Deep Sky Astrophotography by Barry Wilson

Current Projects: (1) Abell 85 or CTB1, faint supernova remnant; (2) Lobster Claw and Bubble Nebula mosaic

(1) Abell 85 or CTB1 a faint supernova remnant

Another exceedingly faint target (all my fault!), this time a supernova remnant in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This is my first HOORGB processed image and I'd like to thank Rick Stevenson and a PI forum thread for pointers in how to combine the RGB stars using PixelMath, worked a treat. There was still plenty of processing required afterwards though . . .

The Abell Catalog of Planetary Nebulae was created in 1966 by George O. Abell and was composed of 86 entries thought to be planetary nebulae that were collected from discoveries, about half by Albert George Wilson and the rest by Abell, Robert George Harrington, and Rudolph Minkowski. All were discovered before August 1955 as part of the National Geographic Society – Palomar Observatory Sky Survey on photographic plates created with the 48-inch (1.2 m) Samuel Oschin telescope at Mount Palomar.  In fact Abell 85  is a supernova remnant CTB 1 and noted as possibly such in Abell's 1966 paper.

From Astrodon's website: "CTB 1 (Abell 85) is a faint, closeby supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation of Cassiopeia at RA 23h 59m 54s and DEC +62d 26m 51s. The field presented is 36′ wide, which barely covers the object. North is up. It was identified as a SNR by van den Bergh et al. in 1972 based upon its optical half-circular shape consisting of radiative filaments. Deeper images taken in H-alpha by Fesen (1993) show that it has a complete circular shape (as shown in my image above) except for the unusual breakout structure toward the northeast, which also shows up in X-Ray images. Distance and age estimates are 10,000 light years, and 7,500 – 11,000 years, respectively. It spans nearly 100 light years. The structure of CTB 1 is quite similar to my image of Sh2-308, in that it is also circular with many filaments and a breakout region. Sh2-308 is considered to be a Wolf-Rayet bubble in a pre-supernova developmental phase. The breakout region of CTB 1 is a referred to as a "shell rupture" and extends 30′ toward the east. Detail in this high-resolution image comes from using narrowband H-a and OIII filters. H-a was color mapped to red/magenta and OIII to blue-green. RGB data were added using a G2V white point."

This Image is a combined broadband and narrowband image.  Takahashi FSQ106 at F5; 10 Micron GM1000HPS; QSI683wsg-8 with Astrodon filters; Ha 36 x 1200s; OIII 43 x 1200s; RGB 24 x 600s each; 27 hours integration; e-Eye, Extremadura, Spain. Data acquisition: Steve Milne & Barry Wilson; Processed by Barry Wilson.  August 2018.

(2) Lobster Claw and Bubble Nebula mosaic

A two panel mosaic of this interesting area comprising abundant emission nebula in an extensive molecular cloud near Cassiopeia. It is surprising the level of detail that the FSQ106 can reveal within the Bubble itself and it has been a project that Steve and I have relished as it brought new (unlooked for) opportunities at e-Eye with an opportunity to acquire further equipment for a second remote project.

From Wikipedia: NGC 7635, also known as the Bubble Nebula, Sharpless 162, or Caldwell 11, is a H II region emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It lies close to the direction of the open cluster Messier 52. The "bubble" is created by the stellar wind from a massive hot, 8.7 magnitude young central star, SAO 20575 (BD+60°2522). The nebula is near a giant molecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble nebula while itself being excited by the hot central star, causing it to glow. It was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. Sharpless 157, also known as the Lobster Claw Nebula, is a bright emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It lies just south of the better-known Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). The bright nebular spot near the center of the image is Lyn's Bright Nebula 537 (LBN537), also known as Sharpless 157a. The small cluster of stars just above the bottom pincer is Markarian 50 and the bright cluster of stars located above the top pincer is open cluster NGC 7510.

This Image is a two panel mosaic narrowband image.  Takahashi FSQ106 at F5; 10 Micron GM2000HPS UP II; QSI683wsg-8 with Astronomik filters; Ha 64 x 900s; OIII 64 x 900s; SII 64 x 00s each; 48 hours integration; e-Eye, Extremadura, Spain. Data acquisition: Steve Milne & Barry Wilson; Processed by Barry Wilson.  September 2018.


I have been fascinated with astronomy since childhood ever since I read Patrick Moore's "The Observer's Book of Astronomy" and became a devotee of BBC's "The Sky at Night". This website aims to display what can be achieved by an amateur astrophotographer in their backgarden - Totnes, Devon, UK, in my case - equiped with dedication, patience and perseverance, especially from my family!  I also share a remote observatory in Spain with Steve Milne, equiped with all of our equipment, setup by ourselves and jointly operated and controlled.

Clear Skies!

Barry Wilson

© Barry Wilson 2018.

All images on this website are not to be reproduced or used without permission.

Nebulae images

IC447 in Monoceros

IC447 in Monoceros

The beautiful reflection nebula IC447 in Monoceros. I've shunned a moody rendition to celebrate the glorious colour and variety across the composition.