Photographs of 250 Nebulae

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The following pages (119-149) display all nebulae featured in "The Observer's Sky Atlas". The photographs are taken from the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey II for the northern nebulae and from the United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope for the southern nebulae. All photographs were taken in red light, except for the following nebulae which were taken in red and near infrared light in order to avoid overexposure: NGC 1931, M 57, NGC 1535, M 42, M 43, NGC 2024, NGC 2392, NGC 6369, M 11, M 20, M 8, M 16, M 17, NGC 2070, NGC 3132, and NGC 3372.

The photographs featured here are sections from plates taken with long exposure times and with the largest Schmidt telescopes. Therefore, they display far more stars than visible in any amateur telescope. They do not at all represent the view in an eyepiece. Detail clearly displayed in the outer parts of many nebulae may never become visible in an eyepiece. On the other hand, the photographs do not show every detail an experienced observer will notice in a telescope. The central areas of many nebulae are completely overexposured and saturated in these photographs, while they may display rich detail in a telescopic view. Some of the star clusters are visible in binoculars and may stand out well, while in the photographs printed here, they may be hard to discern among the thousands of stars surrounding the clusters. Nevertheless, the photographs give a good impression about the variety of types of nebulae. While some nebulae may look like a "smudge" on first view, a closer look may reveal the variety of features which gives each nebula its distinct personality.

On the following pages, the nebulae appear in the same order as in the catalog. The large bold letters give the chart numbers. The nebulae carry the same designation as in the catalog. Messier objects are listed with an "M", while a number only means an object of the New General Catalogue. Below each designation, the width of the shown photographic section in arc-minutes is listed. For the few photographs in portrait shape, the height is listed instead. For most nebulae, a field of 15' width is printed so that the sizes of different nebulae can be easily compared. This roughly corresponds to the field of view at a power of 200x. For large nebulae, fields up to 200' are shown. For some large nebulae, the outer fringes may not be included here in order to show the central region at a reasonable scale. All photographs are oriented with north at the top and east at the left side, the same orientation as in the star charts.


The photographs from the northern areas were taken by the California Institute of Technology at the Palomar Observatory and supplied through the Digitized Sky Survey, which was conducted at the Space Telescope Science Institute. We gratefully acknowledge the permission by AURA/STScI to reproduce them here. The photographs from the southern areas are identified here by field widths in italics. They were taken at the United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope with rights by the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council and by the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board. They were supplied by the Digitized Sky Survey, which was conducted at the Space Telescope Science Institute. We gratefully acknowledge the permission by the Royal Observatory Edinburgh to reproduce them here.


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