NEBULAE
(CLICK ON THUMBNAIL IMAGE FOR FULL-SIZE VIEW)
M-20 (NGC-6514): A bright combination emission/reflection nebula located in the constel-
lation of Sagittarius. Its common name is the Trifid Nebula, so called because of the three
dark lanes that radiate out from the triple star at the center of the emission nebula. M-20
has a visual size in small telescopes of approximately 20 minutes of arc. It lies at a distance
of about 5,000 light years from earth.
NOTE: This image was captured on the evening of
July 14, 2012 and is an integration of fifteen 190 second exposures through the C-11 at
f/2 using the HyperStar 3 Imaging system and the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C 6 maga
pixel 1-shot color CCD camera. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post-proc-
essed using Photoshop CS, levels & curves, Carboni's Astro-tools, Gradient Exterminator
and NoiseWare.
M-27 (NGC-6853): A bright planetary nebula located about 25 minutes of arc south of the star 14
Vulpeculae. M-27 was discovered by Messier in 1764. Its common name, "Dumbbell Nebula" derives from
its visual appearance of two rounded ends joined by a narrow waist. In photographs, the ends display arcs
of nebulosity which almost meet on long exposures. M-27 lies at a distance o fapproximately 900 light
years from earth. Its visual size of 8 X 5 minutes of arc corresponds to an actual diameter of 2 light years.
It is an immense shell of gas being expelled by a dying star, which is now the white dwarf which is visible at
the centerof the object.
NOTE: This image was captured on 7/31/2013, and is an integration of ten 4-minute exposures through
the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using the HyperStar 3 Imaging System, and the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C
CCD imager. Captured & combined using Maxim DL Pro v. 5.2. Post-processed using Photoshop CS,
levels, curves, color saturation, Gradient X-terminator and Carboni's Astro Tools.
M-8 (NGC-6523): One of the finest diffuse nebulae in the sky, second only to The Great
Orion Nebula, M-42. It is easily visible to the unaided eye as a nebulous patch about 5 degrees
west and slightly north of Lambda Sagittarii. The total extent of M-8 is over 1/2 degree. Best
visual views are obtained using either a UHC or an O-III filter. It is called the "Lagoon" nebula,
due to the large dark "bay" between the brightest part of the nebula to the right and the star
cluster NGC-6530 to the left. M-8 lies at a distance of approximately 5,000 light years from
earth. The small globular cluster NGC-6544 appears at the lower left corner of the image.
NOTE: This image captured on 8/6/2013, using the new Starlight Express SXVR-H694C
1-shot color CCD camera. The image is an integration of eight 360 second exposures and was
captured and processed in Maxim DL 5 Pro, using Digital Development. Post processing was in
Photoshop CS using Levels & Curves. Filtered and converted to JPEG format using NoiseWare.
M-17 (NGC-6618): Located near the northern border of the constellation Sagittarius. The nebula
resembles an upside-down swan. The bright streak to the north is approximately 20 minutes of arc in
length. The curving "swan's neck" is actually a cloud of glowing hydrogen gas which is partially
obscured by a dark cloud, which forms the hollow of the neck. This nebula is approximately 5,700 light
years distant.
NOTE: This image was captured on the evening of July 14, 2012, and is an integration
of ten 90-second exposures taken through the Celestron 11 at f/2 using the HyperStar 3 Imaging
System and the Starlight Express SXVR-H649C six megapixel 1-shot color CCD camera. Captured and
combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post-processed using Photoshop CS, levels & curves, Carboni's
Astro-Tools and Gradient Exterminator. Filtered and converted to JPEG format using NoiseWare.
NGC-7293: Commonly called the "Helix Nebula", this is the largest and closest of all the
planetary nebulae. It is located in the constellation of Aquarius. It has a diameter of over 12 X 16
minutes of arc, making it almost half the size of the full moon. At its distance of over 700 light
years, this corresponds to an actual diameter of almost 1.75 light years.
NOTE: This image was
captured on October 1, 2013 and is an integration of ten 6-minute exposures through the
11-inch Celestron at f/2 using the HyperStar 3 imaging system and the Starlight Express
SXVR-H649C 1-shot color CCD camera. Images were captured and combined using Maxim DL 5
Pro. Post-processing done with Photoshop CS, levels, curves & Gradient X-terminator.
