NEBULAE

B 33, IC 434 and NGC 2023 - The famous "Horse Head Nebula" in Orion. The horse head is a dark gaseous cloud and is exceedingly difficult to see, which surprises and disappoints most people, who have seen photos and think they will see the same thing in a telescope. IC 434 is the nebulous "reef" from which B33 protrudes and NGC 2023 is a bright emission nebula. This is an LRGB image of 50L:40RGB minutes using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.

Barnard 86, a famous dark nebula in the constellation of Sagittarius.  This is a particularly star-rich area of the sky and the open cluster NGC 6520 can be seen fairly close to the dark nebula.  This image was taken with our C-14 telescope way back in June 2003.

IC 289 in Cassiopeia is described as a faint, round 35 arc second disc of uniform surface brightness, but in this image you can see the red and blue areas in the disc, together with fainter material surrounding.

IC 1474 in Cassiopeia is a tiny, pale blue planetary nebula which in this image just shows a disc and faint central star. 

IC 5146, the "Cocoon" nebula.  Lying at the end of the two degree long dark nebula in Cygnus (Barnard 168), the Cocoon is very faint.  The nebula derives its name from the faint, hazy nebulosity which surrounds the main pink nebula, forming a kind of cocoon.   This image is an LRGB of 45minL and 25minsRGB and it was taken on 24th July, 2019 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera. 

Messier 1, imaged from Spain on 22nd February 2014 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.  It is an L/HA RGB image of 60/60 HA/L and 50 minutes RGB. Messier 1 is a famous supernova remnant because the initial explosion was recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD and when we looked at the location with our modern scopes this is what we saw.

Messier 1 in full narrowband.  This image, taken with the Planewave telescope and QSI 683 camera, is 60 minutes each of HA, O3 and S2 using 20 minute sub frames.

Messier 8, the Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius.  The image is an LRGB of 20:15:15:15 minutes, taken on 13th June, 2007 in Spain using the Takahashi FSQ scope and ST8-XE camera.

Messier 8, another image of this object, taken on 23rd July, 2014 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 CCD camera. This is an LRGB of 50:35:35:35 minutes. 

Messier 16, the Eagle Nebula in Serpens.  This image was taken with our 12.5 inch Planewave telescope and QSI 683 camera.  It is an LRGB of 45 minutes for each component.

Messier 17, the Omega Nebula (also called the Swan Nebula) in Sagittarius.  To the north of M8 is the smaller M17.  In a telescope it looks like an Omega, and this effect is more marked when a filter is used.  A CCD image brings out a lot of detail surrounding the central object, but in a dark sky and using a filter most of this can be seen visually.  This LRGB image is a 30:20:20:20 minute composite using the C14 and ST10 camera.

Messier 20, the "Trifid" Nebula in Sagittarius.  Located between M8 and M17, this beautiful nebula is particularly attractive, and we very much like the contrasting blue and pink nebulosity.  This LRGB image (30:20:20:20 minutes for each component) was taken in Spain on 14th June, 2013 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera. 

Messier 27 - The "Dumbell" Nebula in Vulpecula.  An excellent example of a "planetary nebula", this image is an L/HaRGB of 40/40:30:30:30 mins, taken on 15th July, 2013 at our Spanish observatory using the Planewave telescope and QSI 683 camera.

Messier 27 with more than an hour of Hydrogen Alpha exposure, showing quite well the matter streams following the magnetic field lines and a lot of the fainter material surrounding the main nebula. 

Messier 42 taken in Spain on 19th December, 2015 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.  This is a Hubble Palette blend using Sulphur 2=Red, H Alpha=Green and Oxygen 3=Blue.  20 minutes exposure un-binned for each component and produced using luminance layering in Photoshop.

Messier 57 - Our latest image of this 1,400 light years distant planetary, taken using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.  60 mins of Luminance and 40 mins each of Red, Green and Blue taken on 20th June 2019 from La Divisa Observatory, Spain.

