Astronomical League
Bright Nebula Observing Program Images

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following content (including the linked corrected version)
is based on the ORIGINAL Program List, not the revised list issued in June, 2016. For the corrected version of the 2016 list, LOOK HERE.

Progress: 7/19/2015, 103/100
Total integration time: 182.7 hours (7.6 days)
Latest Images From the NEbraska Star Party and Jeffers Petroglyphs:
IC 4701, LBN 52 and LBN70,
NGC 6357, Sh 2-12 and Sh 2-13
LBN 140

IC 4812 and NGC 6729

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This and linked image pages have been submitted to the Minnesota Astronomical Society Astronomical League Awards Coordinator in fulfillment of the AL Bright Nebula Observing Program (imaging option).

Click here for a PDF of my corrected list of AL Bright Nebula objects (newly revised 4/8/15 with SIMBAD coordinates). Please let me know if you find any errors so that I can correct them!

Click on the links below to view the images and their acquisition information. Most of the images have been plate-solved by Astrometry.net; to see the plate solution, mouse over each image. Explanatory notes can be found below the imaged object list giving details about hardware, etc. Use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

Listed below are the objects that were imaged. The icons used in the right hand columns (representing Nebula type, Lynds Brightness, and Image type) are explained here or by mousing over them.

Imaged Object N LB I
NGC 281 (Pac-Man)
Sh 2-183
IC 59 and 63 (Gamma Cassiopeiae)
NGC 896
IC 1805 (Heart)
IC 1848 (Soul)
vdB 14
NGC 1333 (Embryo)
vdB 15
IC 348
vdB 20 (Electra)
vdB 21 (Maia)
vdB 22 (Merope)
vdB 23 (Alcyone)
IC 353
NGC 1499 (California)
NGC 1491 (Fossil Footprint)
NGC 1624
IC 2118 (Witch Head)
IC 405 (Flaming Star)
NGC 1931
NGC 1952 (Crab)
Sh 2-264 (Lambda Orionis)
NGC 1973, 1975, and 1977 (Running Man)
NGC 1976 & 1982 (Orion)
NGC 1990
NGC 1999
Sh 2-240
IC 434 (Horsehead)
LBN 962
NGC 2023-24 (Flame)
M 78
Sh 2-276 (Barnard's Loop)
NGC 2174 (Monkey Head)
IC 2162 (Double)
IC 443 (Jellyfish)
Sh 2-249
IC 2169
NGC 2237, 2238, 2239, & 2246 (Rosette)
LBN 943
NGC 2261 (Hubble's Variable)
NGC 2264 (Cone)
IC 2177 (Seagull)
IC 468
NGC 2359 (Thor's Helmet)
LBN 11
LBN 8
LBN 10
LBN 1122
LBN 19
IC 4604 (Rho Ophiuchi)
LBN 20
LBN 22
NGC 6334 (Cat's Paw)
Sh 2-8
NGC 6357 (Lobster)
Sh 2-12
Sh 2-13
NGC 6514 (Trifid)
NGC 6523 (Lagoon)
NGC 6526
LBN 26
Sh 2-46
IC 4701
NGC 6611 (Eagle)
LBN 70
LBN 68
LBN 52
NGC 6618 (Swan)
IC 4812
NGC 6729 (R CrA)
IC 1287
Sh 2-82 (Little Trifid)
NGC 6820
IC 4954
NGC 6888 (Crescent)
LBN 113
LBN 331
LBN 239
DWB 111 (Propeller)
IC 1318 (Butterfly)
LBN 270
LBN 185
NGC 6960 (Western Veil)
Pickering's Triangular Wisp
IC 5070, 5067, and 5068 (Pelican)
IC 1340
NGC 6992 and 6995 (Eastern Veil)
NGC 7000 (North America)
NGC 7023 (Iris)
Sh 2-129
IC 1396 (Elephant's Trunk)
LBN 140
LBN 306
IC 5146 (Cocoon)
Sh 2-137
Sh 2-134
Sh 2-155 (Cave)
IC 1470
NGC 7538 (Northern Lagoon)
NGC 7635 (Bubble)
Sh 2-163
DG 191 RGB

Objects are listed in the same order as given by the AL. Note that images are full-frame unless noted and have been scaled to fit their pages; the original images are much larger. (Minor cropping at field edges may have been performed to remove non-overlapping areas that occur during alignment.) All reported times are local.

All objects were located by star-hopping.

The curious can find image counts stratified by a number of factors at the bottom of this page.

All images on this web site are copyright © David Venne. Their commercial use is prohibited without written consent.

Explanatory Notes for List

Nebula Type

Because most Lynds Bright Nebula catalog objects are emission nebulae this type of nebula dominates the ALBN. It's not unusual to find both emission and reflection components present within a nebula, making it possible to image some reflection nebulae in H-alpha. Supernova remnants are usually dominated by their emission component.
Symbol Nebula Type
Emission
Reflection
Emission and Reflection
Supernova Remnant


Image Type

The images here are either taken using broadband (DSLR or LRGB filters) or narrowband (using the standard H-alpha, O III and S II types). See the filter notes for more information.
Symbol Image Type
Color DSLR
monochrome L
monochrome H-alpha
mapped bicolor H-alpha and O3
mapped tricolor H-alpha, OIII, and SII
mapped color H-alpha, G, and B
color HaRGB
color LRGB
color RGB

Lynds Brightness

The image list provides the Lynds brightness of the objects, either as suggested by Lynds or estimated. The Lynds brightness scale ranks nebulosity as a whole number between 1 and 6 (inclusive) where 1 is brightest and 6 dimmest. For the purposes of this project the brightness scale is essentially subjective; this is particularly true for objects judged 5 or 6; it is very difficult to make statements about their relative difficulty of imaging.

