vdB152 – Cepheus

Despite the lack of activity here I have been busy collecting images at every opportunity. Following on with my theme of dark, dusty nebulae I spent a long time in September 2019 acquiring frames for an image of vdB152. The final count for RGB frames was 28 hours across the three colours.

vdB152 is a reflection nebula in Cepheus.

vdB152 – Reflection nebula in Cepheus

This image was published in Astronomy Now, December 2019.

The Cave Nebula (Sh2-155)

This image is a 2 panel mosaic comprising 28 hours of RGB exposures in 20 minute sub-frames. The images were acquired across 8 nights during November December 2018. Processing is exclusively with Pixinsight.


The constellation Auriga contains two bright areas of Ha emission; IC405 and IC410. The Baby-Q with the Moravian G3-16200 has a large enough field of view that I can fit both into the same picture.

This is seven 20 minute exposures through my Baader 3.5nM Ha filter. Processed in Pixinsight.

Sh2-216 – The closest planetary

Back in January I took a couple of 1 hour exposures of Sh2-216 using my Ha filter. Nearly one year later, a spell of good weather over a weekend meant that I was able to add a few more and I now have 10 hours worth.

Sh2-216 has been calculated at a distance of 129 parsec (420 light years) by measuring the parallax of the central star which places it much closer than the Helix and Dumbbell nebulae at 219 & 379 parsec respectively.

It measures about 2 arc degrees on the sky and is very faint.

LBN 534

It’s been a while since I last visited this object, a dust cloud on the Andromeda / Cassiopeia border (http://littlebeck.org.uk/?p=1058 & http://littlebeck.org.uk/?p=948). This is the first time with a monochrome camera and RGB filters; previous attempts have been with the KAF8300 equipped QHY9C OSC camera.

The field with the G3-16200 is much larger and provides a better context for the object. Better data, and much improved processing skills have revealed a lot more of the surrounding faint clouds.

This is about 12 hours of RGB data acquired in 10 minute subframes. I’m not a fan of LRGB imaging and very rarely use luminance, preferring instead to spend longer capturing the colour data at bin 1×1. Processing is exclusively Pixinsight.

Published in Astronomy Now (Jan 2018)

Simeis 147 in colour

Displaying the monochrome Ha image in a local exhibition of pictures was a spur to getting to grips with the colour data I’ve acquired for this image. With the Ha & RGB data this now amounts to 51 hours in 10 & 20 minute sub-frames.

The image is reduced to 40% of full size for display here (click on the thumbnail).


This object is the remnant of a supernova explosion that occurred some 40,000 years ago and the shell has been expanding ever since. It now spans about 3 degrees on the sky, which at it’s estimated distance of 3000 light years is 157 light years in diameter.

This image was published in the June 2017 edition of Astronomy Now.

Simeis 147

It’s been a while since I last posted here. Images are posted first to the Breckland Astronomical Society Facebook page which a more interactive medium for discussion.

I’ve been busy in the meantime gathering images of the supernova remnant Simeis 147. This is a huge object requiring a 4 pane mosaic to cover it. So far I’ve only completed the Ha image to my satisfaction.