Messier 57 in Narrowband.  An image of the nebula, taken on 19th June, 2019 using Hydrogen alpha, Oxygen 3 and Sulphur 2 filters (60mins for each component) and combined using the Hubble Palette where Red = S2, Green = HA and Blue = O3.

Messier 76 - "The Little Dumbbell" - Imaged at our Spanish observatory on 18th August, 2017. Camera was the QSI 683 and telescope was the Planewave.  Notice the redness of the ends of the nebula and the loops of material. This is an LRGB image, with component balance of 30:20:20:20. 

Messier 78 - Two 10th magnitude stars shine like headlights, or eyes out of the midst of dark, gaseous areas.  This is just one of Orion's areas of bright nebulosity and is an excellent example of a reflection nebula in which new star formation is taking place.  This LRGB image (10:5:5:5minutes) was taken on 5th January, 2019.

Messier 97, the "Owl Nebula" in Ursa Major is situated close to the bright galaxy Messier 108.  This interesting planetary, which has a size about the same as Jupiter's disk, is fairly easy to see but large telescopes are needed to spot the two "eyes" or dark areas which give the nebula its name.  Note the magnitude 16.1 galaxy MCG+9-19-14 to the right of the nebula.

NGC 40 in the circumpolar constellation of Cepheus is also known as the "Scarab" nebula because of its shape.  This LRGB is 30:20:20:20 minutes. 

NGC 246 is a large planetary nebula in Cetus.  This image is an LRGB of 20:10:10:10 mins and was taken with the C14 and ST10 camera in Spain on 4th November, 2010.

NGC 1491 is an interestingly fan-shaped emission nebula in the constellation of Perseus.  The fan shape covers a diameter of about 6 arc minutes and there is an 11th magnitude star embedded just inside the eastern edge.  This image is an LRGB of 20:5:5:5 minutes at a focal ratio of f/8.

NGC 1514 in Taurus is an interesting and very blue planetary nebula. Known as the "Crystal Ball Nebula" it has a 9.4 magnitude central star and an interesting shape, not unlike the dumbbell.  This nebula is historically significant as it is the nebula which convinced Herschel that not all nebulae can be resolved into stars.

NGC 1931 in Auriga.  This is an emission and refection nebula which has sometimes been referred to as a miniature version of the great Orion Nebula.  It even has a smaller version of the "trapezium" in the centre.  This image, taken in Spain on 29th October, 2019 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera is an LRGB of 145:25:25:25 minutes.

NGC 2022 in Orion is a very blue planetary nebula at a distance of 6,900 light years. It's expansion velocity is 29kps and it has a magnitude of 11.6.

NGC 2392 - The "Eskimo" or "Clown Face" nebula in Gemini.  This is an LRGB image of 12:5:5:5 minutes taken in Spain on 16th November, 2007 using the C14 and ST10-XME camera.  This is a particularly fine example of a planetary nebula, which are formed when sun-like stars age and lose their outer gas shells. 

NGC 3242 in Hydra.  This lovely, blue-green coloured planetary nebula is also known as the "Ghost of Jupiter".  It is 75 arc seconds in diameter and we have zoomed in on the object for the image on the left.  The object is 2,600 light years away from us.  Image is an LRGB of 20:25:25:25 minutes with the C14 and ST10-XME camera taken on 1st May, 2008.

NGC 4361 in Corvus.  This is a 45 arc second diameter planetary nebula with a magnitude 13 central star.  There are interesting curved features emanating from the core.

NGC 6058 in Hercules.  This is a small (23 arc seconds diameter) planetary nebula with a distinctive blue colour.  This is an LRGB of 30 minutes for each component, imaged using the C14/ST10 combination in Spain on 15th May, 2012. 

NGC 6153 in Scorpius is a 25 arc second diameter planetary nebula.  This is an LRGB of 20:15:15:15 minutes, snatched as the object vanished below the horizon. 

