Deep Sky Update – June 2023

The midnight Sun on June 22 – known as the Simmerdim on Orkney

Now that we are past the summer solstice, the nights are noticeably getting darker. Although we did not have a clear night on the solstice, the following night was good, and I made a ‘slow’ video (watch on YouTube) using the aurora-cam (tweaked for shorter exposures) which shows the sun’s glow moving across the northern horizon.
It’s really difficult to take a picture that captures what the light is actually like at mid-summer but it is nice not to need a torch to take the dog out at bedtime.

If you managed to get to the Webb Deep-Sky Society meeting in Cambridge in June, I am sure you would have enjoyed the day. I understand it was well attended and there was a great line-up of speakers.


I have pencilled in Thursday 28th September for the Deep-Sky-Zoom meeting, at 7:30pm.
If anyone would like to give a short talk about projects for the coming season please let me know.

High Proper Motion Stars

I have had some nice feedback on my June Journal article on high proper motion stars. There was an unfortunate transcription error in the table in the paper edition, which has been corrected in the on-line version.

June Object of Interest – NGC 6745

Tim Haymes image of NGC 6745

June’s object of interest was NGC 6745 – and I have had a few reports of successful observations given the light nights and weather. So many thanks to Iain Cartwright, Richard Sargent, Tim Haymes, and Mattia Piccoli. Jim Latham in North Wales made a visual observation and reported:
‘ I caught OOI for June, NGC 6745, on 14 June at about 23:45 UT. It was quite bright and easy to locate in the 14″ despite the bright sky. It was clearer at higher powers with the increased contrast that brings, and best at x340. I could make out only a fuzzy, curved patch, better defined on its outer edge. There were hints of mottling and more detail and I intend to return to this intriguing object for a better look when darker skies return. ‘

Here is Tim Haymes image, and see the Object of Interest gallery for the latest images.

July Object of Interest

Campbell’s Hydrogen Star by Mattia Piccoli

As part of my contribution to the BAA Christmas Quiz last year I posed the question “Name the astronomer associated with the object: A planetary nebula in Cygnus that is known as a star.” The answer being, of course, William Campbell, and the object known as Campbell’s Hydrogen Star (PK 64+5.1). Campbell discovered the nature of the ‘star’ to be a planetary nebula by observing its spectrum. And although the PNe disk is small (at around 5 arc-seconds) it is discernible, and is not too faint. There are a couple of observations in the Members Albums (from David Strange and Mattia Piccoli), but more observations would be welcome. Of course being very small it will be rather challenging for imaging, but visual observers might be luckier using a 150mm or 200mm aperture instrument, and it may be interesting to try an OIII filter too if you have one.. Reports welcome!

Image of the Month

In June Simon Davis took this nice image of dark nebula Barnard 150, The Seahorse Nebula. We don’t see dark nebulae frequently imaged, so really nice to see this one.

And Finally

I hope you are able to enjoy the summer weather and there will be good opportunities to observe the tremendous targets of the summer sky.

Clear, dark skies,



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