and is one of the best-studied cases of supernova remnants interacting with surrounding molecular clouds.
The remnant's age is still uncertain, although there is some agreement that the supernova happened between 3,000 and 30,000 years ago.
IC 443 is an extended source, having an angular diameter of 50 arcmin (by comparison, the full moon is 30 arcmin across). At the estimated distance of 5,000 lightyears from Earth, it corresponds to a physical size of roughly 70 light years across.
This image is comprised of 36x300sec exposures through a Hydrogen-Alpha filter, representing 3 hours of total exposure.
Stacked and processed in PixInsight, with final contrast adjustments in Photoshop.
If the weather behaves, I will try and get the Sulphur and Oxygen emissions and combine into a colour rendition.
I manage to get the additional Sii and Oiii data so I could add colour to my mono image of last week. As it turns out, there is very little Oiii emissions from this particular nebula so there is not much in the blue channel. The nebula is very strong in Ha and Sii so, in visible colours, it is a predominantly orangey-ochre colour. To lift the colours a bit, I combined the narrowband data with One Shot Colour data that I captured back in 2013, so I could show the stars in their natural colours.
 Anyway, all in all, just under 10hours of total integration time, plus Darks, Flats and Bias frames.


IC410 - The Tadpoles Nebula in Auriga

This is IC410, imaged a few nights ago.
IC410 is a dusty emission nebula located in the constellation of Auriga at about 12,000 lightyears from Earth. It is part of a larger star forming region that also contains the Flaming Star Nebula.
The gas structures in this image are lit by the radiation from the open star cluster NGC1893 that lies in the centre of the nebula. This star cluster is about 4 million years old, but in astronomical terms it is still very young, with hot, massive stars.
At the bottom-left of the star cluster, two more dense structures are visible. These are similar to the famous Pillar of Creation and they are composed of dust and gas leftover from the formation of the star cluster and are very likely to give birth to more stars in the future. As can be seen in the image, these structures point away from the centre of the nebula; this is because of the stellar winds and radiation pressure from the stars in NGC 1893.
Due to these structure's shape, the nebula is often referred to as the Tadpoles Nebula.
This image was created by adopting the Hubble false-colour palette for mapping narrowband emissions from Sulphur, Hydrogen Alpha and Oxygen atoms to the red, green and blue channels respectively. So, the cyan/blue colours are the Hydrogen Alpha , with the yellow/green colours representing the Sulphur and the pale blue representing the Oxygen.
Imaged over two nights, with just under 7 hours of total integration time.
36x5mins Ha, 20x5mins Sii, 24x5mins Oiii, plus Darks Flats and Bias frames. Stacked and processed in PixInsight, with final colour balancing in Photoshop.

Melotte 15

This is Melotte 15, an Open Cluster in the constellation of Cassiopeia, probably better known as "The Heart of the Heart"; it is the centre cluster of stars within The Heart Nebula, IC1805 (also known as Sharpless 2-190). Melotte 15 is about 7,500 light years away from Earth.
When photographed under visible wavelength, the nebula's intense red colour and its configuration are driven by the Hydrogen Alpha radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula's centre. This open cluster of stars, known as Melotte 15, contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun's mass. The grouping is only about 1.5 million years old and its lifespan is expected to be as short as 3-6 million years.
This image was created by adopting the Hubble false-colour palette for mapping narrowband emissions from Sulphur, Hydrogen Alpha and Oxygen atoms to the red, green and blue channels respectively. So, the cyan/blue colours are the intense reds (Hydrogen Alpha) that you would normally see when photographed under visible wavelength, with the yellow/orange colours representing the Sulphur.
Imaged over two nights, with just over 6 hours of total integration time.
25x5mins Ha, 25x5mins Sii, 25x5mins Oiii, plus Darks Flats and Flat Darks. Stacked and processed in PixInsight, with final colour balancing in Photoshop.

NGC7380 - The Wizard Nebula in Cepheus.

This NGC7380, The Wizard Nebula in Cepheus.
Discovered in 1787 by Caroline Herschel, NGC 7380 (also known as Sharpless 142 or Sh2-142) is the young open star cluster embedded within the emission nebula known as the Wizard Nebula. Located some 7000-8000 light years away, the Wizard nebula surrounds the developing open star cluster. Seen with foreground and background stars along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the nebula can be located with a small telescope toward the constellation of Cepheus (the King of Aethiopia). Although the nebula may last only a few million years, some of the stars being formed may outlive our Sun.
The active star forming region spans about 100 light years, making it appear larger than the angular extent of the Moon. A full moon would easily fit inside this view of the young cluster and associated nebula. Imaged with narrowband filters, the visible wavelength light from the nebula's hydrogen (Ha), oxygen (Oiii), and sulphur(Sii) atoms are mapped into green, blue, and red colours in the final image, a palette made popular in Hubble Space Telescope images.
Imaged over two nights, with just under 7hours of total integration time.
30x5mins Ha, 30x5mins Sii, 20x5mins Oiii plus Darks Flats and Bias.

