Observations of Deep-Sky Objects
These are the observations made by amateur astronomers from around the globe. I'm keen to present the work of an observer (members or not) to further the aims of the Webb Deep-Sky Society. Images, sketches or even your observing notes are of interest.
If you have any observations of your own that you'd like to submit I'd be delighted to hear from you. Please try to include as much detail about the object (after all that's why we observe them) as possible. Time, date, location and observing conditions are useful.
We have observations of these Objects
Which fall into these classes
And these Constellations
Or if you'd just like to browse through our most recent observations
NGC457 in Cassiopeia
NGC 457 is the brightest open cluster in Cassiopeia and one of the finest objects of its type in the northern sky.
At magnitude +6.4, it's just beyond naked-eye visibility but I viewed it visually last weekend through my 107mm APO and I was struck by its beauty. The eyes of the Owl - or ET- are formed by the bright double star Psi Cassiopeia and are not part of the cluster itself, but are older foreground stars and are yellow-white in colour. The 10th-12th magnitude stars of the cluster, proper, are blue-white and arranged in prominent lines and curves lines and resemble the body and wings of an Owl, hence the popular name "the Owl Cluster".
I really enjoyed the view through the telescope and appreciated the tiny, bright points of light making up the body and wings of the Owl. The experience confirmed to me that an image is only a representation of the visual view; you might make a visual observer of me yet.
I have also enjoyed inspecting this image of NGC 457, especially the contrast between the blue-white and yellow-white stars in the cluster.
Under the left wing of the Owl is the striking magnitude 8.7 red star, HD 236697, with colour index 2.1. Under the right wing, we find another, fainter deep red star.
The lower part of the image is sprinkled with very faint galaxies, which are reddened in colour by the intervening dust of our Milky Way galaxy.
This RGB image was captured on 26, 27 and 28 November with 20 x two-minute subs per colour. It is presented North down to give an upright Owl.
I've also attached an inverted greyscale image of the region in the lower part of the image for galaxy hunters.
- Telescope: 8" Ritchey-Chretien with an Astrophysics CCDT67 reducer.
- Camera: QSI 583 plus Astrodon filters
The main image is 30 minutes each of RGB in two-minute subs.
David Davies - (13 December 2017).
STF 163 in Cassiopeia
Roberto Chiericoni (13 November 2017)
A Month of Arps in Pegasus
I got out in the observatory last night and made a sketch. I had not researched a target, just went for Pegasus galaxies. I sketched NGC 7549 which is a 13th magnitude stunner.
Researching it this morning I see it forms part of Arp 99 and Hickson 93 so I had observed and sketched it before! Although not as a standalone object. Should research before observing!!
Still avery nice object and I pulled out some good detail.
Continuing with my renewed vigour I grabbed a small break in cloud last night to grab an observation and sketch.
NGC 7448 isn't the most exciting galaxy so I won't post this on social media, but as I'm working through the Arp's I can't just pick the cherries 😉
Located in Pegasus, very close to alpha Pegasi. Quite bright magnitude 11.6, elongate N-S. Described as a spiral with detached segments. I noted a bright nucleus, and a brighter region on the northern tip, down in my drawing. I saw the galaxy as having a slightly curved nature.
I got out again and I was straight onto a rather attractive Arp, 65, a pair of NGC galaxies, just to the mid left of the square of Pegasus.
NGC 90 is the attractive central spiral in my sketch (magnitude 13.6) with NGC 93 to the left (magnitude 13.3).
Tiny companion galaxies lie off projected ends of both spiral arms. I got some of the companions, but not all of them I'm sure, a good observation though and another Arp tick for me 😃
Dale Holt - (28 October 2017).
Keep up to date with Dale's observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading his Blog.
STF 2840 in Cepheus
September 11th saw a clear spell following the band of rain. The air was crystal clear (NELM 5.5) after the rain so I needed no encouragement to set up the gear.
STF 2840 was last observed in 2016 and I recorded that I thought component A might have a hint of blue about it. Using x133, this time I could not decide if it had a blue hue or not, so I stuck with white.
Interestingly so when I defocused the pair I noticed the companion was definitely darker in colour and had a hint of yellow to it. At x220 the companion was definitely darker but no hint of blue for the main star.
Using AV at x220, I was just able to detect the mag 13 component. At x133 there is a nice collection of two brighter stars with several faint ones in attendance – delightful.
Mike Wood - 13 September 2017
STF 2525 in Vulpecula
I look forward to the Double Star of the Month and this month was no exception.
On the evening of 10th August I geared up (OMC 200) just as the moon was rising behind cloud (and it stayed covered for my delightful 2 hour doubles session).
Using the Tak LE 30mm I sent the scope to STF 2525 and when I glanced into the eyepiece there was no sign of the double, although the view was a delightful show of pinprick stars.
