Bubble Nebula NGC 7635 & Open Star Cluster M52

The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635 & Open Star Cluster M52
The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635 & Open Star Cluster M52
 The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635, Open Star Cluster M52 and NGC 7538 . Taken with 80mm telescope
The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635, Open Star Cluster M52 and NGC 7538
Telescope / LensTMB 80mm Refractor fl/384mm
Mount TypeAstro-Physics 1200
CameraSBIG ST10xme cfw9
 FiltersHa, LRGB Astrodon
 FilmCCD
 Exposure190 minutes Ha,LRGB
 ProcessingCCDStack, Photoshop CS2 & Picture Wind Pro
 DateImages taken 09/05/2008
 Location June Mountain 122° 43.528′ W, 43° 48.407′ N
22 miles S of Dexter, Oregon
Conditions3232′ clear calm skies magnitude 6

The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635 is also known as Caldwell 11. This is an emission nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. The Bubble nebula was created from a massive young central star, because it is very hot, it has created a stellar wind. As a result, this stellar wind has formed a “Bubble.  Surrounding the nebula is a massive molecular cloud with dark clumps that consequently form new stars as the material condenses. The Bubble nebula NGC 7635, has a diameter of 7-9 light years and lies approximately 8,000 light years from earth.

M52 is located just above and to the left.  Open Star Cluster M52 (NGC 7654) is located in the Northern portion of the constellation Cassiopeia.  It is 19 light years in diameter, at a distance of  5,000 light years from earth

NGC 7538 is another nebula to the right of the Bubble nebula.  NGC 7538 is 9,100 light years away and reside in the Constellation Cepheus.  The largest protostar discovered so far is forming here. This protostar is 300 times the size of our solar system.  This nebula is also a very active star forming region.

A narrow band Ha filter was used to help capture the nebulosity made up of primarily Hydrogen.  LRGB filters were also used in a SBIG ST10XME CCD through a TMB 80mm f/6 refractor & TeleVue 0.08 field flattner/reducer.

M 42 Great Orion Nebula

Great Orion Nebula M42 & NGC 1973, NGC 1975 & NGC 1977

Great Orion Nebula 1344 Light Years

M 42 Great Orion Nebula, Pictured above. Next to it is M43 (NGC 1982) along with the blue nebula called “The Running man” NGC 1977. The start cluster NGC 1981 is superimposed over the blue nebula. The pinkish nebula composes of M42 & M43 at magnitude 4, and is visible a a one degree fuzzy patch to the naked eye. These nebulae reside in the sword of Orion below the left bright belt star Alnitak. This region of nebulae is approximately 1344 light years from earth and 12 light years in diameter. 60 x 60 arc-minutes .

M42 Orion Nebula & Running Man Nebula NGC 1973
Zoom in View of Trapezium, 4 central stars formed in the nebula, they are 15-30 solar mass each.

Telescope / LensTEC 140 f/7 5.5″ Refractor 980mm focal length
Mount AstroPhysics 1200
CameraCanon EOS 20d DSLR
 FiltersNone
 FilmDLSR
 Exposure88 minutes; 5min exposures @ ISO 400, 800, 1600 & 1 minute @ ISO 100
 ProcessingDeep SkyStacker, CCDStack, Photoshop CS2 & Picture Wind Pro
 DateImages taken 09/12/2007
 Location June Mountain 122° 43.528′ W, 43° 48.407′ N
22 miles S of Dexter, Oregon
Conditions3232′ clear calm skies magnitude 6


The Orion nebula M42 is even visible in light polluted skies with the naked eye. Dark sky locations show a glowing gaseous area the middle star of the “sword” of Orion. These stars are located south of Orion’s belt. Wide Field eyepieces in a 10-14″ scope really brings out the detail.

Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611

Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611 20070620
Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611 20070620 also known as the Star Queen Nebula and The Spire

Telescope / Lens TEC 140mm APO F/7 Refractor
Mount Type Astro-Physics AP1200
Camera SBIG ST8XME NABG
 Filters Astrodon LRGB+HA Generation 1
 Film  CCD
 Exposure Total exposure time 115 minutes
 Processing CCDSoft & Photoshop CS2
 Date  June 20, 2007
 Location  June Mountain, near Dexter, Oregon 122° 43.53 W 43° 48.41′ N
 Conditions 3252′ magnitude 6.2+ Skies; Clear & Steady

The Eagle Nebula, M16 is an 8th magnitude Open Cluster in the constellation of Serpens next to Ophiuchus with this cluster lying near Sagittarius. Through a telescope the cluster of stars is visible but little or no nebulosity can be seen. This is because ours eyes are not sensitive enough to see the nebulosity. Therefore long images on film or CCD are needed to show the nebulosity. The three central pillars were imaged by The Hubble Space Telescope and are referred to as the” Pillars of Creation. Most importantly, you can see small stars that are emerging from these dust clouds. 55 stars make up this Open Stars Cluster lying 7,000 lights years from Earth.  