NGC-6960: Commonly called the western arc of the Veil Nebula. This diffuse nebula is located in the
eastern part of the constellation of Cygnus the swan. It is a supernova remnant, the remains of the
titanic explosion of a star which took place over 45,000 years ago. It and the eastern arc (NGC-6992)
are still expanding from this explosion, forming an immense bubble of gas that is still expanding at a
rate of almost 45 miles per second. The bright star in the lower left corner is 52 Cygni. The faint
filamentary structure in the photo can even be observed visually, using an Oxygen-III filter.
NOTE: This image was captured on July 29, 2014 and is an integration of ten 360-second
exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using the HyperStar 3 imaging system and the
Starlight Express SXVR-H694C 1-shot color CCD camera. Captured and combined using Maxim
DL 5 Pro. Post-processed in Photoshop CS, levels & curves, Astro-tools & Gradient XTerminator..
NGC-6992: Commonly called the eastern arc of the Veil Nebula. This eastern arc lies about 2.5
degrees to the ENE of NGC-6960, and is the other arc of the huge bubble of gas that is still
expanding from the supernova which took place over 45,000 years ago! These two arcs lie at a
distance of approximately 1500 light years from earth.
NOTE: This image was captured on July 29,  2014, and is an integration of ten 360-second
exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using the HyperStar 3 imaging system and the
Starlight Express SXVR-H694C 1-shot color CCD camera. Captured and combined using Maxim
DL 5 Pro. Post-processed using Photoshop CS, Gradient X-terminator and Astro-Tools..
M-1 (NGC-1952): A supernova remnant located in the constellation of Taurus, the bull, about 67
minutes of arc northwest of Zeta Tauri (the star which marks the southern tip of the bull's horn).
Discovered by John Bevis in 1731. This expanding cloud of gas is the remnant of a supernova
explosion in the year 1054 A.D., which was well-documented by chinese astronomers.
NOTE: This
image was captured on the evening of December 27, 2013, and is an integration of eight 360
second images through the 11" Celestron at f/2 using HyperStar and the Starlight Express SXVR
H-694C Color CCD Imager. Captured & combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post processed using
Photoshop CS levels, curves, color saturation, and Gradient X-terminator.
M-42 (NGC-1976): The "Great Nebula" in the Constellation of Orion. This immense cloud of gas
and dust lies at a distance of 1900 light years from earth, and is more than 30 light years across.
The gas in the nebula glows because of the intense ultraviolet radiation coming from the star Theta
Orionis, which lies at its center. The Orion Nebula is a stellar nursery, with many regions of intense
star formation. Visually, M-42 is the finest diffuse nebula in the northern hemisphere. Also visible in
this image, at the upper left, is the famous "Running Man" reflection nebula. This image is a
composite of five "layers" of exposures: 1 layer of thirty 2-second exposures, 1 layer of sixty 5
second exposures, 1 layer of thirty 20-second exposures, 1 layer of twenty 60-second exposures,
and 1 layer of twenty 120-second exposures. These layers were used in order to capture the faint
outer wisps of nebulosity without "burning out" the brighter inner portion centered around Theta
Orionis.
NOTE: This image captured on November 8, 2015 through the C-11 at f/2 using HyperStar
and the SXVR-H694C imager. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim DL Pro v. 5.2. Post
processed using Photoshope CS2.
NGC-2359: A faint reflection nebula in Canis Major about 8 degrees NE of Sirius. It is
sometimes referred to as "Thor's Helmet". It is illuminated by a bright, energetic Wolf-Rayet
type star near its center. Visually through most amateur telescopes, this nebula is very faint,
and requires Narrow-Band (UHC or O-III) filters to enhance contrast. Photographically, it is
much more impressive. Its common name "Thor's Helmet" derives from the two faint arcs that
extend from each edge of the central nebula...appearing like the horns on a Viking helmet.
There are also numerous other faint loops and extensions of nebulosity, which can be seen in
this image.
NOTE: This image, captured on 3/1/2017, is an integration of twenty 6-minute subs, for a total
exposure time of two hours through the C-11 at f/2, using HyperStar and the SXVR-H694C one
shot color imager. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim DL5 Pro. Post-processed in
Photoshop CS, levels, curves, color balance, and Gradient X-Terminator and StarShrink.
