Star Cluster Images

Sailboat Cluster

The Sailboat Cluster 




The Sailboat Cluster is an Open Cluster with an adjacent Reflection Nebula and Dark Nebula.

Had a bit of an experimental evening. With the Full Moon blazing there was not much chance of any quality astrophotography but the sky was clear and you have to do what you have to do when the sky is clear! I came across the Sailboat Cluster whilst playing in Stellarium. I'm familiar with the Open Cluster and they're ok during a Full Moon but I didn't know about the Reflection Nebula and the Dark Nebula. I used a NINA Sequence that used the PHD2 Tools plugin that interrupts an exposure if the guiding is sub par. The cluster looks good but the image is a bit washed out by the Lunar light pollution and there's a visible grey nebula where the blue reflection nebula should be but the dark nebula is evident. The final stack is 37L, 19R, 15G, 18B all at 3 minutes. 4 hours 27 minutes. Processed in Pixinsight. 

Carbon Star T Cnc

T Cnc Carbon Star



Moving on to T Cnc I set the sequence to capture 3 instances of 2 x L, 1 x R, 1 x G, 1 x B at 180 seconds each. But the clouds filled the sky before the sequence finished. So this is 4 x L, 2 x R, 2 x G, 2 x B. I had to make some copies so that I had a minimum of 3 per channel for PI WBP to be able to stack.

T Cnc is one of the December 2020 targets in Carbon Star Challenge.

Carbon Star BL Ori

BL Ori Carbon Star



NINA found BL Ori first time and a quick plate solve centered it. I used a Sequence I've been working on that I've saved as templates for Sequence Start, Target and Sequence End. It loops 2 x L, 1 x R, 1 x G, 1 x B captures till the target is below 30° or we reach Astronomical Dawn. I recently found out I can use my Pegasus PBA as a Weather Data Source, which was a nice surprise! So I'm set up to receive a notification on my phone if the humidity rises above 95% or if the temperature drops below 2°C. And my Arduino Rain Sensor also notifies me if it rains. But just to get some data to process to avoid the possibility of forgetting how to process, I replaced the below 30° loop with a 3 iterations loop. I just captured 25 x 60 second subs. No Flat Frames.

BL Ori is one of the December 2020 targets in Carbon Star Challenge.

Kemble's Cascade

NGC1502 - Open Star Cluster



Kemble's Cascade is a line of stars 2° or 3° long, this image shows the pool of stars at the end of the cascade, Open Cluster NGC1502. 

Well I managed just 45 minutes of NGC1502 18xL 9xRGB all at 60seconds. Then when the humidity topped 95% and the dew point came within 1°C of the temperature I parked the telescope and closed the roof. I did some flats and shut everything down.

NGC1502 is one of the December targets in Monthly Challenge.

Deep Sky Camp Star Trails

Polaris Star Trails 

Ursa Minor


I fancied doing some North facing star trails. Yeah, I know most people start their AP journey by capturing Polaris centred star trails using a fixed camera on a tripod! But I have never got round to trying this art form!

This is 2 x 30 minute exposures. Two or three more subs would have been good but the clouds decided otherwise! The dark arc in the centre of the frame is the result of condensation on the lens. Bit of a rubbish attempt but it was lots of fun! 

Deep Sky Camp Summer Triangle

Milky Way

Cygnus and Lyra 


This image was captured at the Orpington Astronomical Star Party in East Sussex. What a joy it was to camp out under the stars at a Bortle 4 location. I just took my ASI294 with a Canon lens mounted on a tripod as the CGX has been messing about. So this is 43 x 30sec subs of Cygnus, Lyra and that part of the Milky Way. The North America Nebula can be seen to the East of Deneb with a faint hint of red and the eyes of the Pelican.

My report on of the weekend won the  TSS VROD award for 19/09/23!

The Pacman Nebula 

IC1590 - Open Cluster

NGC 281 - Nebulosity

Open Star Cluster with Nebulosity



6x3minL, 3X3minR, 3X3minG, 3X3minB at -10°C.

This is, IC1590, the open star cluster at the heart of the Pacman Nebula NGC281.

This nebula was one of the targets in the TSS Monthly Challenge.

Open Cluster at the Heart of the Heart Nebula 


Collinder 26

Open Star Cluster with Nebulosity


24 x 180 second LRGBs at 0°C, 4.8 hours. Captured 20/08/23 using NINA.

This is, IC1805, the open star cluster at the heart of the Heart Nebula.

The seeing was terrible hence the noise and the temperature was high when I started hence the 0°C sensor setting. The guiding started out hovering about the 2.0" mark then settled to 1.0". After about 3.5 hours I had an RMS below 1.0" and it stayed that way for the rest of the session!

Wild Duck Cluster

NGC 6705

Messier 11

Open Star Cluster



9 x 180 seconds

Set up for 50 exposures. Clouded out after 14, used just 9.

Orphiuchus Globular Cluster

NGC 6254

Messier 10

Globular Cluster



3 x 120 seconds

Nice accurate collimation setup. Managed just 3 subs then cloud cover!

The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

NGC 6205

Messier 13

Globular Cluster



29 x 120 seconds

Captured 40 subs, used 29 of them.

The Rose Cluster

NGC 5904

Messier 5

Globular Cluster



25 x 120 seconds

2" total PA error! Waited till after the meridain flip to start! Fairly sure now the periphery star egginess is due to guide scope flexure.

Christmas Tree Cluster

NGC 2264

Open Cluster



26 x 240 seconds

Including the Cone Nebula on the right. I cropped out the fox fur! Connected to pc via Ethernet converter.


Beta Cygni

Double star



10 x 60 seconds

Not exactly a star cluster! There was a mist in the air which gave a nice effect to this binary double.

Owl Star Cluster

NGC 457

Caldwell 13

Open Star Cluster



24 x 120 seconds

This was the Sky Searchers Forum November 2020 submission.

The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

NGC 6205

Messier 13

Globular Cluster



20 x 30 seconds

This image won 3rd prize in the Stargazers Lounge 30 seconds and under Image competition. The prize was a mug. The postman broke it.