Category: Reflection nebula

NGC7023 Iris nebula

Iris nebula, known as NGC 7023, is a reflection/dark nebula located in constellation Cepheus. It’s 1300 light years far from the Solar system and it has 6 light years in diameter. In the middle of the nebula rules so called baby star, which is only few thousand years old. The star was created partially from the gas which is now illuminated.

The picture was taken under dark skies of Greek island Karpathos during my 2019 expedition. Unfortunately, the weather was very bad. There wasn’t a single cloud on the sky, but it was extremely windy, therefore I got only one single steady night and this night I wanted to capture also other deep space objects. Therefore the picture is a stack of only 37 pictures, each 2 minutes long.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length630 mm
MountAvalon M-Zero
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, Guidescope 30 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-5°C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure37x120s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,

M78 Nebula

Messier 78 is a reflection nebula located in constellation Orion, visually not far from stars Alnitak Alnilam and Mintaka, which form the Orion’s belt. This nebula is one of the brightest reflection nebulas on the sky, due to reflection of the light coming from two bright stars called HD38563A and HD38563B.

My previous attempt to capture this nebula during my expedition to Schwarzwald was not that successful, due to the due problems, therefore I dedicated nearly 3 hours to this DSO. However, it looks like the picture would need longer integration time.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 254/1000 mm
Aperture254 mm
Focal length950 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-20°C
CorrectorTS-Optics 2" 3-element MaxField
FiltersHutech IDAS LPS-D2
Exposure50x180s, Gain 94, bin 1x1,

IC59 IC63 Gama Cassiopeia nebula

Is a reflection nebula located in constellation Cassiopeia, approximately 600 light years from Solar System. This nebula is very dim, therefore I used narrow band filters Ha, OIII and SII and composed two pictures. One is composed in real colors, second in fake (Hubble) color palette.

Reflection nebulae

Reflection nebulae are interstellar clouds of gas and dust, which reflect the light coming from nearby stars. Compared to emission nebulae, reflection nebulae are excited by significantly lower energy, therefore the gas is not ionized and therefore these nebulae only reflect the light, but not emit.

NGC7023 Iris nebula

Iris nebula is one of the most difficult deep space object to capture. Not the nebula itself, but the dark clouds around it. In order to capture these clouds you have to be under very good skies – with minimal light pollution. The reason is simple – the clouds are dark, but the background as well, therefore if you want to visualize the contrast between something which is dark and something which is even darker, good skies are essential. Since I live in sub-urban area, I had to wait till 1 o’clock at night. At this time nearly all street lamps are switched off and the light pollution drops to acceptable level.

Anyway back to the nebula – it’s reflective nebula (similar to Pleiades) located in constellation Cepheus. It’s 1300 light years far from the Solar system and it has 6 light years in diameter.