NGC-1977, The "Running Man" Nebula. Located just 1/2 degree NNE of the Great Nebula in the
"sword" of Orion, and is centered on the 4th magnitude star 42 Orionis. Although it shows little detail
visually through the average sized telescope, photographically it shows a dark shadow of obscuring
dust which resembles a running human figure. This is a reflection nebula, which is illuminated by the
intensely hot 42 Orionis. Visually it is approximately 25 arcminutes in extent.This nebula lies about
1600 light years from earth.
NOTE: This image captured 11/8/15 through the C-11 at f/2 using HyperStar. Guided, captured and
combined using Maxim DL Pro v. 5.2. Post-processed in PhotoShop CS2 using Levels and Curves.
NGC-7000, The "North American" Nebula. This vast cloud of gas and dust is approximately
1600 light years from earth, and is located 3 degrees east of 1st magnitude Deneb (Alpha Cygni).
NOTE: This image was captured on the evening of October 15, 2012 and is an integration of fifteen
120 second exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using HyperStar and the Starlight Express
SXVR-H694C 6 megapixel 1-shot color CCD camera. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro.
Post-processed using Photoshop CS levels, curves, color channels & color balance and Carboni's
Astro-Tools. Noise filtered and converted to JPEG format using NoiseWare. This image contains the
"southern US, Mexico and Gulf of Mexico" area of the nebula.
M-16 (NGC-66ll). Located 3 degrees north of M-17 near the intersection of the
Serpens-Sagittarius-Scutum borders. This is a large scattered star cluster immersed in a vast
diffuse nebula. It is commonly called the "Eagle Nebula". It is over 25 arc-minutes in extent,
almost the size of the full moon, and lies at a distance of 8000 light years from earth. This
photo clearly shows the dark dust clouds at the center of the nebula that were made famous
in the Hubble Space Telescope image called THE PILLARS OF CREATION. The small star
cluster at the lower LH corner of the frame is Trumpler 32.  
NOTE: This image was captured
on the evening of August 17, 2012 and is an integration of twenty 2-minute exposures
through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using the HyperStar 3 imaging system and Starlight
Express SXVR-H694C camera. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro.
Post-processed using Photoshop CS, Astronomy Tools, Gradient X-terminator and
NoiseWare.
NGC-7635, The "Bubble" Nebula in Cassiopiea. Located approximately 1/2 degree southwest of
the bright open cluster
M-52 (upper right) its classification is not certain, but the central "bubble" like
structure, which is about 6 light years across, is formed by the solar winds from an intensely hot
Wolf-Rayet type star. Visually this nebulosity is VERY faint, with only the brighter portion of the
"bubble" next to the accompanying star being visible in most moderate sized telescopes.
NOTE: This image was captured on the evening of July 29, 2014 and is a series of ten 6-minute
exposures through the C-11 at f/2 using HyperStar and the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C 1-shot
color CCD cameraa. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro.   Post-processed in Photoshop
CS using levels & curves, Astro-tools and Gradient Exterminator.
M-78 (NGC-2068) A bright diffuse nebula located about 2.3 degrees NE of Zeta Orionis, the
easternmost of the three "belt" stars in Orion. It is part of the Orion
Molecular Cloud Complex and lies approximately 1600 light years from Earth.  Also shown in
this image are three detached portions of the nebula, NGC-2067 to the right (NW), NGC-2064
to the upper left (SW), and NGC-2071 to the NE (lower right).
NOTE: This image was captured on the evening of December 17, 2012 and is an
integration of four 10-minute sub-exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2
using HyperStar. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro, with post processing in
Photoshop CS, levels, curves, and color balance. Noise filtered and converted to
JPEG format using NoiseWare.
NGC-281: Nicknamed the "Pac Man" nebula due to its shape. It is a hydrogen emission nebula in the
constellation of Cassiopiea and is about 9500 light years from earth. It is centered on the multiple star
HD-5005, located just above the "mouth" of the Pac Man. Visually it is very very faint and diffuse and
requires a perfect night and a moderate sized scope to detect.
NOTE: This image was captured on September 18, 2012 and is an integration of eight 6-minute
exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using HyperStar and the SXVR-H594C color CCD
imager. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post-processed in Photoshop CS, levels,
curves, Astro-tools and Gradient X-terminator. Noise filtered and converted to JPEG using NoiseWare.
