Emission Nebula NGC 6823 & Open Cluster NGC 6820

This is an interesting, little imaged area of space. This image has both an emissions nebula NGC 6823 and the open cluster NGC 6820. Another area that is similar is the Pleiades, it’s both an open cluster and nebula, the stars shining through a gas cloud.

This is a little imaged area of space. Not sure why it’s not imaged more often, the structure in the middle reminds me a bit of the tadpole nebula. The structure you see in the middle is a huge pillar of gas. The pillars are mostly molecular hydrogen and is markedly different from the surrounding area because of super hot stars erroding away the dust through photoevaporation. The most famous pillars are the Pillars of Creation, one of these days I’ll image them too. Probably won’t look at good as the Hubble’s images, but it’ll still be awesome!

Also present in this nebula are “Bok globules”. They’re small dark splotches in the nebula. These are likely areas for solar formation. Here gases and dusts are condensing into small globules that will eventually form solar systems! They typically have several solar masses (a solar mass is equivalent to all the mass found in our solar system) and may form more than one solar system.

This is the first major capture with my new telescope and tripod. I’ve not had a chance to get my guide camera operational with this new setup, I’ll likely have to move it to an on axis guiding. When I do that, I may re-image this nebula so that I can get longer exposures on it. I limited my exposures to just 2 minutes each here because I didn’t have tracking. The tripod has encoders for the RA and I made sure to dial in the polar alignment, that got me functional, but there’s a lot more detail to be had if I can get a longer exposure on these.