Current Projects: M16 The Eagle Nebula

M16 The Eagle Nebula & 'The Pillars of Creation'

This target needs little explanation and a brief description from Wikipedia states: "The Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 5700 light-years distant. A spire of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula in the northeastern part is approximately 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers long. The cluster associated with the nebula has approximately 8100 stars, which are mostly concentrated in a gap in the molecular cloud to the north-west of the Pillars. The brightest star (HD 168076) has an apparent magnitude of +8.24, easily visible with good binoculars. It is actually a binary star formed of an O3.5V star plus an O7.5V companion.[7] This star has a mass of roughly 80 solar masses, and a luminosity up to 1 million times that of the Sun. The cluster's age has been estimated to be 1–2 million years. The descriptive names reflect impressions of the shape of the central pillar rising from the southeast into the central luminous area. The name "Star Queen Nebula" was introduced by Robert Burnham, Jr., reflecting his characterization of the central pillar as the Star Queen shown in silhouette." Steve and I turned to this target a little later than optimum and didn't manage to capture our normal dataset. This combined with its low altitude made for a harder processing challenge and much experimentation to arrive at ideal Deconvolution settings for the Ha channel to tighten stars and better define the small scale structure. Next year . . .

Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne Processing: Barry Wilson

TEC140; GM2000HPS; QSI690wsg-8; Astrodon filters; SHaOIII 16 x 1200s; total integration16  hours; Sept 2020, e-Eye, Spain.


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, equipped with our own equipment, setup by ourselves and jointly operated and controlled.

Clear Skies!

Barry Wilson

© Barry Wilson 2020.

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

Nebulae images

IC 2177 The Seagull Nebula

IC 2177 The Seagull Nebula

This is a 'work in progress' image as we gather the data for a HOORGB image which will take a couple of seasons to gather the necessary data. The four panels have the minimum data really to produce this test image and we do in fact have two further panels for a row across the bottom of the image but as yet no data! This target is low even at e-Eye's latitude and so imaging in the turbulent lower atmosphere we are relieved to see little distortion and refraction effects on the RGB channels for the stars.

I have wanted to image this very pretty target for some time and am delighted we have persevered sufficiently for an HaRGB image. So I am pleased to add my version to the many fine Seagull (or Parrot) Nebula images posted recently.

From Wikipedia: "C 2177 is a region of nebulosity that lies along the border between the constellations Monoceros and Canis Major. It is a roughly circular H II region centered on the Be star HD 53367. This nebula was discovered by Welsh amateur astronomer Isaac Roberts and was described by him as "pretty bright, extremely large, irregularly round, very diffuse." The name Seagull Nebula is sometimes applied by amateur astronomers to this emission region, although it more properly includes the neighboring regions of star clusters, dust clouds and reflection nebulae. This latter region includes the open clusters NGC 2335 and NGC 23."

Tak FSQ106; 10 Micron GM1000HPS; QSI683wsg-8; Astrodon filters; Ha 36 x 1200s; RGB 24 x 600s each channel each panel; 28 hrs total integration. E-Eye Extremadura, Spain. January to February 2019.

Data acquisition: Barry Wilson & Steve Milne.
Processing: Barry Wilson.