NGC 6302 in the constellation of Scorpius.  This interesting object is also known as the "Bug" Nebula, and it is particularly interesting because it has a very hot central star, at a temperature of 380,000 degrees C.  This LRGB image was taken on 24th June, 2011 at La Divisa in Spain using our C-14 telescope and ST-10XME camera. 

NGC 6309 in Ophiuchus is also known as the "Box Nebula" or the "Exclamation Mark Nebula".  The literature records it as blue-green in colour, as you can see here.  The object is tiny, being only 19 x 11 arc seconds. This image is an LRGB of 20:15:15:15 minutes with the C14 and ST10-XME camera, taken on 27th June, 2011.

NGC 6337 in Scorpius.  This 40 arc second diameter planetary is also known as the "Cheerio" nebula due to its similarity to the American biscuit.  The object is low in the sky ( -38 degrees declination) making high quality imaging difficult.  This LRGB of 25:20:20:20 minutes was taken on 9th July, 2015. 

NGC 6369 the "Little Ghost" nebula in Ophiuchus.  This pretty nebula has very interesting ring detail and some nice FLIERS but the sky on 10th July, 2015 was very hazy and it made colour imaging very difficult.  This is an LRGB of 35:25:25:25 minutes with the Planewave scope and QSI camera.

NGC 6445 in Sagittarius is also known as the "Crescent Nebula" or the "Little Gem".  It has an apparent diameter of 36 arc seconds, so is quite small.  In this image you can see the blue tinged centre and progressive reddening towards the outer envelope.  This LRGB image of 20:15:15:15 minutes was taken on 27th June, 2011 with the C14 and ST10-XE camera.

NGC 6543 in Draco.  The famous "Cat's Eye" nebula.  The central star is 11th magnitude and the nebula is very small. This image is an LRGB of 10:10:10:10 mins with the C14 and ST10-XME. 

NGC 6726 and 6729 in Corona Australis.  The brighter NGC 6726 and smaller 6729 are lit by stars embedded within them.  This image was taken in 2008.  The bright object in the centre is reflection nebulae NGC 6726 and 6727.  The little reddish chappie up and to the left is the reflection and emission variable nebula NGC 6729.  This is an LRGB of 10 minutes for each component using the C14 and ST10 camera. 

NGC 6742 (Abell 50) in Draco is a small, very blue and round planetary nebula.  This image was taken in Spain on 19th July, 2012 using the C14 and ST10-XME camera.  It is an LRGB of 20 minutes for each component. 

NGC 6765 in Lyra is a faint, small but interesting planetary nebula.  This image, taken on 16th July, 2012 using the C14 and ST10 camera is an LRGB of 25 minutes for each component.  The image shows what appears to be the extensive areas of expelled matter surrounding the object.

NGC 6772 in Aquila.  This interestingly distorted planetary is about 1 arc minute in diameter with a magnitude 18 central star.  This is an LRGB of 50:30:30:30 minutes, imaged on 10th October, 2007 with the C14 and ST10-XME camera.

NGC 6781 in the constellation of Aquila is a faint (magnitude 11.8) planetary nebula.  This image was taken on 20th August, 2017 in Spain.  The nebula is 109 arc seconds in diameter is 2,600 light years distant and is expanding at the rate of 12 Km per second. This is an LRGB of 50:30:30:30 minutes using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.

NGC 6818 in Sagittarius is a planetary nebula also known as the "Little Gem".  It has a bright bluish appearance and is only 17 arc seconds in diameter.  This is an LRGB of 20 minutes for each component. 

NGC 6826 in Cygnus is also known as the "Blinking Planetary" because of the way the central star is visible, but only with averted vision.  It is 25 arc seconds in diameter and is therefore quite a challenge for our equipment, especially to reproduce the inner shells.

Even more interesting is this very faint shell of material surrounding NGC 6826 and only visible when the blue or green images are highly stretched.  This is probably material ejected at an earlier phase of development of the nebula.