Below is a cropped view that clearly resemble the famous “Pillars of Creation” taken by the Bubble Space Telescope in 1995 by   Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen.  Remember this image was taken trough a modest TEC 140mm Refractor telescope here on earth, near Dexter, Oregon.

Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611, Crop image highligthening the Pillars of Creation"
Eagle Nebula M16 NGC 6611_ Crop. “Pillars of Creation” from an amateur’s 5.5″ refractor.

Sad Note:

Evidence from the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) indicates that the “Pillars of Creation” have already been destroyed.  A Super Nova explosion’s shock wave has destroyed these structures.  Therefore the image we see no longer exists. Since we are thousands of light years away it will be a millennia before we see the damage caused by the shock waves. The light from this super nova would have been visible on Earth some 1000-2000 years ago.

Trifid Nebula M20 NGC 6514

Trifid Nebula M20 NGC 6514
Trifid Nebula M20 NGC 6514

Telescope / Lens TEC 140mm  f/7
Mount Type Astrophysics 1200
Camera SBIG ST10XME NAGB
 Filters Astrodon LRGB e-series filters (generation 1)
 Film  CCD
 Exposure 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) LRGB (L=75 m (15×5) RGB=25 each, 5 min. subs
 Processing CCDSoft, CCDStack, AIP, Photoshop CS2
 Date  07/19/2009
 Location Snow Peak, S/E of Cottage Grove, Oregon 122° 52′ 35″ W, 43° 31′ 21″N
 Conditions 4658′ elevation, magnitude 6.5+ Skies; Clear ;

M 20 (NGC 6514) Trifid Nebula
The Trifid Nebula (Messier 20 or M20 & NGC 6514) reside within the constellation of Sagittarius. The name Trifid refers to the three lobe appearance of the red emission portion of the Nebula. Recent images show a blue reflection nebulosity and an open star cluster. The dark dust lanes, dark nebula, is designated Barnard’s 85.  This object shows up well in amateur telescopes reviling lots of detail and visible to the naked eye (magnitude 6.3) at dark sky locations. The actual distance is estimated at 5200 light years.  Some stars associated with M20 are 2700 to 5700 light years distant.

M20 itself is approximately 21 light years in diameter, roughly 15,000’xs larger than our solar system. Recent images that go deeper reveal a blue glow around the main red emission portion of the Trifid indicating that some of the reflected nebulosity runs behind and around the red portion. Earlier shots I’ve taken did not reveal this, but CCD images of a couple hours or more reveal this phenomenon. NASA’s Spitzer Space telescope discovered 30 embryonic & 120 newborn stars within the Trifid in 2005.

The image of the Trifid nebula was dominant on the view scenes of the Enterprise, Original Star Trek series.

Star Forming Area

M20 Cropped
M20 Cropped TEC 140 mm f/7 & ST10xme CCD

Horsehead Nebula & Flame Nebula

Horsehead Nebula
Horsehead Nebula and IC 454 along with NGC 2023 and the Flame nebula NGC 2024

Telescope / Lens Orion ED80 Tele-Vue TRV-2008, .8 Reducer f/6 480mm
Mount Type G11 Gemini GoTo V3
Camera ST8XME NABG
 Filters LRGB Custom Scientific
 Film  CCD (Kodak)
 Exposure 120 minutes LRGB
 Processing CCDSoft, AIP4Win, Photoshop CS2
 Date  9-30-2006
 Location Eagles Rest, 15 miles South of Dexter, Oregon
122° 44′ 07″ 38″ W – 43° 50′ N
 Conditions 2500′ magnitude 6+ Skies; Clear & Steady

The bright star is the left star in Orion’s belt, Alnitak, Magnitude 1.74 and 817.44 light years away.  Just below Alnitak (ζ Ori) is the Flame Nebula HV 28 (NGC 2024) and to the right is the famous Horsehead nebula. The top bright star Alnilam, is the central belt star of the constellation Orion.The dark dust blocks out light and the resulting silhouette resembles a Horsehead. This nebula is not visible to the naked eye and it takes special filters and a large telescope to discern the Horsehead shape. This nebula was first detected on photographic plates by E. Pickering in 1889. The Horsehead is approximately 1 light year across at a distance of 1200 light years from Earth.

While the Flame Nebula NGC 2024 is 1,500 light years distant.  This nebula is very energetic in ultraviolet light. It knocks away electrons from the great clouds hydrogen gas in the surrounding area

This image was taken through and Orion ED 80mm refractor. This is an inexpensive doublet near APO.  One of the true values available to amateur astronomers today.