August 2018

August sees the return of longer, dark nights;  especially to the UK’s northern latitudes.  The section’s activity tends to increases from now on.

David Davies imaged globular cluster M71, which may be found in the constellation of Sagitta;  a small constellation between Cygnus and Aquila.  M71 lacks a dense core and was long thought to be an open cluster.  It is about 12,000 light years from the Earth, and is around 27 light years across.  David used an 8″ Richey Chretien telescope at f8.2 and a QSI 583 mono camera plus red, green, and blue filters.


Mark Beveridge employed a Celestron 200mm Edge f10.4 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and SXR – H814 mono camera plus red, green and blue filters to take four images of deep sky objects.

NGC 6818 is the Little Gem planetary nebula in the constellation of Sagittarius.  It is about 6000 light years from Earth and around a half light – year in diameter.

NGC 6818

Mark also imaged M33, the Pinwheel spiral galaxy in Triangulum and NGC 7331, a spiral galaxy in Pegasus.  The latter is around 40 million light years from the Earth;  the other four galaxies in the image are much further away.

NGC 7331

Mark’s fourth image is of NGC 7380, the Wizard open cluster with nebulosity in the constellation of Cepheus, which lies about 7,200 light years from the Earth and spans around 100 light years.

NGC 7380

Steve Norrie also sent in four images, all of emission nebulae.  The first two, both in the constellation of Cygnus and adjacent in the sky, are IC 5070, the Pelican nebula, and NGC 7000 the North America nebula.

IC 5070
NGC 7000

This image of NGC 7000 shows the southern part of the nebula in particular, known as the great Wall or Cygnus Wall, which is a concentrated region of new star formation.

Steve’s next two images are IC 1396, the Elephant’s Trunk nebula in Cepheus and NGC 281, the Pacman nebula in Cassiopeia.

IC 1396
NGC 281

Steve used an ES 127mm APO refractor and StarlightXpress Trius 694 mono camera plus narrow band filters for all four images.

Dave Finnigan