IC63 and IC59 - Reflection and Emission Nebulae

This is  IC63 and IC59, taken over the course of 3 nights last week. IC59 and IC63 are Reflection and Emission Nebulae next to the bright star, Gamma Cas, which is the star right at the centre of the “W” in the constellation of Cassiopeia; around 550 lightyears away. Gamma Cas is an eruptive variable binary star, known as a "shell star"; it currently shines at mag. +2.15, making it the brightest star in Cassiopeia.
IC59 and IC63 are both around 3 lightyears from Gamma Cas. IC63 is slightly nearer and, as a result, it's appears mostly red due to a dominance of H-alpha emission from Gamma Cas. Because it is slightly further away, IC59 exhibits much less H-alpha emission and appears mostly blue due to reflected starlight.
Both nebulae are very faint, with extremely low surface brightness, and are easily washed out by the bright Gamma Cas (this is over 5 hours exposure on the Lights).
20x300 sec Ha
21x180sec, plus 20x300 sec Sii
9x300sec Oiii

IC1795 - Fish Head Nebula in Cassiopeia

This is IC 1795, an emission nebula located approximately 6000 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It covers a field of about 20 minutes of arc, or approximately 70 light years across.
At approximately 6000 light-years away from us, this complex extends across the Perseus arm of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. IC 1795 is a part of the large nebula complex of star forming regions that lie at the edge of a large molecular cloud.
Not far from the famous Double Cluster in Perseus, IC 1795 is easy to see and is in a very rich environment with IC 1805 (the Heart Nebula), IC 1848, and many open clusters.
This image was created by adopting the Hubble false-colour palette for mapping narrowband emissions from sulphur, hydrogen and oxygen atoms to the red, green and blue channels respectively.
Imaged over two night, this image comprises of over 7hrs of exposures, not including the calibration frames. Conditions were mixed, with many exposures being affected by cloud and mist. Stacked in PixIsight with each exposure being weighted according to its overall quality. Processed in PixInsight and Photoshop.
Ha: 40x180sec
Sii: 20x120sec plus 35x180sec
Oiii: 20x120sec plus 40x180sec

NGC7822 - Star Forming Complex

NGC 7822 (also designated Sharpless 171, SH 2-171) is a young irregular emission nebula and star forming region located in the constellation Cepheus. The complex is estimated to be some 3,300 light-years away.  The nebula is home to the young star cluster Berkeley 59, whose stars are just a few million years old. Berkeley 59 includes one of the hottest stars discovered in the vicinity of our Sun, namely BD+66 1673, which is an eclipsing binary system consisting of a very bright star that exhibits a surface temperature of nearly 45000 K and a luminosity ~100000 times that of the Sun. The star is one of the primary sources illuminating the nebula and shaping the cosmic pillars of cold molecular gas and clouds of dark dust – often called elephant trunks – which are powered by the young, hot stars, whose powerful winds and radiation also sculpt and erode the dense pillar shapes.

This image consists of 138 exposures of 120 seconds each, totalling around 5 hours. Exposures: 40x120s Ha, 40x120s Oiii, 58x120s Sii, plus Darks, Flats and Bias frames.

Messier 39

M39 (also known as NGC7092) is an open cluster embedded within a rich star field in the constellation of Cygnus.
M39 has an estimated age of 200 to 300 million years. All of its confirmed members are still on the main sequence, still burning hydrogen in their core, and have yet to evolve into red giants.
It is a relatively loose cluster, with 30 confirmed members occupying an area about 7 light years in diameter.
M39 can be located by star-hopping from Deneb to 4th magnitude star Rho Cygni, which lies some 9 degrees to the east; the cluster lies 3 degrees north of this star. The cluster can be resolved in 7×50 binoculars, which reveal its triangular shape, with three bright stars marking the corners.
It is one of the nearest Messier objects to Earth, at a distance of about 1,000 lightyears, and is approaching us at 28 km/s. Eeek!!
Imaged in LRGB, with 25x5sec through a Luminance filter and 25x15sec each through Red, Green and Blue filters. Total integration, 20 minutes.