NGC-6888: Commonly called the "Crescent" nebula. Located in the constellation of Cygnus.
It lies at a distance of 5000 light years from Earth. It is about 25 light years across, and is
formed by the solar wind from its central star colliding with material which was ejected from that
star when it became a red giant about 400,000 years ago.
NOTE: This image was captured on August 17, 2012 and is an integration of fifteen 2-minute
exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using HyperStar and the SXVR-H694C color
CCD imager. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post-processed using Photoshop
CS, levels, curves, Astro-tools, and Gradient X-terminator. Noise filtered and converted to
JPEG format using NoiseWare.
The Horse Head Nebula (Barnard 33): A dark nebula, caused by a dense dust cloud which obscures
the light from the emission nebula IC-434 in the background. This dark nebula is located just a short
distance south of the brilliant star Alnitak (Zeta Orionis) which appears in the lower left-hand corner of
this image. This dark dust cloud lies approximately 1500 light years from Earth. The large area of
nebulosity just below Alnitak is NGC-2024, which is known as the Flame Nebula.
NOTE: This image was obtained on the evening of February 11th, 2013, and is an integration
of six 10-minute exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2, using the HyperStar 3 imaging
system and the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C 1-shot color CCD imager.
The images were captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post processing was done
using Photoshop CS, levels, curves, color balance & saturation and layer mask gradient
removal.
M-76 (NGC-650/651): A small planetary  nebula located in the Constellation Perseus. M-76
is sometimes called "The Little Dumbbell" nebula, as it resembles a miniature version of the
larger nebula M-27 in Vulpecula.  M-76 was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1780 and included
in Messier's catalog as number 76. This planetary nebula lies approximately 2500
light years from Earth. It has a brightness of 10th magnitude, and is visually about 2.7 X 1.8
arcminutes in size, which corresponds to an actual size of 1.5 light years in diameter.
NOTE: This image captured on 9/17/15, and is an integration of sixteen 6-minute exposures
through the C-11 at f/2 using the HyperStar imaging system and the Starlight Express SXVR-
H694C 1-shot color CCD imager. Guided,captured and combined using Maxim DL 5. Post
processed using Photoshop CS, levels, curves, color balance, Astro-Tools and Gradient
X-terminator.
PK 164 + 31.1: Also known as Jones-Emberson 1, a large, dim planetary nebula in Lynx. It lies
approximately 1600 light years from Earth. Although listed as a 13th magnitude object, visually it
has very low surface brightness due to its large size of over 7 arcminutes, and is just visible in a
14.5-inch telescope. The 16.8 mag. central star shows well in this image.
NOTE: This image was acquired on 4/4/2013, and in an integration of sixteen 180-second
exposures through the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using HyperStar and the SXVR-H694C 1-shot
color imager. Captured and combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post-processed using Photoshop
CS, levels, curves, Gradient X-Terminator and Astro-Tools. Noise filtered and converted to
JPEG format using NoiseWare.
NGC-6781: A planetary nebula in the constellation of Aquila, the Eagle. It is medium-sized, measuring
approximately 190" X 162". It is about twice the size of the famous "Ring" Nebula in Lyra, but is not
as bright.  
NOTE: This image acquired on 8/30/13, and is an integration of fifteen 2-minute exposures through
the 11-inch Celestron at f/2 using HyperStar and the SXVR-H694C color imager. Captured and
combined using Maxim DL Pro v. 5.2. Post-processed in PhotoshopCS, levels, curves, Gradient
X-terminator and Astro-Tools.
THE ROSETTE NEBULA (NGC-2244). This is an open cluster imbedded in a huge cloud of ionized
hydroden (H2) gas, and is located in the constellation Monoceros. It lies about 5200 light years from
earth and measures approximately 130 light years in diameter.
NOTE: This image captured on the morning of December 28, 2013, and is an integration of five 300
second exposures through the C-11 at f/2 using HyperStar and the SXVR-H694C camera. Captured &
combined using Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post-processed in Photoshop CS, levels, curves, color saturation &
Gradient X-Terminator.
M-97 (NGC-3587)The Owl Nebula (lower left): Located just 2.4 degrees SE of Beta
Ursae Majoris, Merak, this large & bright planetary nebula makes a photogenic pair with
galaxy M-108 (NGC-3556) in the upper right hand corner of the frame. M-97 has often
been called The Owl Nebula because of the two dark circular cavities in its otherwise
evenly illuminated disc. Visually this round nebula is about 2.4 arcminutes in diameter,
which, at its calculated distance of 2000 light years, gives it an actual diameter of about
2.5 light years.
