Background Image - The Horsehead Nebula (IC434 + B33) and Flame Nebula (NGC2024) Complex.  Courtesy of Derrick Farley

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Latest Website Update [22nd April 2014] >> Double Star Section Circular (DSSC) 22 - Now Available for Download

The Webb Deep-Sky Society will be at the International Astronomy Show

Which will be at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on the 7th/8th June 2014

We will be at Stand 38 and look forward to seeing you there.

Click here for more details

The Webb Deep-Sky Society 2014 Annual Meeting

The Webb Deep-Sky Society Annual Meeting 2014 will take place on

 Saturday 21st June 2014 at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge.

Click here for more details

DSO162 - Erratum

It has been brought to my attention that there are a number of transcription errors in the Ron J. Morales article on the 'NGC 1550 Region in Taurus'. I have attached a corrected version of this article here. Most of these articles are scanned and the OCR software sometimes has issues with the material. I apologise for this production error.  Owen BrazellDSO Editor

April 2014 - Picture of the Month

HDW 2 Ancient Planetary Nebula in Cassiopeia

Image Courtesy of Don Goldman, CaliforniaHDW 2 PN in Cassiopeia - Image Courtesy of Don Goldman

Click on image for a high resolution version

Don's Observation Notes:

'HDW 2 (Hartl-Dengl-Weinberger 2), also known as Sharpless 2-200 and PNG 138.1+04.1, is an ancient planetary nebula (PN) in Cassiopeia at RA 3hr 11m 29s and DEC +62d 45m 5s. The bright part of the object is about 6' in diameter, North is toward the lower left and the field is ~32' x 32'. According to Weidmann and Gamen (A&A, 526, A6, 2011) the central star (CSPN - central star of a planetary nebula) is a binary (bc-CSPN); a designation "corresponding to binarity for the cool CSPN".

The object's color is a mixture of the blue/green OIII and red/magenta H-a. It is roughly circular with a central area having marked striations and a dark region toward the south, surrounded by a thin gap and then what appears to be an outer bright ring, or halo that also has some fine structure. We are probably looking at the edge of an expanded, spherical shell from an earlier expulsive event. Beyond this, there is apparently an even older, diffuse outer halo lacking in structure and barely detectable with our system. There is a fainter reddish arc of background H-a nebulosity surrounding the object opening toward the north.

This image was compiled from 22.5 hours of 3 nm OIII and H-a narrowband data and an additional 75 min. of RGB for star color using a G2V sunlike white point. The H-a data were mapped to red/magenta and the OIII data were mapped to blue/green.'


Image Details:

Constellation: Cassiopeia RA: 3hr 11m 29s DEC: +62d 45m 5s North: Lower left

Image Size: 32' x 32'

Exposure: 23.75 hrs Total: 11.5 hrs H-a, 11 hrs OIII, 1.25 hrs RGB

Telescope: RCOS 16 inch f/8.9 RC Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME

OAG: Astrodon Monster MOAG Acquisition: CCDAutoPilot4 Calibration: CCDStack2

Observatory Site: Sierra-Remote Observatories, Shaver Lake, CA

Camera: Apogee U16M Filters: Astrodon Gen 2 RGB, 3nm H-a, OIII Guider: SBIG ST-402

Camera Operation: MaximDL5.15 Processing: Photoshop CS5 Extended Image

Dates: 08.10.11 - 10.24.11


For more images from Don please visit the Astrodon Imaging website

 April 2014 - Double Star of the Month


STT 235 (11 32 20.76 +61 04 57.9) is in UMa close to the bowl of the Big Dipper and about 5 degrees slightly south preceding alpha UMa.  The pair has a period of 72.7 years and is presently opening, reaching maximum separation of 1" in 2027.  At the time of writing the stars are separated by 0".88 so this is a good opportunity to resolve this pair.  The components have visual magnitudes of 5.7 and 7.6 so pick a night when the seeing is good and use at least 20-cm, although 15-cm, if the optics are particularly fine, would probably show the object as double.  The star appears in the Hipparcos catalogue as HIC 56290 and it has an annual proper motion in declination of about 0".1 towards the south.  The mag. 11.3 star some 195" away would seem to be travelling through space with a similar motion, and was noticed by Helmut Abt. STT 235 has a parallax of 35.73 mas putting it at a distance of 91 light years.


Far down in the southern sky, epsilon Cha (11 59 37.58 -78 13 18.5) is the brightest member at the centre of a small cluster of stars some 111 pc distant.  Its nearby co-moving companion, HD 104237 (mag 6.6) is also called DX Cha and is the nearest Herbig Ae star.  This is a stellar quintet with most of the companions being very young stars.  In 1836, John Herschel divided eps Cha itself into two components 1".6 apart, and the pair is known as HJ 4486.  The WDS gives magnitudes of 5.3 and 6.0 but orbital motion has taken the fainter star to within about 0".4 of A.  The author made a measure of this pair from Johannesburg in 2008 and obtained 210° and 0".37 very similar to the last measure in the WDS dated 1997.  A substantial aperture will be required to see this pair and it would be interesting to have a confirmatory sighting.  Unlike many of the stars in the cluster and a wider association which are spectral class M, eps Cha is a late B star.


Bob Argyle - Double Star Section Director

Object of the Season - Winter 2013 & Spring 2014


The Webb Deep-Sky Society Nebulae & Clusters Section Director Wolfgang Steinicke has requested observations for the following deep-sky objects:-

Object of the Season (Winter 2013): Bipolar reflection nebula NGC 2163 in Orion.  Details will be published in DSO162 and the results will be presented in DSO 163.  Click here for Object Details

Object of the Season (Spring 2014): Globular cluster NGC 5466 in Bootes.  Details will be published in DSO163 and the results will be presented in DSO 164.  Click here for Object Details

NGC 2163 in Orion

NGC 5466 in Bootes

NGC 2163 - Image Courtesy of DSS

NGC 5466 - Image Courtesy of SDSS

Click on images for high resolution versions

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.

April 2014 - Galaxy of the Month

Hickson 68 in Canes Venatici

Image Courtesy of Bernhard Hubl, Nussbach (Austria)Hickson 68 - Image Courtesy of Bernhard Hubl

Click on image for a high resolution version


'The 68th member of Paul Hickson’s catalogue of 100 compact groups unusually consists of five NGC objects, numbers 5353, 5354, 5350, 5358, 5355. NGC’s 5350, 5353, 5354 and 5355 were all discovered by William Herschel in 1788 using his 18.7” reflector whilst NGC 5358 was discovered by Stephan in 1880 using a 31” reflector.  This tight group of galaxies is well placed in Canes Venatici in late Spring and has the added bonus of the bright galaxy NGC 5371 nearby. The group is located about 8 degrees south east of the Whirlpool galaxy M51. NGC 5371 is not part of the group. As one of the brighter Hickson (HCG) groups most of the galaxies should be visible in a 22cm telescope under dark skies however probably 30cm+ will be needed to see the fainter members of the group. The group appears to be at a distance of about 100 million light years. Interestingly NGC 5371 is also at the same distance and appears to be physically associated with the HCG 68 group. If so this group of galaxies may contain over 20 galaxies. The whole group appears to lie on a filament of galaxies connecting the Coma cluster (AGC 1656) to the Virgo cluster. Hickson 68 and NGC 5371 make up the Big Lick Group. It is not clear why it should have be so named as this is after the town of Roanoke in Virginia which itself was named after the local salt pan. This may just be a case of people randomly attaching names to objects in the sky with no real association. A fine image and identification chart appears at the Distant Lights website. This also shows the many faint background galaxies in the same area. A nice sketch of the area can also be found here. Interestingly NGC 5371 is probably the same as NGC 5390 being a re-observation by John Herschel and a case of mistaken identity. NGC 5353 and NGC 5354 appear to be interacting and both galaxies are producing large amounts of radiation on the radio spectrum. Although NGC 5354 is classified as a lenticular galaxy, SA0, it does show a dust lane in deep images which would be unusual for this type of galaxy. They both show distortions arising from this interaction. It would appear that these galaxies are separated by only about 9kpc and are the process of merging. This merger should take place in the near future in astronomical terms. The other bright member of the group, NGC 5350, is also classified as a Type A Seyfert galaxy so it has an active galactic nucleus.  This is altogether a fascinating group of galaxies that should repay study with both medium and large telescopes.'

The Megastar© finder chart shows the Hickson 68 region.

Owen Brazell - Galaxy Section Director


For more images from Berhard please visit his Astrophotography by Bernhard Hubl website

M100 in Coma Berenices

Image Courtesy of David Davies, Cambridge, UK

M100 - Image Courtesy of David Davies

Click on image for a high resolution version


David's Observation Notes:

'Well we had a clear night on Tuesday/ Wednesday 8/9 April. Unfortunately, we also had a first quarter moon. I seriously considered spending at least part of the evening observing Mars but in the end decided to devote what clear sky I had to having a look at M100.

I've not observed M100 previously. In previous years, I decide to observe it too late in the Spring when it was well down in the west.

I had a young helper that evening. The 12 year old grandson of my neighbour, visited to help with my set-up and watched the first subs being captured.

The image is 16 x 5 min of luminance and 5 x 5 min each of RGB, approx 3 hours of data.

The bright sky, over 6% on my luminance subs, gave difficulties with the processing and very weak colour in the RGB image. So processing the image has needed some effort in teasing out the colours and controlling the noise. Best regards, David'


Image Details:

Image: 2165 x 1811 crop of the original 3364 x 2504.

Telescope: 254 mm Newtonian plus Paracorr at F/4.5

Camera: QSI 583wsg with Astrodon LRGB filters and Lodestar OAG

Mount: EQ6

Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Pixinsight, Photoshop CS5


For more images from David please visit his Flickr Photostream page.

Current Deep-Sky Observer - DSO163


DSO 163 Cover

In This Issue


AGCS 714, A Galaxy Cluster in Hydra

Ronald J Morales

The NGC 7385 Galaxy Group

Mark Bratton

A Visual Atlas of Double Stars

One User's Approach


The IC 2375 Galaxy Group (Puppis)

Ronald J Morales

Next Object of the Season: Globular Cluster

NGC 5466 in Boötes

Wolfgang Steinicke

Object of the Season:

Galaxy 7479 in Pegasus

Wolfgang Steinicke

NGC 3280 - A Tight Group

Ronald J Morales

Planetary Nebulae in M46 Region

Owen Brazell

A Winter Observing Session

Steven Brooks

The NGC 2684 Group of Galaxies in Ursa Major

Ronald J Morales


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 & Andrew Robertson, Norfolk, UK

Supernova in M82 - Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt

Supernova in M82 - Sketch Courtesy of Andrew Robertson

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 Comments:

'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

Image Courtesy of Dave Adshead, Doncaster, England

Supernova in M82 - Image Courtesy of Dave Adshead

Supernova in M82 - Image Courtesy of Dave Adshead

Click on images for a higher resolution versions


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.' Dave


For more images from Dave please visit his gallery

Sketch of Supernova SN2014L in M99

Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt, Hertfordshire, UK

SN2014L in M99 - Sketch Courtesy of Dale Holt

Click on sketch for a higher resolution version

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.' Dale

Keep up to date with Dale's observations from Chippingdale Observatory by reading his Blog

Clear Skies Observing Guides (CSOG)

Courtesy of Victor van Wulfen

Webb Deep-Sky Society member Victor van Wulfen produces the CSOG.  Samples of these guides can be found here. There are four versions or formats of this guide True and mirrored images MH, MV and MHV to best match the view in different mirroring telescopes.

"The advantage of this publication is that with a suitably dimmed laptop or tablet/iPad you have at your finger tips an excellent resource" - Owen Brazell, UK review in The Deep-Sky Observer (DSO 160, Quarterly Journal of the Webb Deep Sky Society)

For more details please visit Clear Skies Observing Guides website

The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas - 2nd Edition

Courtesy of Massimo Zecchin - Italy


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


The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas (2nd Ed) Black - Courtesy of Massimo Zecchin

The Brightest Planetary Nebulae Observing Atlas (2nd Ed) White - Courtesy of Massimo Zecchin


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 additional tables showing the objects sorted by magnitude, surficial brightness, size, central star mag, constellation and declination.

- A general position map.


Both atlases can be download as a PDF files onto your computer by right clicking the links below and choosing either 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As'....

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

Warning - Bank Charges

If you intend to purchase a DVD and/or publication from The Webb Deep-Sky Society via bank transfer and you are outside the UK then please check what the bank will charge for this transaction.  We know of a least one bank abroad that charged 90% of the cost of the item to use their services.

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