Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

LDN 1251 - Dark Nebula Complex

& Distant Galaxies



LDN 1251 (Lynds Dark Nebula) is a large dark/dusty nebula that is in the process of forming new stars.   It is located about 1000 light years away in the constellation of Cepheus.

LDN 1251 is the larger elongated structure on the left and contains about 15 Young Stellar Objects.  These are stars in the early stages of evolution. They are often associated with early star phenomena such as jets and bipolar overflows, masers, Herbig-Haro objects, and protoplanetary disks.  LDN 1247 is the smaller dark nebula just to the right of center.  

In addition to the dark nebula, this image also shows a handful of PGC galaxies that shine far in the background behind LDN 1251.


  • Date & Location:  Sep 24/25, Sep 27/28, Oct 5/6 2017  -StarEffects Observatory - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  50F average all three nights with light winds.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with above average transparency all three nights.

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor w/field flattener  =  540mm @ f5.4

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

  • Mount:  AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  TV60is w/Orion SSAG @ 5 second exposures - Excellent Graph

  • Camera:  Canon 6DH Hutech Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  33 x 5 min / 28 x 5 min / 14 x 4min / 17 x 5 min  ISO 1600 (7 hours 26 min total)

  • Calibration Frames:  16 Darks & 9 Bias frames + 10 flat field images acquired with Alnitak Flat Man.

  • Processing:  Images Plus 5.75a, Photoshop CS6, NIK tools, Carboni Actions Tools

  • Comments:   A very dim DSO that would be much better photographed from a truly dark sky location, yet overall pleased with the dusty details I was able to bring out with aggressive processing .


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors