Deep Sky Update – 2021 July

Sorry for the lateness of this July update. Last week I was convinced that July had yet another week to go… Must be the effects of lockdown or old age!

Light nights have still been limiting for many observers, and I have not had a chance to look at any deep sky targets in the last few weeks. There have been a number of contributions from observers though – see below.

With the relaxation of regulations it seems like some of the autumn star parties are proceeding. The Autumn Equinox Skycamp at Kelling Heath is planned to run from 4th-11th October 2021. It’s organised by Loughton Astronomical Society and more details are available at

I will be presenting on Electronically Assisted Astronomy at this months BAA Wednesday Webinar (7pm on Wednesday August 11) – I hope many of you will be able to join me for this short introduction. If anyone has any experiences or images you’d like to share please let me know at least a couple of days in advance.

Whilst it is obvious that planetary nebulae are present in other galaxies, I was not aware that pro’s had been observing them, and also using them as ‘standard candles’ I came across this interesting article this month:

August Object of Interest

Many thanks to Nick Hewitt who had a go at last months deep sky challenge, NGC 6886 in Sagitta, even though his main imaging camera is poorly, and he needed to use his Canon DSLR.

For August I have selected the globular cluster NGC 6934 in Delphinus. This is not so much of a challenge – even I managed to image it in August last year. But it seems to be very under-observed with just one other image submitted in recent years (by David Davies). 

NGC 6934 image
NGC 6934 by David Davies

NGC 6934, imaged on 16th August 2018, comprises 10 each of RGB subs of five minutes exposure.
Telescope: 8″ Ritchey-Chretien
Camera: QSI 583 with a Lodestar as off-axis guider
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6
Location Cambridge, UK

Picture of the month

Lots of nice images this month on the Members Albums, but for this month I’ve picked this image of the Veil Nebula and environs by Iain Cartwright. Iain used a Nikon D810A camera with a Sigma 150mm macro f2.8 lens piggy-backed on a Newtonian reflector on a Sky-watcher HEQ5 Pro mount. A stack of 144 images, each with exposure 30s at ISO800. You really need to view this image at full size on a high resolution screen.

Veil enbula area
Veil Nebula area by Iain Cartwright

Clcik on the image for a hi-resolution version

Hopefully we will get some better observing weather over the next few weeks, and some clear skies for the Perseids.

Happy observing,

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