NOTE: This image captured on the evening of April 4, 2014 and is an integration of five
300 second exposures through the Celestron C-11 at f/2 using HyperStar and the
Starlight Express SXVR-H694C one shot color imager. Captured and combined using
Maxim DL 5 Pro. Post-processed in Photoshop CS using levels, curves, color balance,
and Gradient X-Terminator.
M-57 (NGC-6720): Commonly called the "Ring" nebula. This is the brightest and most well-known
of this type of object.  It is located in the constellation of Lyra, the Lyre, just north of a point midway
between Beta and Gamma Lyrae. It is a shell of luminous gas being expelled by the dying central
star, which can be seen in this image. This type of nebula is commonly called a Planetary
Nebula because of the description given by the Ring's discoverer, de Pellepoix in 1779: "as large
as Jupiter, and resembles a planet which is fading."  M-57 lies approximately 2300 light years from
Earth and is approximately 1 light year in diameter.  Notice the small face-on spiral galaxy IC-1296,
below and to the right of the nebula.
NOTE: This image captured on the evening of July 29, 2014. 36 minutes of total exposure time,
eight 4-minute subs. Captured and combined in Maxim DL Pro v. 5.2.  Post processed using
Photoshop CS, levels, curves, Gradient XTerminator.
IC-5146: Commonly called the "Cocoon Nebula", this a a combination emission & reflection
nebula located in northern Cygnus not far from the star cluster M-39. It is approximately 12
arcminutes in diameter, which at its calculated distance of 3300 light years corresponds to an
actual diameter of 15 light years. The dark nebula, Barnard 168, can be seen trailing off to the
left hand corner of this image.
NOTE: This image acquired on 8/31/2014, and is an integration of fifteen 6-minute subs for a
total of 1-1/2 hours of exposure time. Captured and combined using Maxim DL Pro v 5.2.
Post processed using Photoshop CS, levels, curves, color balance, and Gradient XTerminator.
NGC-7023 (The IRIS Nebula): This is a bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Cepheus.
The NGC designation actually refers to an open star cluster which is located within the nebula, LBN
487. The nebula is illuminated by the 7th magnitude star SAO-19158. In this image, a number of
fainter stars in the cluster can be seen surrounding this star. This nebula lies approximately 1300
light years from Earth and is about 6 light years in diameter. Also visible in the image are dark areas
and dusky areas caused by the large amount of interstellar dust surrounding the nebula.
NOTE: This image was acquired on the evening of September 11th, 2015, and is an integration of
fifteen 300 second sub-exposures for a total exposure time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. Taken
through the C-11 at f/2 using HyperStar and the SXVR-H694C color imager. Guided, captured and
combined using Maxim DL Pro V5.2. Post-processed using PhotoShop CS2, levels, curves, and
Gradient X-Terminator.
Sharpless 2-308: Located in the constellation of Canis Major (The Big Dog), this cosmic bubble of expanding
gas covers an area the size of the full moon. It its estimated distance of 5200 light years from earth, this
corresonds to a actual diameter of  60 light years. This bubble of gas is expanding from a massive Wolf-Rayet
type star EZ Canis Majoris (center of frame), and is expanding at a rate of 60 kilometers per second!
NOTE: This image is a 1 hour exposure (ten 6-minute subs) through the C-11 at f/2 using HyperStar and the
SXVR-H694C color CCD imager. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim DL Pro v. 5.2.  Post processed
using PhotoShop CS2.
NGC-2392: Commonly called the "Eskimo Nebula" because of its likeness to an eskimo wearing
a fur hood, a feature seen on long-exposure images. This is a small, bright planetary nebula in
the constellation of Gemini, The Twins. It was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1787. It lies
about 2800 light years from Earth and shines at 10th magnitude, making it a nice sight in
Amateur telescopes.
NOTE: This image is an integration of twelve 2 minute exposures through the Celestron 11 at
f/2, using the HyperStar system and the SXVR-H694C CCD imager. Guided, captured and
combined using Maxim DL Pro v. 5.2. Post-processed in PhotoShop CS2, levels, curves, and
Gradient XTerminator.