Then as my eyes adjusted (such a pain getting old) there it was, just split at x133 and in the centre of the field of view – wonderful, to see this tight pair surrounded by many points of light. I marvelled for a few minutes before increasing the magnification to x267.
Both stars had a hint of colour. I plumped for orange/pale yellow. The colour remained at x333 and broken diffraction rings were in evidence.
Mike Wood - 11 August 2017
M11 in Scutum
I ventured out in the nautical twilight of 31 July and explored the region around Messier 11, the Wild Duck Cluster.
I recall observing this beautiful object, visually with an 80mm ED refractor whilst on holiday under the dark skies of Guernsey and was mesmerised by the sight of this compact cloud of young blue stars against the multitude of older, redder stars close to the core of our galaxy.
The clear night of 31 July, despite the lack of absolute darkness, gave me the chance to capture an image of this lovely object.
Messier 11 is considered one of the richest and most compact open clusters in our skies. Around 2900 stars are attributed to the cluster with over 500 of them brighter than 14th magnitude. Its distance of 6120 light years places it in the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way.
The main image shows M11 against the background stars of the Scutum star cloud and the dark nebulae in the vicinity.
I had noted before going out that the two planetary nebulae Abell 49 (PK 27-3.1) and Vyssotsky 1-4 (PK 27-3.2) were to the east of M11 so I composed the image with M11 to the right of the image to see if I could capture the planetaries using the brief exposures I used.
The planetary nebulae are just visible and are better shown in the 200% crop image, Abell 49.
Abell 49 itself is a 16th magnitude object, 35 arcsec in diameter, on the right-hand side of the of the image. Vyssotsky 1-4 is 13th magnitude and just 15 arcsec in diameter and is the bright bluish object to the top left.
- Telescope: APM 107 APO refractor plus flattener.
- Camera: QSI 583 plus Astrodon filters
The main image is 30 minutes each of RGB in two-minute subs.
David Davies - (6 August 2017).
An early observation of the August 2017 Galaxies
The sketch is the result of two observation sessions, made with the 20” Dobsonian, under NELM 5.5/5.6 skies.
NGC 6962 and NGC 6964 stand out immediately. NGC 6961 is small, indistinct and difficult, even at higher magnifications. NGC 6967 becomes a more defined oval at higher magnifications and at times I thought I got a hint of a core. It is located near a brighter star. NGC 6959 sits in a nice star grouping. NGC 6965 possibly shows a hint of a core at higher powers.
The group would be worth a revisit on one of those rare very good nights.
Mike Wood - 28 July 2017
July's Galaxy of the Month: NGC 6548
Sky conditions were good last night (30/07/17), NELM 5.5/5.6 with very little dew and a gentle breeze.
Pointing the 20” Dobsonian at NGC 6548, with an 8mm Ethos eyepiece (x294), the galaxy was immediately obvious. Closer inspection showed a definite oval bright core, extending either side. Hints of a surrounding halo could be detected but very difficult to be certain of this observation.
Nearby NGC 6549 was difficult to detect. It appeared as a thin oval patch of fuzz but I was not convinced of its orientation. At higher power (x336), the core and its extension became brighter and more extensive as did the surrounding halo (there was no better definition at x470 or x 537 but it was fun trying). NGC 6549 remained difficult at all magnifications.
Whilst in Hercules I wandered over to M13 – glorious at x537, picked up nearby NGC 6207 and as usual failed on IC 4617.
Mike Wood - 31 July 2017
Observing June's Galaxy of the Month: NGC6764
On a lovely warm summer's night I hunted out NGC 6764 using my 20” Dob in skies with a NELM of magnitude 5.4/5.5.
At first glance I could see a fuzzy patch surrounding three faint stars but the more I looked the more I saw.
Using x294 I was unable to see more than the small fuzzy patch. The lower star did look brighter than the other two. Using averted vision (AV) this brighter star began to look much like the central halo of the galaxy, and so it was. Also by using AV the fuzz patch had a definite West-East orientation. I noted the double star ES 979 near by to the West.
Increasing the magnification to x470 and using AV there were indications of the central bar either side of the central bright patch. With AV, I was also able to locate the nearby PGC 214715 galaxy.
A delightful way to spend 45 minutes or so teasing out the details.
Mike Wood - 6 June 2017
Globular Clusters in Coma Berenices
Here is the product of my last successful imaging session before the autumnal rains started.
M53, NGC 5024, in Coma Berenices is at top right of this image. It is around 60,000 light years from us and in absolute terms is larger than M13, but appears smaller and fainter due to its greater distance; the 25 brightest stars have an average magnitude of 15.
To the east of M53, at bottom left, is NGC 5053. This is classified as globular cluster but it has a low star density and low metallicity stars; it is around 53,000 light years from us.
This image was captured in early May under brightening night skies with a 107mm APM refractor and QSI 583 camera. It is a simple RGB image of 30 minutes each colour in 2-minute subs.
David Davies - (6 June 2017).