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Latest Website Update [4 September 2014] >> September 2014 Double Star of the Month - Bob Argyle >> September 2014 Galaxy of the Month >> Object of the Season Updated [Autumn 2014] - Wolfgang Steinicke

Hello from the new Website Administrator

I'm James Whinfrey and I've taken over the management of this website from Tim Walker, who retired from this post after many years of hard work on this site. Thank you Tim.

As the new guy, I'd appreciate any comments and suggestions about what you'd like to see on this website in the future. Please let me know if you have any problems.

Webb Deep Sky Society 2015 Annual Meeting

This will take place on Saturday June 20 at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. The meeting will follow the usual format.

Two speakers confirmed so far are Wolfgang Steinicke (Germany) and Magda Streicher (South Africa).

September 2014 - Picture of the Month

NGC 6888 The Crescent Nebula in Cygnus

NGC6888 - Image Courtesy of David Davies

Image Courtesy of David Davies, Cambridge, UK. Please click on the image for the high resolution version.

For more images from David please visit his Flickr Photostream.

It's been a little while since I've shared anything from the deep sky. I managed to be away during several of the clear nights we've had recently.

My observatory was completed just over one year ago and the first object I observed from it was the Crescent Nebula. It seemed fitting to return to it this year and see if I could do any better.

So I've spent several nights during August (17, 28 and 31) gathering narrow band data on the Crescent Nebula and further time learning how to process narrow band images. The attached is the result.

I now have the benefit of automatic focussing which is helping I think by enabling me to refocus by remote control during the night. I'm using a Lakeside focus motor and the Scopefocus application from Kevin Sipprell in the US that works with my image capture software, Nebulosity.

Viewing conditions were almost universally poor with poor transparency and high thin cloud. This image comprises 100 minutes of H-alpha and 200 minutes of OIII data in 20 minute subs, five hours in total, captured with a 254mm Newtonian and QSI 583 camera equipped with 3nm Astrodon filters.

Processing was done in Pixinsight where H-alpha was assigned to red, OIII to blue and a synthetic green was generated using 85% blue and 15% red. I did try to combine the H-alpha and OIII with a normal green image and the result was just awful.

I'm fascinated by this object. The great bubbles of OIII extend well beyond the normally visible object and are also evident throughout its internal structure.

I'm continuing to capture RGB data and it would be interesting to see if I can combine the RGB and narrow band data in the future.

September 2014 - Double Star of the Month

H 1 48 (21 13 42.46 +64 24 15.1) is a very rare example of one of William Herschel's close discoveries which retains its original designation instead of being absorbed into the catalogue of F. G. W. Struve, as many of his pairs were. It is also remarkable as being a fairly short period system which has both high eccentricity and high inclination. It is characterized by periods of rapid angular motion at very small separations and then stretches of decades when it is visible to the medium aperture. The brightness of the stars (7.2 and 7.3) means that it is never an easy object in small telescopes but may well be visible in 15-cm after 2020 or so when the separation slowly increases to 0".9. The ephemeris for the 81.7 year orbit by Marco Scardia and colleagues gives a separation of 0".72 and PA 243° for 2015.0. The pair can be found 1 deg south preceding 6 Cephei which is, in turn, 3 degrees north of alpha Cephei.

BSO 15 (21 48 15.75 -47 18 13.0) is a naked eye star in Gruis about 4 degrees preceding and slightly south of alpha. It was found to be double by Thomas Brisbane in the early 1830s. The primary is a GO dwarf of V = 5.6. Hipparcos places this star at a distance of only 52 light years and as a consequence it has a fairly substantial proper motion of almost one-third of an arc second per year. The mag 8.8 companion is not connected and is being rapidly left behind by the proper motion of A. The pair was first accurately measured by John Herschel in 1836 when he found B at a separation of 30.3" in PA 14°. Last year the writer measured the pair again and found a distance of 78".9 in PA 350.2°, in good agreement with the prediction given in the USNO Linear Elements Catalogue. This pair has not been observed by either Hartung or Haas and the writer didn't note any significant colour in either component. Recent observations by the infra-red Herschel telescope show there is a large proto-planetary dust ring around this star stretching from about 100 to 180 AU.

Bob Argyle - Double Star Section Director

Object of the Season - Summer 2014 & Autumn 2014

The Webb Deep-Sky Society Nebulae & Clusters Section Director Wolfgang Steinicke has requested observations for the following deep-sky objects. Please click on images for high resolution versions.

Object of the Season (Summer 2014)

Planetary nebula NGC 40 in Cepheus was announced in DSO 164, and the results will be published in DSO 166.

NGC40 - Image Courtesy of Capella Observatory: Stefan Binnewies, Rainer Sparenberg, Josef Pöpsel Our thanks to Stefan Binnewies, Rainer Sparenberg and Josef Pöpsel of the Capella Observatory for the use of this image of NGC 40.

Object of the Season (Autumn 2014)

The chain of open clusters M 35, NGC 2158 and IC2157 in Gemini will be announced in DSO 165, and the results will be published in DSO 167.

The complete schedule, including further objects, is published in the Deep Sky Observer (DSO).

Observations should be sent to Wolfgang Steinicke , Gottenheimerstr. 18, D-79224 Umkirch, Germany.

September 2014 - Galaxy of the Month

NGC 7339 in Pegasus

NGC7339 - Image Courtesy the Sloan Sky Survey This image was provided by the Sloan Sky Survey and this finder chart was produced using Megastar 5.

NGC 7332 and NGC 7339 are an isolated bound pair of galaxies about 67 million light years away. NGC 7332 is lenticular galaxy with a boxy nucleus. Lenticular galaxies have a light profile that makes them look like spiral galaxies but they have no gas and new stars. They are usually found in large galaxy clusters where it is believed that the gas is stripped out by ram pressure as the galaxy moves through the intra-cluster medium. It is relatively unusual to see them in isolated situations like this.

NGC 7339 is an edge on spiral that is unusually blue. The pair form number 57 0 in the catalogue of double galaxies by Karachentsev. Although NGC 7332 and 7339 appear to be a dynamically interacting pair there are no signs of tidal distortions in the system so the orbit is currently fairly wide. Deep radio observations of the system also show no evidence of tidal interactions although they have turned up some new dwarf galaxies associated with the pair. They do however show a stream of gas in NGC 73339 which could be the remains of a merger event which could account for the current star formation episode in it. Recent surveys looking for globular clusters suggest that both galaxies have a small number ~175 for NGC 7332 and perhaps 75 for NGC 7339. NGC 7339 was also home to supernova 1989L. Both the galaxies were discovered by William Herschel in 1784. NGC 7332 is catalogued as S0(pec) because of the box like shape of its nucleus. The box could be evidence for a bar in the galaxy. Unusually for an S0 type galaxy NGC 7332 does show evidence for a large amount of ionized gas so it maybe a young version of this type. NGC 7339 is probably an Sbc type spiral but is features are fairly low contrast.

Both these galaxies are relatively bright and should be visible in telescopes of 20cm or above aperture from typical UK skies. The galaxies are an interesting pair because they are at right angles to each other. It should be noted that NGC 7339 is the fainter of the pair whne seen visually. It may be possible with larger telescopes to make out the box like shape. Of the nucleus of NGC 7332. They make a nice pair to warm up with before going are more challenging targets.

Owen Brazell - Galaxy Section Director

Supernova 2014bc in M106

Supernova SN2014bc in M106 - Image Courtesy of David Davies Image Courtesy of David Davies, Cambridge, UK. For more images from David please visit his Flickr Photostream.

David's Observation Notes.

Hello everyone,

Here is my processed stack of 11 x 7 minutes of luminance images showing supernova sn2014bc in M106 captured on 18 May.

This is an interesting processing challenge. If you stretch the image in the usual manner to bring out the details of the galaxy, then the core tends to burn out and the supernova becomes impossible to see. In this image I have processed the image twice: once to reveal the details of the galaxy, in the usual way, and then a second time to just reveal the galaxy core. I then merged these two images together.