NGC 6842 in Vulpecula is a fairly ordinary but very blue planetary nebula, set against a rich starfield.  It is 4,000 LY distant.  This image, taken with C14 and ST10 camera is an LRGB of 25 mins for each component, taken on 17th July, 2012. 

NGC 6888 in Cygnus, also known as the Crescent Nebula.  The nebula surrounds a magnitude 7.4 Wolf-Rayet star and looks like a supernova remnant.  However, this object is actually part of an old planetary nebula, where an aging star has blown off its outer layers.  Only one part of it is left illuminated for us to see.  This image is an L/HA-RGB of 60/30:30:30:30 minutes using the Planewave and QSI 683 camera.

NGC 6894 in Cygnus is a very red planetary with a faint star superimposed on part of the ring.  Visually it is described as "smoky grey" but as you can see in this image it is definitely quite red.

NGC 6905 in Delphinus is known as the "Blue Flash" nebula for obvious reasons.    In this image you can see the bulges, which are presumably FLIERS.

NGC 6960 in Cygnus.  This object is part of a much larger supernova remnant and this is the area in the region of the star 52 Cygnii.  The image is an L/HA/O3, R,G,B of 30/30/30:30:30:30 minutes exposure using the Planewave and QSI 683 camera. 

NGC 7008 in Cygnus. This is a bluish planetary with an irregular halo and two conspicuous nodules.  There are lots of little stars close to the nebula.  This is an LRGB of 40:20:20:20 mins taken on 20th August, 2017 in Spain.

NGC 7009 - The SATURN NEBULA. An image of this most interesting planetary nebula, taken in Spain on 21st August, 2017 using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera. Note the interesting "ears" or lobes, and the ring structure within the nebula. The nebula is a striking blue colour in a telescope.

NGC 7023 - The IRIS Nebula in Cepheus. This reflection nebula surrounding an open cluster has interesting areas of dark dust and the dust extends over a wide area.  This is an LRGB of 60:50:50:50 minutes using the Planewave scope and QSI camera, taken in Spain on 2nd November, 2013.

NGC 7026 in Cygnus is a fascinating object and has been dubbed by some "The Cheeseburger Nebula".  This image shows perhaps how it got its name.

NGC 7027 in Cygnus.  Another fascinating planetary nebula, also sometimes known as the Magic Carpet nebula.   Distance from us is 3,600ly and size is 15 arc seconds.  This is an LRGB of 5 minutes for each component using the C14 at f/7 and ST10-XME camera. 

NGC 7293 - the "Helix" nebula in Aquarius is quite faint but is easily seen in a good pair of binoculars. It is also very large and is only 300 light years distant from us.  This 60:30:30:30 LRGB image was taken in Spain on 14th November, 2007 using the Takahashi FSQ telescope at f/5 and ST8-XE camera.

NGC 7635 in Cassiopeia - also known as the Bubble Nebula.  The bubble has been created by a massive, bright blue star which is emitting a fast stellar wind of ionized gas.  This wind is basically blowing bubbles by pushing surrounding material into a shell, which is then ionized and illuminated by the starlight.  The nebula is 6 light years across and this image is an LRGB of 60:50:50;50 minutes using the Planewave scope and QSI 683 camera.

NGC 7662 in Andromeda, also known as the "Blue Snowball".  This LRGB of 45:25:25:25 minutes was taken with the C14 and ST10-XME camera on 19th October, 2007.  

PK80-6.1 in Cygnus - also known as the "Egg Nebula".  The interesting jets of material at either end of the object can be seen in this image, and if you look closely you can see the shock waves in these jets.  This is an LRGB of 40:25:25:25 minutes, imaged on 21st July, 2012 using the C14 and ST10-XME camera.

PK93-2.1 in Cygnus - also known as Minkowski 1-79 - is an interesting planetary nebula with two distinct lumpy lobes.  This image, taken with the C14 and ST10-XME combination on 18th July, 2012 is an LRGB of 25 minutes for each component.