Other Deep Sky Objects

So you have observed the Messier and Caldwell objects and want to know what other wonders are out there, the Herschel 400 would be a good start, but if you are after inspiration why not look at what others are observing by having a browse below.

Christmas Imaging Session

About a dozen members used the 16″ telescope over the Christmas period with Keith providing a demonstration of the set-up and use of the new CCD.

The evening ended with cloud relatively early but they did get 10 light frames and below is a stack of these using Astro Pixel Processor.


Image by CMHASD Members. 16″ LX200, total of 360s unfiltered.

The Pacman Nebula, NGC281, IC11

The Pacman Nebula, NGC 281, IC 11 or Sh2-184 is a bright emission nebula and part of an H II region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Milky Way’s Perseus Spiral Arm. It is  20×30 arcmin in size. 

Images by Kevin Langford

NGC281 Pacman KL

The Pleiades, Mars and the California Nebula

In April 2019 Mars was close to M45 (the Pleiades) and NGC 1499 and this coincided with the Kelling Heath Star Party. Unfortunately at this time of year Taurus is very low, setting in the late evening making this a difficult object to image, my attempts to stack and then process with Deep Sky Stacker were hopeless, so I turned to Astro Pixel Processor (using a 30 day free trial) which has a very easy to use light pollution killer, this allowed me to remove the gradient that resulted from the very low elevation and trees that crept into the field.

Total exposure is 84 minutes, from 30s subs. Tracking was achieved with an iOptron Star tracker, camera was a Canon 600D with a full spectrum mod and a CLSCCD clip-in filter.

The Jellyfish Nebula, IC443

IC443, commonly known as the Jellyfish Nebula, is a Supernova remnant, from Crayford skies is really only visible if imaging using narrowband filters.


Ha filters work the best but it will also show up in SII filters, it is invisible in an OIII filter.


Carolines Rose, NGC7789

NGC 7789, known as Carolines Rose, is an open cluster in Cassiopeia that was discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783. 

Images by Neil Webster

NGC 7789 Sept 2018NW

The Fireworks Galaxy, NGC 6946

Images by Neil Webster

NGC 6946, known as the Fireworks Galaxy is a face-on intermediate spiral galaxy with a small bright nucleus.

Discovered by William Herschel on 9 September 1798,

NGC 6946 Fireworks Galaxy FinalNW

Open Cluster in Vulpecula, NGC 6940

Open Cluster in Vulpecula.


The cluster is bright enough to be seen even with small binoculars, which can partially resolve it.

Images by Neil Webster

NGC 6940 Sept 2018NW

Altair Astro 115 APO, NEQ6, Canon 600D, ISO800, f/7, ZWO ASI385MC
Exposure 35x 120s
St Marys Platt, England

Open Cluster, NGC 6811 in Cygnus

NGC 6811 is an open cluster in the constellation of Cygnus. It has an angular size half that of the full Moon and includes about 1000 stars of roughly similar magnitude. It has also been called “The Hole in the Cluster” because of its dark centre.


It appears as a hazy patch in 10x binoculars, but it is best seen at around 70x with a moderate-aperture telescope.

Images by Neil Webster

NGC 6811 Sept 2018NW

‘Hole in a Cluster’
Altair Astro 115 APO, NEQ6, Canon 600D, ZWO AS1385 MC, ISO 800, f/7
Exposure: 26x 180s
St Marys Platt, England

Open Cluster, NGC6633 in Ophiuchus

NGC 6633 is an open cluster, in the constellation Ophiuchus. Discovered in 1745-46 by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux and independently rediscovered by Caroline Herschel, and catalogued as H VIII.72.

This cluster is nearly as large as the full moon, and contains 30 stars which make it shine at a total magnitude of 4.6; the brightest star is of mag 7.6. Its age was estimated at 660 million years.

Images by Neil Webster

NGC 6633 Sept 2018NWAltair Astro 115 APO, NEQ6, Canon 600D, ZWO AS1385 MC, ISO 800, f/7

Exposure 47x 120s

St Marys Platt, England

Open Cluster, NGC225 in Cassiopeia

NGC255, the Sail Boat Cluster is an open cluster in Cassiopeia.

Images by Neil Webster

NGC 225 finalNW
NGC255, open cluster, Sail Boat Cluster in Cassiopeia, Image by Neil Webster
Altair Astro 115 APO
Canon 600D, ZWO AS1385 MC, F7, ISO800, Exposure 42x 120s
Taken on 14/09/2018, St. Marys Platt, England.

Gamma Cygni Nebula, IC1318

The Gamma Cygni Nebula describes the patches of nebulosity around Gamma Cygni,  Sadr and consists of emission nebulae, dark dust clouds and star clusters. The area spams 3 degrees of sky so is a good subject to image with a small wide field refractor or prime lens on a tracking mount.