IC1396 - The Elephant Trunk Nebula in Cepheus

The Elephant Trunk Nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region IC 1396, located in the constellation Cepheus, about 2,400 light years away.
The piece of the nebula shown in this image is the dark, dense globule IC 1396A; it is commonly called the Elephant Trunk nebula because of its appearance at visible light wavelengths, where there is a dark patch with a bright, sinuous rim. The bright rim is the surface of a dense cloud that is being illuminated and ionized by a very bright, massive star that is just to the east of IC 1396A (ie, just off the top of the image).
The entire IC 1396 region is ionized by this massive star, except for the dense globules that can protect themselves from the star's harsh ultraviolet rays.
The Elephant Trunk Nebula is now thought to be a site of star formation, containing several very young stars that were discovered in infrared images in 2003. Two older (but still young, a couple of million years) stars are present in the small, circular cavity in the head of the globule.
The combined action of the light from this massive star ionizing and compressing the rim of the cloud, and the wind from the young stars shifting gas from the center outward, lead to very high compression in the Elephant Trunk Nebula. This pressure has triggered the current generation of protostars.
40x180sec Lights each in Ha, Sii and Oii filters, with Darks, Flats and Bias. Sii is mapped to Red, Ha to Green and Oiii to Blue, with the channels then adjusted to give the classic Hubble Palette.

NGC281 - Pacman Nebula

This is NGC 281, The Pacman Nebula in Cassiopeia. Also catalogued as IC 11, Sh2-184, Sharpless 184, LBN 616 and LBN 123.
NGC 281 is a bright emission nebula, and part of an H II region, in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia; it is part of the Milky Way's Perseus Spiral Arm. This 20×30 arcmin sized nebulosity is also associated with open cluster IC 1590, several Bok globules, the multiple star B1, and measures over 50 lightyears across. A recent estimate of its distance shows it lies around 9200 lightyears from us. It is known as the Pacman Nebula for its resemblance to the video game character.
E. E. Barnard discovered this nebula in August 1883, and described it as "a large faint nebula, very diffuse." The nebula region is visible in amateur telescopes from dark sky locations.
This image is comprised of 120x180sec lights, 40 each through Ha, Sii and Oiii filters, with all of the associated Flats, Darks and Bias, and represents around 6hrs exposure (not including the calibration frames). It was taken over the course of 3 nights last week.
The image was processed in PixInsight, with Sii mapped to Red, Ha mapped to Green and Oiii mapped to Blue. The colour channels were then adjusted independently to produce the classic Hubble Palette, where the red and ochre colours represent predominantly Ha emissions (with a little Sii),  with the blues and cyans representing the Oii emissions.

NGC6979 - Pickering's Triangle

Pickering's Triangle is a small part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. 

The source supernova was a star 20 times more massive than the Sun, which exploded around 8,000 years ago. The remnants have since expanded to cover an area of the sky roughly 3 degrees in diameter (about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon). The distance to the nebula is not precisely known, but data suggests a distance of about 1,470 light-years. 

The analysis of the emissions from the nebula indicate the presence of Sulphur (Sii), Hydrogen (Ha) and Oxygen (Oiii). In this image, these wavelengths have been mapped to the Red, Green and Blue channels respectively; this is commonly known as the Hubble Palette (SHO). Almost all of the light from this nebula is emitted in the Oxygen wavelength, giving a predominantly blue colour.  The deep orange areas  are a mixture of Sulphur and Hydrogen. 

Some parts of the image appear to be rope-like filaments. The standard explanation is that the shock waves are so thin that the shell is visible only when viewed exactly edge-on, giving the shell the appearance of a filament.  

Even though the nebula has a relatively bright integrated magnitude of 7, it is spread over so large an area that the surface brightness is quite low, so the nebula is notorious among astronomers for being difficult to see. However, apparently it can be seen clearly in a telescope using an Oiii filter (a filter isolating the wavelength of light from doubly ionized oxygen).


This image is 16x180secs each Sii, Ha and Oiii, filters with Darks, Flats and Bias. Processed in PixInsight and finished in Photoshop.

IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula

IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula (also referred to as Caldwell 19 or Sh2-125). It is a reflection/emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus. IC5146 is the cluster of 9.5 mag stars in the nebula. which shines at magnitude +10.0. The cluster is about 4,000 light years away, and the central star that lights it was formed about 100,000 years ago. The nebula is about 15 light years in diameter. When viewing IC 5146, dark nebula Barnard 168 (B168) forms a dark lane that surrounds the cluster and projects westward forming the appearance of a trail behind the Cocoon.


