Dick Miller's CCD Images     

Open Clusters
Diffuse Neb
Misc Objects
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                         Recent Images -- Last Updated 3/4/2017

     The images below will not show up on the other pages until they are replaced on this one.  You won't see any repeats when you go to one of the links on the left.  Basic information about the telescopes and cameras is at the bottom of this page.

   NGC 1514

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 76/28/20/28

   NGC 1514 is a beautiful planetary nebula located in Taurus.  It was discovered by William Herschel in 1790.  It has a bright central star which produces diffraction spikes in my Newtonian telescope.  These a no more "real" than the diffraction spikes on the other bright stars in the field.  The denser central part of the nebula contains a number of overlapping bubbles which give it a lumpy appearance.  There is a fainter outer envelope.  Al Kelly reprocessed my original image to eliminate gradients and reduce the noise.  Thanks, Al.

The central part of 1514 is just a little larger than the equivalent part of M57, the Ring Nebula.  The Ring also has an outer envelope which is even larger but much fainter.

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   NGC 2327, IC 2177, and More

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 60/24/24/24

   NGC 2327 is the small bright nebula just above center.  IC 2177 is the nebulosity occupying the lower left two-thirds of the field.  This is a huge object, 150' x 60', with only a small portion visible here.  It includes numerous areas of dark nebulosity, a few of which can be seen in this image.  GN 07.01.4 sweeps to the right, away from the bright star in the lower right of the field.  It consists of a small bright area overlapping the star and a longer, but fainter, streamer looking very much like a comet.  It is also known as Magakian 241 and is classified as a cometary nebula, but is not a typical cometary in either appearance or location.  Finally, the cluster of bright stars just left and below GN 07.01.4 is the open cluster VdBergh 92.  It contains 12 stars within a 3' diameter.

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   NGC 2683

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 48/20/20/20

   NGC 2683 is believed to be a barred spiral, even though no bar can be seen in even the best available images.  It is nicknamed the UFO Galaxy because its appearance matches fairly closely a number of descriptions of various supposed UFOs.  The yellow to brownish color, especially near the core, is a result of dust in the galaxy halo.  There a many small background galaxies in the field.

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   Tombaugh 1

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30/10/10/10

   Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto, identified five open clusters during his search of plates from the Lowell astrograph.  Later, one of them was found to be a duplicate discovery of IC 166.  The first two of his list are shown here, and below, and IC 166 was imaged earlier.  Tombaugh 1 includes 45 stars in a 5' diameter.owell astrograph

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   Tombaugh 2

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30/10/10/10

   See Tombaugh 1 above.  Tombaugh 2 is considerably denser, with 50 stars in a 3.0' diameter.

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   Sharpless2-237 and NGC 1931

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 48/20/20/20

   Sharpless2-237 is the nebulosity overlapping the open cluster NGC 1931.  It is also known as the Fly Nebula, with IC 417, about 45' away, being the Spider.  It is a mix of emission and reflection nebulosity.

NGC 1931 is a very sparse cluster, consisting of 20 stars in a 6' diameter.  While both objects overlap, the center of 1931 is a little south (below) Sh2-237.  It is often misidentified as being the nebula.

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   M67 (NGC 2682)

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30/12/12/12

   I have previously made a wide-field image of M67 with my AT-66 refractor.  You can see that one here.  It is actually a prettier image but does not show as much detail.

M67 is a large, rich open cluster, containing about 500 stars in a diameter of 29'.  A little of that area extends beyond the boundaries of this field.  M67 is unusual in a number of ways, being one of the oldest open clusters known and being  located a large distance from the galactic plane.  Open clusters are generally located in the plane of the Milky Way.

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   NGC 2362

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 25/10/10/10

   NGC 2362 is an unusual open cluster.  I can not remember any with so many bright stars of similar brightness.  The brightest member is tau Canis Major, a multiple star consisting of at least 7 components.  The cluster is both young and massive.

It is generally described as consisting of about 60 stars, but recent studies have identified several hundred low mass stars within its boundary.  None of these show up in my image.

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   NGC 6553

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 30:11:11:11

   NGC 6553 is a very reddened globular cluster in Sagittarius.  It is one of the globulars located in the galactic (Milky Way) bulge.  Most of these clusters are so obscured that they cannot be studied at optical wavelengths.  Dark dust lanes are visible throughout this field and even the objects not completely obscured are dimmed and reddened.  The cluster is located just over a degree SE of the Lagoon Nebula, in a very rich part of the Milky Way.

