Geoff Dryland

Rosliston Science Discovery Day 7/10/2017

Thanks to Peter (Hill), Ed, Bob, Roger, Geoff, Terry, Heather and Damian, who along with myself talked to 50+ members of the public about astronomy at the science discovery day today at Rosliston Forestry Centre.

The weather remained dry although persistent cloud meant that solar observing was limited to a few precious moments in the first hour. I ought along my LOMO polarising microscope and folks were excited to look at the birefrigement colour patterns on meteor thin microscope sections and at microfossils in thin sections of fossil-containing rock. Problems with my power inverter left my laptop out of action but Ed’s battery saved the day for the microscope illuminator so that the public could continue to look through the microscope!



The picture below was taken today through the LOMO microscope using my Bresser MikrOkular camera – it shows microfossils in rock thin section. Birefringence in the crystals of minerals in the fossil-bearing rock is evident:

Latest Hydrogen Alpha Images – Geoff Dryland

Images taken with the new rig set-up (now side by side instead of piggyback)​, after the new gearing mode installed by Lee B.

​In this first image, not only can we see the famous Bubble Nebula (SH2-162) but also SH2-158,159,161, M52, Czernik 43 and if you can find it PN G112.5-00.1

SH2-161 takes up all the top left corner of the image with SH2-158 (the small bright nebula) just inside it to its far right.

> Sh2-159 is the small faint nebula down to the right of this.
> Centre bottom is the open cluster M52 containing 200 stars.
> Just in the image to the right and down is the open cluster Czernik43 with just 12 stars.
> Half way to the right edge from Czernik is the Planetary Nebula (difficult to see).

This Ha image was taken with only 18x5mins (once I had removed the duff ones​!)

Damian (from Wikipedia):

NGC 7635, also called the Bubble Nebula, Sharpless 162, or Caldwell 11, is a HII (Hydrogen Alpha)region emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. The “bubble” is created by the stellar wind from a massive hot, 8.7 magnitude young central star, SAO 20575 (BD+60°2522).The nebula is near a giant molecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble nebula while itself being excited by the hot central star, causing it to glow.It was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel.

For the 26th birthday of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are highlighting a Hubble image of an enormous bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star.

ESA/Hubble – Hubble Space Telescope


Next up is SH2-101 the Tulip Nebula.

Damian (from Wikipedia): Sharpless 101 (Sh2-101) is another H II region emission nebula, tis time located in the constellation Cygnus. It is sometimes called the Tulip Nebula because it appears to resemble the outline of a tulip when imaged photographically! It was catalogued by astronomer Stewart Sharpless in his 1959 catalog of nebulae. It lies at a distance of about 6,000 light-years from Earth.


The last two images (both about 20x3minutes)

First – SH2-155

Damian: Wikipedia: The Cave Nebula is a diffuse nebula in the constellation Cepheus, within a larger nebula complex containing emission, reflection, and dark nebulosity. It is widely known as the Cave Nebula, though that name was applied earlier to Ced 201, a different nebula in Cepheus. Sh2-155 is an ionized H II region with ongoing star formation activity,[at an estimated distance of 725 parsecs (2400 light-years) from Earth.

Sh2-155 was first noted as a galactic emission nebula in 1959 in the extended second edition of the Sharpless catalogue. Although Sh2-155 is relatively faint for amateur observation, some of its structure may be seen visually through a moderately sized telescope under dark skies.

Lastly – SH2-131, the Elephant’s Trunk !

Damian (from Wikipedia):

The Elephant’s Trunk nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region IC 1396 located in the constellation Cepheus about 2,400 light years away from Earth. The piece of the nebula Geoff has imaged is the dark, dense globule IC 1396A; it is commonly called the Elephant’s Trunk nebula because of its appearance at visible light wavelengths, where there is a dark patch with a bright, sinuous rim. The bright rim is the surface of the dense cloud that is being illuminated and ionized by a very bright, massive star (HD 206267)that is just to the west of IC 1396A.
The entire IC 1396 region is ionized by the massive star, except for dense globules that can protect themselves from the star’s harsh ultraviolet rays.

The Elephant’s Trunk nebula is now thought to be a site of star formation, containing several very young (less than 100,000 yr) stars that were discovered in infrared images in 2003. Two older (but still young, a couple of million years, by the standards of stars, which live for billions of years) stars are present in a small, circular cavity in the head of the globule. Winds from these young stars may have emptied the cavity.

The combined action of the light from the massive star ionizing and compressing the rim of the cloud, and the wind from the young stars shifting gas from the centre outward lead to very high compression in the Elephant’s Trunk nebula. This pressure has triggered the current generation of protostars.

Damian (from
When radiation and winds from massive young stars impact clouds of cool gas, they can trigger new generations of stars to form. This is what may be happening in this object known as the Elephant Trunk Nebula (or its official name of IC 1396A). X-rays from Chandra (purple) have been combined with optical (red, green, and blue) and infrared (orange and cyan) to give a more complete picture of this source

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/Getman et al, Optical: DSS, Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Damian posted on behalf of Geoff

SH2-112 &115 – 3/11/2016

From Geoff Dryland




I imaged these two in one frame. Couldn’t quite get in SH2-116 which is just off the top of the frame.

Ha: 20 x 6 minute

O3: 10 x 6 minute

S2: 10 x 6 minute

Sending 3 images, Ha, RGB, Hubble.

May have to get more data on the O3 and S2 to make a better job of the Hubble.

SH2-112 was a lot brighter than I expected. I could see parts of it when framing the shot in Luminance at 5 second exposure! May be able to see it visually.

I’ll send the full images via Bigmail.


sh2-112-115 sh2-112hubble sh2-112rgb