December 2015

This month most of the observations sent to the Deep Sky Section were from members located in Scotland (as were all of the observations in November 2015 as it happens – an indication of the dearth of clear skies in the rest of the UK this winter so far.)

Steve Norrie, observing from Fife, sent in 6 images, the first two using an EDR 80 refractor, the remainder using an Explore Scientific 127mm f7.5 APO refractor:  the camera employed was an astro modified Canon 600D DSLR.

M81 and M82 are galaxies in the constellation of Ursa Major, NGC 7635 is an emission nebula in Cassiopeia (known as the “bubble” nebula:  note open cluster M52 is in this wide angle image), M33 is the Pinwheel galaxy in Triangulum and M74 is a spiral galaxy in Pisces.

M82, also known as the cigar galaxy, is experiencing starburst activity most likely due to its interaction with M81 (Bode’s galaxy).

M81, M82
NGC 7635


Steve’s final two images are M81 in Ursa Major, and another image of NGC 7635, the Bubble emission nebula in Cassiopeia.

NGC 7635

Mark Beveridge, observing from Aberdeen, sent in 12 images, all taken with a 140mm f 14.3 OMC Maksutov – Cassegrain telescope and SXR – H14 mono camera plus RGB filters.

The first four are M38, an open cluster in the constellation of Auriga, M36 another open cluster also in Auriga,  NGC 2276 and 2300 galaxies in Cepheus; the former (up and right of centre) an interesting object that has recently been found to have an intermediate black hole in one of its spiral arms , and NGC 2768, an elliptical galxy in Ursa Major, which is a Seyfert galaxy containing an active supermassive black hole.

NGC 2276, NGC 2300
NGC 2768


Mark’s next four images are NGC 6995, part of the Eastern Veil nebula in the constellation of Cygnus, IC 5070 the Pelican nebula, also in Cygnus, M33 galaxy in Triangulum and NGC 7331 spiral galaxy in Pegasus.

NGC 6995
IC 5070
NGC 7331


Mark’s final four images are NGC 48, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda, NGC 185, a dwarf spheroidal galaxy in Cassiopeia, NGC 7640, another barred spiral galaxy in Andromeda, and NGC 281, the Pacman emmision nebula in Cassiopeia.

NGC 48

NGC 48 is just to the right of centre in the image. There are several other faint galaxies seen here too;  above NGC 48 is IC 1535 and to the right lenticular galaxy NGC 49 and spiral galaxy NGC 51.


NGC 185
NGC 7640
NGC 281


Alan Clitherow, SPA Planetary Section Director and also observing from Fife, sent in three images.  The first was taken with a Williams Optics 66mm refractor working at about f5, the remainder with a MN190P f5.3 Maksutov-Newtonian telescope, all using a QHY10 colour camera.

IC 1396 is the Elephant’s trunk emission nebula in the constellation of Cepheus, M33 is the Pinwheel galaxy in Triangulum and NGC 6888, the “crescent” emission nebula in Cygnus, energised by energetic Wolf Reyet star WR 136.  IC 1396 is a site of new star formation, possibly some are as young as 100,000 years.

IC 1396
NGC 6888


Ian Papworth sent in a comprehensive study of M1, the Crab supernova remnant in Taurus.

As well as a black and white luminance image he made 4 further images:  M1 negative, using an OIII filter, using a  H alpha filter, and finally, bottom left, an image combining the data from the two filtered images.

Ian used a Celestron Nexstar 6SE f6.3 SCT and a ZWO ASI MM camera.

M1 (mono)
M1 (H alpha)



M1 (H alpha plus OIII)

Dave Finnigan