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   NGC 6749

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 22/10/10/10

   NGC 6749 is fainter and more reddened than even 6553 above.  It, however, is a halo rather than a bulge cluster.  It was the first globular discovered by John Herschel.  This is a bit surprising because it is widely considered to be the most difficult NGC globular to observe visually.  There is an outstanding article available on the Cloudy Nights forum titled "NGC 6749 Aquila -- Tough Cookie, Soft Heart".  This article includes more detail on 6749 than any of the professional journals.

Just a personal observation -- in most globular images, the globular appears to be in front of, or among the field stars.  To me, 6749 definitely seems to be hiding behind them.

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   M21 (NGC 6531)

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 24/8/8/8

   Messier 21 is a bright but fairly sparse open cluster in Sagittarius.  It is located about 39' NE of the beautiful nebula M20, the Trifid.  It contains about 57 or 70 stars (depending on the source) in a 13.0' diameter.  It is a young cluster and star formation is still taking place.

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   NGC 6709

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 21/7/7/7

   NGC 6709 is a fairly unimpressive open cluster in Aquila, although one observer calls it the finest open cluster in that constellation.  It includes about 40 stars in a 13.0' diameter, but another reference puts the membership at 110 stars.  It does not really stand out from the rich background in this image.  It is probably a better target for visual observation than for imaging.


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   NGC 5634

   Celestron CG 9 1/4, ST2000XM, 22/10/10/10

   This image was made at my home in The Woodlands, TX.  5634 is located in Virgo and has fewer foreground stars than most globulars.  Compare it with NGC 6749 earlier on this page.

NGC 5634 is believed to be a cluster "stolen" from the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy, both because of the orbit and the chemical composition.

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   IC 5076 and NGC 6991

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 48/16/16/16

   IC 5076 is the diffuse nebula located next to the bright star at the left of the field.  NGC 6991 is a very sparse open cluster occupying most of the field, even running out a little bit on the right. The cluster consists of 35 stars in a 25' diameter.

Megastar describes IC 5076 as an emission nebula, but the color and proximity to the bright star (SAO 50246) make me think it is a reflection nebula instead.  Simbad does describe it as a reflection nebula.

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   NGC 7243

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 16/16/16

   7243 is a very young cluster, only about 1 million years old, if it is in fact a cluster.  A study in 1999 by Braun, Geffert, and Rosenbaum determined that neither the color magnitude diagram nor the proper motions of the stars in the region demonstrated the existence of a cluster.  Their conclusion was that any cluster consisted of only a few stars.

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   NGC 381

   10-inch Newtonian, ST2000XM, 21/7/7/7

   Like NGC 7243 above, this object has been suspected of not being a real cluster.  However, a 1988 study confirmed that it is a cluster with 50 to 60 members.  It certainly has more of the visual appearance of a cluster.

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     This site presents color CCD images of astronomical objects taken by the author.  Most have been taken with an SBIG ST2000XM camera and either a homebuilt 10-inch Newtonian, Astro-Tech AT66ED, or Meade 2045D telescope  There are a few other possible camera/telescope combinations described on the Equipment page but rarely used.  Images taken with the 10-inch will always be from my observatory at West Point, TX.  Those taken with the AT66ED will frequently be from my home in The Woodlands, TX, but it is portable and I take it to dark sky sites when possible.  The same applies to the Meade 2045D.  Except for images with the 10-inch, the location will be identified.  The most recent dozen or so images will be shown on this page and others can be found by selecting an object type from the buttons on the left.  All the images will be displayed as large thumbnails, accompanied by descriptions of the object, equipment used, exposure times, etc.  Under each thumbnail, you will generally have the option of linking to a full size or half size image.  Use your browser's Back button to return.  Experiment with each size a few times to see which you prefer.  The half-size images are usually more attractive but the full-size images obviously show more detail.  Occasionally, I might include a few monochrome images but not many.

     I began my color imaging in September, 2008  -- not counting a couple of years of CMY imaging with my Cookbook camera back in the previous century.  For those of you interested in the technical details of the images, the lengths of the luminosity, red, green, and blue exposures are listed as L:R:G:B minutes.  If the field size is something other than 21.7' x 28.9' (or 28.9' x 21.7'), the size will be listed.  Also, unless otherwise noted, the images are oriented North up and East to the left.  Details about the telescopes, cameras, filters, software, etc. can be found on the Equipment page.  In late 2009, I acquired a set of narrowband filters and am starting to take some NB images.  When those images are moved off this page, they will be collected on a new Narrowband page.  On that page, there is a short description of the palettes used to convert the exposure sets to color images

     Prior to September, 2008, I spent several years accumulating monochrome images of all 338 Arp Peculiar Galaxies.  These can be seen at my other web site, www.338arps.com.  This challenging project sharpened my general imaging skills but color is a new challenge.  The Arp Galaxies that I have imaged in color will appear on both sites.

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