Gamma Cygni Nebula, imaged by Julian Tworek.
Canon 100-400 zoom lens set to 200m, ISO800, 22x2min exposures. Modified Canon 20D

Face on Spiral in Aquila, NGC6814

This face on spiral galaxy lies at a distance of about 66 million light years and is about 75,000 light years across or about half the size of the Milky Way Galaxy. This object has a fairly low surface brightness, and so will be a tougher to observe than the mag 11.3 would suggest. You’ll need dark skies and a large aperture to really appreciate this. 


NGC6814, Face on Spiral in Aquila, Imaged by Debra Holton, using the Faulkes 2m telescope

Globular Cluster in Serpens, NGC6539

NGC 6539 is a globular cluster in the constellation Serpens. It was discovered by Theodor Brorsen in 1856


Globular Cluster NGC6539 Imaged by Debra Holton using the Faulks 2m Telescope.

Globular Cluster in Baade’s Window, NGC6522

Two globular clusters very close to each other seen through the dense star field in the direction towards the centre of our Galaxy, in the constellation Sagittarius. These systems are relatively young for globular clusters, being only about 10 million years old.

They can be spotted between gamma1 and W Sagitarii (see finder chart below). NGC6522 (right) sits right in the centre of Baade’s Window


Image by Debra Holton of NGC6522 taken with the 2m Faulkes Telescope.

Seyfert’s Sextet, NGC6027

Seyfert’s Sextet is a group of galaxies about 190 million light-years away in the constellation Serpens Caput. The group appears to contain six members, but one of the galaxies is a background object and another “galaxy” is actually a separated part of one of the other galaxies. The gravitational interaction among these galaxies should continue for hundreds of millions of years. Ultimately, the galaxies will merge to form a single giant elliptical galaxy.


NGC 6027 Seyfert’s Sextet, imaged by Deborah Holton using the Faulks 2m Telescope

The California Nebula – NGC1499

The California Nebula (NGC 1499) is an emission nebula located in the constellation Perseus. It is so named because it appears to resemble the outline of the US State of California. It is almost 2.5° long on the sky and, because of its very low surface brightness, it is extremely difficult to observe visually. It can be observed with a H-Beta filter (isolates the H-Beta line at 486 nm) in a rich-field telescope under dark skies. It lies at a distance of about 1,000 light years from Earth.
The California Nebula was discovered by E. E. Barnard in 1884.

California Nebula by Julian Tworek

California Nebula by Julian Tworek.
DSLR, Light Pollution Filter, Short focus Refractor

The Leo Triplet – M65, M66 and NGC3628

NGC 3628 is an unbarred spiral galaxy about 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1784. It has an approximately 300,000 light-years long tidal tail. NGC 3628 along with M65 and M66 form the famous Leo Triplet, a small group of galaxies. Its most conspicuous feature is the broad and obscuring band of dust located along the outer edge of its spiral arms, effectively transecting the galaxy to our view.


Imaged by Martin Crow.

80mm Equinox ED Refractor @ f6 with Canon 400D, 8 x 60s


Altair Astro AO EQ6-R, ZWO ASI294MC Pro

Total exposure ~4hrs
St Mary’s Platt, Kent.


Image by Kevin Langford

The Horsehead Nebula, Barnard 33

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33 in bright nebula IC 434) is a dark nebula in the constellation of Orion.

The nebula is located just below Alnitak, the star furthest left on Orion’s Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. It is approximately 1500 light years from Earth. It is one of the most identifiable nebulae because of the shape of its swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, which is similar to that of a horse’s head. The shape was first noticed in 1888 by Williamina Fleming on photographic plate B2312 taken at the Harvard College Observatory.

The red glow originates from hydrogen gas (hydrogen alpha) predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead’s neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funnelled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula’s base are young stars just in the process of forming.

Horse head julian Tworek 01

Image by Julian Tworek,
Widefield 4″ Semi-Apo refractor and Canon DSLR


Imaged By Julian Tworek
80mm Orion ED Refractor, MX716 CCD


Imaged By Keith Rickard
SBIG ST7-XME CCD camera, 8″ Meade LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain Classic at F3.3, 30 x 2min in red, green and luminance and 10 x 2min in blue

Horsehead by Simon Dawes 2019/01/29

Image by Simon Dawes
Skywatcher MN190, EQ6Pro, Canon 600D (Full Spectrum Mod) CLSCCD Filter
45 minutes Integration, Bexleyheath, England.

NGC2024 Flame Nebula + Horsehead Nebula By Kevin Langford

NGC2024 Flame Nebula + Horsehead Nebula By Kevin Langford

ES 102ED APO, EQ5 Pro
ZWO ASI071, Orion MMAG, UHC filter & Ha filter.
2.5hrs of exposures (1.5hrs in Ha exposures)
Bexley, Kent.

All images are copyright. Permission must be sought to from the image owner to the use of any of these images.