Deep Sky Astrophotography by Barry Wilson

Current Projects: (1) Iris Nebula NGC 7023; (2) The Wizard Nebula NGC7380

(1) Iris Nebula NGC 7023

I have attempted the Iris a few times with only one 'success' when I collaborated on a widefield image with Paddy Gilliland some years ago. The other attempts from home have failed as I have never been able to gather sufficient subs. So I am really pleased to present an image with which I am satisfied. I particularly like the delicate internal structures and blushing pinkish hues. Once again the capture was shared between the two FSQ106 rigs at e-Eye, with Luminance on one, RGB on the other.

From APOD: "These cosmic clouds have blossomed 1,300 light-years away, in the fertile starfields of the constellation Cepheus. Called the Iris Nebula, NGC 7023 is not the only nebula to evoke the imagery of flowers, though. Still, this deep telescopic image shows off the Iris Nebula's range of colors and symmetries, embedded in surrounding fields of interstellar dust. Within the Iris itself, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot, young star. The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Central filaments of the reflection nebula glow with a faint reddish photoluminesence as some dust grains effectively convert the star's invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Infrared observations indicate that this nebula contains complex carbon molecules known as PAHs. The pretty blue petals of the Iris Nebula span about six light-years. The colorful field-of-view stretches almost five Full Moons across the sky."

Takahashi FSQ106 at F5; 10 Micron GM2000HPS UP II; QSI683wsg-8 with Astronomik filters; Lum 60x 600s; Lum 40 x 60s; RGB 24 x 600s each; 22.7 hours integration; e-Eye, Extremadura, Spain. Data acquisition: Steve Milne & Barry Wilson; Processed by Barry Wilson.  September & October 2018.

(2) The Wizard Nebula NGC7380

I find this image quite eerie in its semblance to a pointy-hat wearing wizard reclining with open arms drawing you into his enchanted embrace . . . [shivers sinister intent]. Located in the constellation of Cepheus this nebula has quite strong signals in each of the three NB channels and is a joy to process. I integrated data from a home observatory captured Wizard to boost the overall integration however the overwheliming bulk comes from e-Eye and the Tak FSQ106. I removed stars using a star mask and morphological transformation and after some processing combined the deconvolved Ha channel as a luminance. By leaving some remnant green within the colour data I find that it can enrich the Hubble Palette and bring some robust orange to the golden yellows. It may not be to everyone's taste but I am favouring this palette now.

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


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.