Nebulae and Galaxy by Francis Milsom (July 2021)

Here are some lovely photos taken by Francis in mid-July. The night sky doesn't get astronomically dark in mid-summer, so these are great photos.


Swan Nebula is an HII region in the constellation Sagittarius


Caldwell 30 is an unbarred spiral galaxy about 40 million light-years away in the constellation Pegasus


Trifid Nebula is an H II region in the north-west of Sagittarius

Nebulae by Keith Maslin (July 2021)

Keith has been busy too - enjoying the recent clear nights to grab the Cocoon nebula after what seemed like weeks of cloud.


Cocoon Nebula is a reflection/emission nebula and Caldwell object in the constellation Cygnus.


Dumbbell Nebula is a planetary nebula (nebulosity surrounding a white dwarf) in the constellation Vulpecula


Crescent Nebula is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus


Eagle Nebula is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens - made famous as the "Pillars of Creation" imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope

Emission and Dark Nebulae by Francis Milsom (November 2020)

Cygnus Veil Complex - a group of emission nebulae in Cygnus:

NGCC 7822 - a young star forming complex with an emission region featuring some "elephant trunks"!

Lynds Dark Nebula 1251 - a complex nebula in the constellation Cepheus, containing dark structures and faintly glowing / reflecting dust and gas:

Pacman, Wizard and Cocoon by Francis Milsom on 14/09/2020

IC 5146 (Cocoon) in Cygnus:

NGC 281 (Pacman) in Cassiopeia:

IC 5146 (Cocoon) in Cygnus:

Comet NEOWISE by Francis Milsom

July 2020 saw a spectacular naked eye visible comet. For us in the northern hemisphere, it was the brightest comet since Hale-Bopp 23 years ago. Designated C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) it was only found in March looking at observations made using the orbiting Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) satellite.

Francis has taken some more lovely photos of the comet - here's the latest, a close up showing the two tails. The slightly blue ion tail (following the magnetic field lines created by the solar wind) below the white dust tail (trailing behind in the path of the comet):

C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

Here's another lovely photo - this one is the comet much as you might see it with your naked eye:

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

Total Solar Eclipse - Tuesday 2nd July 2019 by Ken Ball

Two members of the Herefordshire Astronomical Society were lucky enough to see the 2019 Total Solar Eclipse in Chile. Ken is a proper eclipse follower - this was his eighth (?) total solar eclipse. Ken joined a party travelling way up into the Chilean Andes (Google Earth) 1,250m above sea level. Crystal clear sky and low humidity gave Ken a perfect view - both "diamond rings" (second and third contact) and totality:

total solar eclipse
third contact

For Martin this was his first total eclipse. Martin was staying on the coast and with clear skies forecast decided to stay by the beach to observe the eclipse rather than join the thousands of people making their way up small roads into the Andes. Thankfully the skies stayed clear and he too had a fantastic view of the eclipse - and watched the sun set into the Pacific over a glass of wine. Both also went up into the Atacama desert staying in San Pedro de Atacama - Ken before the eclipse and Martin after. Truly stunning night skies - here's what Martin saw:

San Pedro de Atacama

Flame nebula and the Horsehead nebula by Francis Milsom

Here's another great astro photo by HAS member Francis Milsom. Francis has captured a lovely wide view of the Flame nebula and the Horsehead nebula on Saturday night 6th January. Taken with an unmodified DSLR (Nikon D800E).

The Pleiades by Francis Milsom

Here's a great astro photo by new HAS member Francis Milsom. Francis shot M45 (the Pleiades) on Friday night 5th January 2017.

Taken with a Nikon D5100 through a 115 EDT APO refractor, on an iEQ45 pro mount taking 15 subs: 10x 2 mins and 5x5 mins all 800iso::

Total Solar Eclipse - 21st August 2017 by Ken Ball

Ken Ball took these fantastic photographs of the Great American Eclipse at Snake River Ranch Wilson Jackson Hole Wyoming (43 32 N 110 49 W Altitude 1910m).

Equipment CANON EOS 60D DSLR Lens EFS 18-200mm hand held images cropped.

2nd Contact diamond ring - ISO 400 f9 1/640:

2nd Contact diamond ring

Mid eclipse - ISO 400 f5.6 1/20:

Mid eclipse

3rd Contact diamond ring - ISO 400 f6.3 1/320

3rd Contact diamond ring

Transit of Mercury - Monday 9th May 2016

Mark, Chris, James and David went chasing after Mercury on Monday and successfully found it initially at the M6 Sandbach Service Area and then far more comfortably outside the Robin Hood at Congleton - here are some splendid photos from their day trip:

Perfect spot to observe the Transit

Chris has spotted the Sun

James captures Second Contact (can you see it - just after 9pm?)

Mark beautifully captures Mercury against the sun's disk

Close up of Mercury near the sunspots

Total Lunar Eclipse - 28th September 2015

Wonderful observing conditions for the total eclipse of the moon in the early hours of Monday 28th September. Here are some photographs taken by HAS members.

Mark took these using his 4" Astro Tech APO refractor on SkyTee 2 mount using a Canon 50D DSLR - a lovely sequence starting with the full moon, gradually being eclipsed by the earth and finally the rusty red and orange eclipsed moon:

Martin took these using his Canon 400D DSLR with a Tamron telephoto lens (an old 500mm cat lens) on a camera tripod, showing the moon at totality and then the brightening edge of the moon as it just begins to move out of the earth's shadow:

The Perseids 2015 by Graham Russell

Graham Russell took this wonderful composite photograph of this summer's Perseid meteor shower - thanks to a break in the clouds around midnight over Kingsthorne:

Image of Comet Lovejoy C/2014 taken on 20th December 2014 by Graham Russell.

Graham used a Takahashi FSQ ED 106mm f5 with a focal length of 530mm at the Siding Spring Observatory operated by iTelescope.Net. It is a single shot 5min luminance exposure taken using the ephemeris data from the Minor Planet Center.

Comet Lovejoy C/2014

Two photos of sun spot activity - 2014 by Mark Chamberlain

(note they look Green because of the Baader Continuum filter used in taking the photos)

M31 Andromeda Galaxy - 2011 by Martin Stratford

The Pleiades or Seven Sisters (M45) open star cluster - 2010 by Martin Stratford

The Pleiades or Seven Sisters - M45 open star cluster

Mid-Eclipse - 2008 by Mark Chamberlain

Lunar Eclipse - 2007 by S J Watson