Whenever possible Lynds' original values are taken from Lynds Catalog of Bright Nebulae. When a value is not available I estimate brightness by comparison with other objects.



Explanatory Notes for Object Entries

Locations | Telescopes | Cameras | Filters
Software | Plate Solving | Darkness | Seeing



Locations

Location
Type
LM*
Lat
Lon
Alt(m)
Burnsville
outer urban
4.5
44°47'30"N
93°13'53"W
293
Cherry Grove Observatory
rural
6.8
44°11'49"N
92°51'44"W
357
Eagle Lake Observatory
exurban
6.0
44°48'37"N
93°56'23"W
305
Iowa Star Party
rural
7.2
41°48'30"N
94°39' 4"W
385
Jeffers Petroglyphs
rural
7.2
44°05'23"N
95°03'28"W
387
Long Lake Conservation Center remote rural 7.3
46°38'49"N
93°27'54"W
389
Nebraska Star Party remote rural 7.5 42°36'18"N 100°55'49"W 945
StarHome Observatory
exurban
5.6
45°23'8"N
93°0'13"W
278
Wisconsin Observers Weekend
rural
6.5
44°19'21"N
89°13'36"W
317

*Moonless limiting magnitude derived from Light Pollution Atlas 2006



Imaging Telescopes

Telescope
FL (mm)
f ratio
Field width*
Field height*
TV102
876
8.6
70'
53'
TV102 w FF/FR
700
6.9
88' (XTi: 166')
66' (XTi: 110')
AT72Ed**
432
6
2.4°
1.8°
AT65EDQ
422
6.5
2.5°
1.8°
C925
2350
10
26'
20'
C925 @ f/6.3
1480
6.3
42'
31'
ST80**
400
5
2.6°
1.9°
135mm Lens
135
4 or 5.6
7.6°
5.7°
200mm Lens
200
4 or 5.6
5.1°
3.9°
*When used with the SBIG ST-8300M CCD Camera
**The Field Flattener used with this telescope had no effect on FL or focal ratio

A stock Canon XTi DSLR was used for for one image and its FOV is indicated in parens. Submitted images are full-frame or nearly so (minor cropping at field edges may have been performed to remove non-overlapping areas that occur during alignment) unless noted. The 135mm lens is a Tamron Adaptall, the 200mm lens is an Olympus Zuiko; both are fixed focal length.



Imaging Cameras

ST-8300M: SBIG ST-8300M monochrome CCD, unbinned resolution 3326 x 2504px, sensor size 18 x 13.5mm

XTi: Canon XTi DSLR, umodified, resolution 3888x2592px, sensor size 34x22.7mm



Imaging Filters

LRGB: Baader 36mm radius

Narrowband: Baader H-alpha (7nm), SII (8nm), and OIII (8.5nm), 36mm radius



Processing Software

Acquisition: ImagesPlus Camera Control, PHD autoguiding

Calibration, Alignment and Stacking: ImagesPlus

Further Processing: ImagesPlus, Photoshop, Annie's Astro Actions, Astronomy Tools.


Plate Solving

Plate solving was performed by uploading image files to Astrometry.net. The annotations provided by this service are shown in rollover images as bright green. In some cases platesolving did not add annotation or solve correctly, or did not mark the target object. (Not all of the ALBN list items are in the plate solving catalogs) When this happens annotation is added manually and is bright cyan in color.

Sky Darkness

Sky darkness is indicated using the Bortle scale:

1: Excellent dark-sky site
2: Typical truly dark site
3: Rural sky
4: Rural/suburban transition
5: Suburban sky
6: Bright suburban sky
7: Suburban/urban transition
8: City sky
9: Inner-city sky

Most of my images come from an inner suburb of a major metropolitan area (population about 2.5 million). Sky brightness varies strongly with direction here. The darkest portions of sky are overhead and may qualify as a 6 on the Bortle scale when nothing is present to diminish transparency; the northern half of my sky and the low southern sky are typically an 8.

 



Seeing

Seeing information is not provided for the images here unless it significantly degraded the image (which as it turned out never happened). Seeing can be considered GOOD for all images presented here.

Seeing is important for imaging with focal lengths of several thousand mm or more (as is usually the case for solar system and double star imaging). Unless seeing is amazingly bad it is not important for the type of short focal length imaging done here.

Far more important factors include the use of autoguiding and the effects of wind on tracking. Neither of these are requested by the Astronomical League. All the images here (except those shot through DSLR lenses) employ autoguiding.

 


 

Some miscellaneous image counts for the curious:

By location
Burnsville 56, Cherry Grove 14, Jeffers Petroglyphs 13, Nebraska Star Party 12, Star Home Observatory 4, Iowa Star Party 2, Northern Nights Star Fest 1, Wisconsin Observers Weekend 1

By Lynds Brightness
LB1 31, LB2 28, LB3 16, LB4 8, LB5 12, LB6 8

By image type
Ha 40, LRGB 25, L 21, HaO3 5, DSLR 4, RGB 3, HaO3S2 2, HaGB 2, HaRGB 1

By sky brightness zone
light red 56, light yellow 4, dark yellow 1, light green 14, light blue 16, dark black 12

By month
Jan 9, Feb 1, Mar 9, Apr 0, May 7, Jun 1, Jul 21, Aug 9, Sep 25, Oct 9, Nov 10, Dec 2

By Optics
AT65 40, TV102 19, AT72 13, 135mm lens 12, C925@f/6.3 6, 200mm lens 6, C925@f/10 4, ST80 2, 28mm lens 1

 


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