Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

Sh2-240 - Simeis 147

Spaghetti Nebula



The Spaghetti Nebula (aka Sh2-240 or Simeis 147) is a large and faint remnant of a supernova explosion that occurred about 50,000 years ago. In the wake of the explosion, the supernova left behind a pulsar - a spinning neutron star that rotates more than 7 times per second!

Visually, the nebula appears to cover a diameter of almost 3 degrees, straddling the borders of Auriga and Taurus. In reality, it is an object 150 light years in diameter at a distance of roughly 3,000 light years.

The small, bright red nebula on the left side of the image is Sh2-242 (LBN826).

North is down in this image.


  • Date & Location:  January 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, 2016 - StarEffects Observatory, Bernville. PA

  • Weather:  Breezy 1st night, Calm following 2 nights. median temp 12F night 1, 11F night two, 14F night 3.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with Above Average Transparency on all three nights.

  • SQM-L:  Start to Finish  NI 20:32 - 20:53, N2 20:32 -20:43, N3 20.37 -20:51

  • Optics:  Canon 70-200mm @ 200mm @ f3.2

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  TeleVue TV60is - Orion Star Shoot AG - 5 second exp - very good graph all three nights.

  • Camera:  Canon 6DH Hutech Full Frame Modified UV/IR - DSLR

  • Exposure:  N1-47 x 4min, N2-57-3.5min, N3-55-4min ISO800  (total 10hours 7 minutes)

  • Calibration Frames: No darks or Bias, sub freezing - 11 Flats Used acquired w/Alnitak Flat Man

  • Processing:    Images Plus 5.75a, PS CS6, DSLR-LLRGB, NIK filter tools 

  • Comments:  All three nights offered excellent sky conditions, with a heavy frost on nights two and three.  Focus remained good from start to finish on first two nights, but slightly out of focus towards end of third night because of a larger temperature change.  This is a very faint target and my first attempt to process using my usual methods failed miserably.  Part of the reason is that no Ha filter was used to capture the very faint tendrils of this nebula.  My second attempt utilized Images Plus Feature Mask Tool which allows separating the stars from the nebula so that the nebula can be processed separately.  Although this method allowed for at least a presentable image, it is still not near as detailed as it could be as I have  much to learn concerning the use of this tool.. 

Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors