EAA – Summer Nebulae Aug 9, 2020

Summer evenings are special. I really enjoy the beautiful cool summer evenings here in San Diego with a sparkling summer sky. It is one of the most relaxing experiences for me.

Of course my light polluted backyard makes visual observing a lot more challenging but EAA really helps. For this session I decided to use the RASA 8, my ASI533MC camera and an Optolong L-enhance filter for some EAA and to browse the Summer Milky way’s big and bright nebulae.

All images are live stacks (using 30s sub exposures) at the scope using SharpCap Pro from my heavily LP backyard. Typical SQM 18.5-18.7.

Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8)

First up is the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8). Nestled in one of the most beautiful regions of the sky. You can find it next to Sagittarius (or the Tea Pot Asterism)

M8 The Lagoon Nebula – 450s total exposure time

The lagoon is full of interesting features and you could easily spend a lot of time on it. See a less stretched and annotated image below.

The hourglass nebula is shaped by radiation from a supergiant star Herschel 36 right next to it.

You can also see a number of Bok Globules which are small interstellar clouds of cold gas and dust which pretty much block all light.

M17 Swan / Omega Nebula

This nebula goes my many names but I prefer Swan as that is what I see every time I observe this nebula. One of my favorite nebula both visually and via EAA.

M17 Swan Nebula 180s

M16 – The Eagle Nebula

Another beautiful and iconic nebula, made famous by the Hubble Pillars of Creation image. You really need a wide field setup to do justice to this one.

M16 – Eagle Nebula 300s

NGC6334 Cat’s Paw Nebula

The next three nebulae are all bright, beautiful and intricate and are nestled in Scorpius. They are all well placed in early to mid summer from lower latitudes e.g. San Diego. The first, Cat’s Paw is ~5000 light years away and spans 40′.

NGC6334 Cat’s Paw Nebula 420s

NGC6357 War and Peace

The Second, NGC6357, nicknamed War and Peace nebulae is one of the most interesting summer nebulae given all the tendrils. It lies ~8000 light years away. It gets its nickname from Infrared images in which the eastern part resembles a dove and the western part a skull. Astronomers are an imaginative bunch.

NGC6357 War and Peace Nebula 390s


Another bright and stunning nebula in the constellation of Scorpius. I don’t see a lot of EAA images of this one but it is definitely worth a visit.

IC4628 310s

VDB142 – Elephants Trunk

Moving to the northern part of the sky, first is the Elephant’s trunk. It is nestled in the larger IC1396 nebulosity in the constellation of Cepheus. This is a faint one. So if you don’t have a fast scope be prepared for some stacking. It seems I overdid the saturation on this one. It looked fine in the monitor though.

VDB142 Elephants Trunk 390s

NGC6960 – Western Veil Nebula

Part of the Veil supernova complex (sometimes call Cygnus loop) in the constellation of Cygnus. It is a favorite sight of mine visually in my larger scopes using an OIII filter from a dark site. The faint delicate tendrils of nebulosity just look ethereal.

This is one nebula which is pretty strong in OIII and HA as you can see from the image.

NGC6960 Western Veil 360s

NGC6992 Eastern Veil Nebula

Also part of the Veil supernova complex, this is the brightest part of the Veil complex. Again it is pretty stunning visually using an OIII filter.

NGC6992 – Eastern Veil 270s

NGC7000 – North America Nebula

Last nebula of the evening was the NA nebula. Another bright nebula with an unmistakable shape of the NA continent.

NGC7000 – North America Nebula 240s

2 thoughts on “EAA – Summer Nebulae Aug 9, 2020

Add yours

  1. Beautiful stunning rendition of color and contrast. Well done. Really has me thinking of moving. Tired of Southern New England sub par seeing nights. Wishful thoughts.


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