I managed to get out on Saturday 25 May and captured some RGB data on M106. I have combined this with the luminance data captured on 18 May to produce the attached LRGB image. Regards David'

Image details

Exposure Details
11 x7 minutes of luminance, binned 1 x 1; 8 x 5 minutes of each RGB binned 2 x 2
254 mm newtonian plus Paracorr coma corrector at F/4.5
QSI 583 wsg plus Lodestar off-axis guider
NEQ6 controlled via EQMOD

Current Deep-Sky Observer - DSO164

DSO 164 Cover

In this issue

AGM Report 2013 by Bob Argyle.

Webb Society Accounts for the Year to 31st March 2013 by Steve Rayner.

The Teenage Deep-Sky Wonder by Mark Bratton.

Next Object of the Season: Planetary Nebula NGC 40 by Wolfgang Steinicke.

Hickson 22 by Ronald J Morales.

Object of the Season: Bipolar Nebula NGC 2163 in Orion by Wolfgang Steinicke.

Deep-Sky Observer (DSO) No 153 - Free Sample

DSO153 Cover

This free journal is DSO 153 from 2010. You can download it as a PDF file onto your computer by right clicking the link below and choosing either 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As'...

Download DSO 153 (2MB PDF file)

Supernova 2014J in M82

Sketches Courtesy of Dale Holt, Hertfordshire, UK and Andrew Robertson, Norfolk, UK. Please click on sketches for a higher resolution versions.

Dale's Observation Comments

Hi All, here is my sketch of M82 with the glorious Supernova, such a privilege to be able to see such amazing happenings in the universe from ones own garden :) My estimate of current magnitude is Mag 11 to 11.5 using local stars as known reference. I hope that you get to see it soon too, if you haven't seen it already.

Andrew's Observation

My sketch from last night (25th Jan 2014) using the 12" D-K Mewlon, pleased with this one. Diagonal used, laterally inverted. Pentax 20mm E/P, 70° AFOV , x180. Not very transparent; Mag 5 Nelm , Ant III Seeing Haven't got a clue where North was (diagonal used, equatorial mount, near the pole etc) :-)

Supernova 2014J in M82

Images courtesy of Dave Adshead, Doncaster, England. Please click on images for a higher resolution versions. For more images from Dave please visit his gallery.

Dave's Observation Comments

This is my effort of the supernova in M82. Taken yesterday evening at an earlier time than I normally image. So, there are some vibrations, well quite a few actually. Taken with a Takahashi FSQ106ED, QSI 583 CCD camera and an Avalon M-Uno mount. The camera was looking through a Ha 3nm filter.

Sketch of Supernova SN2014L in M99

SN2014L in M99 - Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt

Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt, Hertfordshire, UK. Please click on the sketch for a higher resolution version. Keep up to date with Dale's observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading his Blog.

Dale's Observation Comments

At last I caught the supernova in M99, I made this sketch using the 505mm mirror and Watec 120n+ video camera on Thursday 27th Feb. Clear Skies to you.

Clear Skies Observing Guides (CSOG)

Courtesy of Victor van Wulfen.

Clear Skies Observing Guides Banner

Webb Deep-Sky Society member Victor van Wulfen produces the CSOG. He's preparing for a relaunch of the website with version 2.1 in early 2015, so keep an eye on it.

The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas - 2nd Edition

Massimo Zecchin has just completed the 2nd Edition of an atlas of planetary nebulae observed with small apertures and from suburban locations, entitled: "The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas".

Massimo has kindly made the atlas is freely available in two versions, Black (for display) and White (printer friendly with the images in negative).

The 2nd Edition contains:

  • Six additional objects.
  • Data of visual magnitude, central star magnitude and object size from the Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae (SEC catalogue) and in a few cases from the Saguaro Astronomy Club database (SAC catalogue).
  • Calculated surficial brightness for any object (in magnitude per square arcsec).
  • Six additionaltables showing the objects sorted by magnitude, surficial brightness, size, central star mag, constellation and declination.
  • A general position map.

Either version of the atlas can be downloaded as a PDF file onto your computer by right clicking the respective image above and choosing either Save Target As or Save Link As...

Please note that the Black version is 14MB and the White version 10MB