A total of 38x300 sec Lights, with Darks, Flats and Bias. Processed in PixInsight and Photoshop.


Taken with an Altair Astro GP cam featuring a cast of thousands but notably Bill, Gary, Debbie, Janet and of course yours truly. Glynn observed and nobody made the tea??

Jim Plimmer


A 3-panel mosaic of the constellation of Orion taken with an unmodified Canon 1000D, using the stock 18-55mm zoom lense, on a SW Star Adventurer mount. You can see the Orion Nebula in the sword, the Running Man Nebula just above it and, if you look closely, the Flame Nebula just to the left of Alnitak (the leftmost belt star).
A total of 90x180sec Lights, with Darks.

NGC2237 - Rosette Nebula in Monoceros

The Rosette Nebula (also known as Caldwell 49) is a large, circular H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros region of the Milky Way Galaxy. The open cluster NGC 2244 (Caldwell 50) within the centre of the nebula is closely associated with the nebulosity, the stars of the cluster having been formed from the nebula's matter.
A 2-panel mosaic. Each panel made from 16x300sec Light, plus Darks, Flats and Bias frames.


NGC6883 & NGC6871

A double cluster in Cygnus. The cluster stars are not very well detached from the background sky owing to the fact that they are in a very rich section of Cygnus and also embedded within the eastern end of the nebulosity associated with LBN 182.

7x300sec Subs, with Darks, Flats and Bias



This is the constellation of Cassiopeia using a Canon 1000D and the standard 18-55mm lens that comes with it. The zoom was set on the max of 55mm.

40x120sec Subs, plus Darks, Flats and Bias



Taken with an ODK12 on 6.7.15. The camera was a Canon 550D at ISO800. 15 x 60sec was the exposure, all sigma-average stacked in Astroart. No guiding, no flats, no darks and no IDAS filter used. A lucky shot considering how close it was to the southern horizon. Just 11° above it among trees.
Pluto looks quite small, but then it would from here on Earth, whereas those Americans used a spacecraft to get their close-ups. Final processing in Photoshop.


Taken on the 6th of July 2015, during a collimation session. The telescope was an Orion Optics ODK12 and the camera a Canon 550D. The exposure was 20 frames of 60sec each, at ISO800, no guiding, no flats, no darks and not with my usual IDAS filter. It was just to see the effect on photography that collimation by eye had. The frames were stacked in Astroart as 4 groups of 5 frames sigma-added, and the resultant 4 frames were averaged. Final processing was done in Photoshop. It needs more time to make a reasonable photograph but it was done as a test of detail, so look at the number of stars in the body of the nebula particularly the one next to the White Dwarf.

Impromptu AstroMeet 26th February 2015

These images were taken at an impromptu imaging/observing session on the WYAS observatory pad on 26th February 2015. The Jupiter image is a 1800 frame movie processed in Registax and the Moon image is a mosaic of 20 panels, each a 500 frame movie, again processed in Registax.

Caldwell 13 Owl Cluster and M82 Cigar Galaxy.

Both of these images were taken from my back garden in Castleford on the 28th October 2014. They are both made up of around 45 60 second exposures (ISO 1600) stacked in Deep Sky Stacker with 30 darks and 30 bias frames. Then processed in photoshop. I used a Canon 1200d SLR mounted on a Skywatcher 200PDS with a HEQ5Pro.

The Sun in Hydrogen-Alpha

Taken using the WYAS Tele-Vue Pronto with Coronado Solar Filters. A 4-Panel mosaic with each panel captured with a QHY5L-II Colour planetary camera running at 30fps @ 1280x960 resolution. Captured in raw SER mode, converted to AVI using PIPP, stacked and wavelet processed in Registax, then assembled in Photoshop.


Mars at Opposition

An image of Mars at Opposition, taken from the observatory pad on 15th April 2014. Stacked and processed in Registax6, then colour balanced in PixInsight. Taken with a Celestron 5se scope and a QHY5L-II camera, with a Celestron 2x Barlow.



A widefield image of Jupiter and its moons (L to R: Callisto, Io, JUPITER, Europa and Ganymede) taken from the observatory pad. Stacked and processed in Registax6, then colour balanced in PixInsight.

A closeup view of Jupiter and Io.

Both images taken with a Celestron 5se scope and a QHY5L-II camera. A Celestron 2x Barlow was used for the closeup image.