The other night (almost full moon), I thought I’d spend a relaxing evening having a look at a few clusters. Indeed I did, photographing M52, M56 & M71 in the process (see further below). Later on however my eye was drawn to the position of NGC 7635 “The Bubble Nebula”. Now I should have known better, full moon is not ideal for imaging nebulas, there was a cloud bank due to come in later and my unmodified DSLR isn’t very sensitive for picking up deep red nebulae. But heck, why let that stop me, so I took a shot at it …
Now I am not very happy with this image, it shows a desperate need for me to sort out some guiding (look for oblong stars). It also has insufficient contrast & resolution to be displayed as a larger image; this would be improved by increased exposure time and/or a camera more sensitive to its wavelengths. As it is this image has a total exposure time of 1 hour, sky conditions would not allow for more.
M52 “The Scorpion” an open cluster in Cassiopeia. (Canon 20D Prime f10 on C6SGT – ISO1600 15mins in 20 subs). Magnitude 7.3 and 5000 light years away. To see the shape, imagine a scorpion coming towards you, facing the bottom left corner, with its pincers out to its sides. Lying close to M52 is the interesting bubble nebula, as discussed above.
M56 a globular cluster in Lyra. (Canon 20D Prime f10 on C6SGT – ISO1600 15mins in 20 subs). Magnitude 8.3 and 33,000 light years away. Not the most spectacular of globular clusters but I don’t think I’ve enough clarity in this image, definitely one to re-visit.
M71 a loose globular cluster in Sagitta. (Canon 20D Prime f10 on C6SGT – ISO1600 15mins in 20 subs). Magnitude 8.2, 13,000 light years distant.