Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

M24 Small Sagittarius Star Cloud

IC1284 - NGC6589 - NGC6590




M24, commonly known as the "Small Sagittarius Star Cloud, is a large dense cloud of stars that forms part of the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way.  Under good conditions M24 is visible to the naked eye, however M24 is made up of countless thousands of individual stars that are unresolved to the unaided eye.  More and more of these individual stars are able to resolved through a telescope as the aperture of the scope increases. 

Aside for the star cloud itself, there are several other interesting objects shown in the image above.  The small open star cluster NGC6603 can be seen in the lower center of the star cloud.  Above the star cluster is the dark comet-shaped nebula Barnard 93.  Above that can be seen the dense dark nebula Barnard 92, also known as the "Black Hole".  The prominent round red emission nebula shown at the lower right is IC1283/84.  NGC6589 & 6590/6595 are the small bright blue reflection nebula to the right of IC1283/84.

M24 is 300 light-years wide and is located more than 10,000 light-years from Earth.  North is up in the image.


  • Date & Location:  August 8, 2015 - StarEffects Observatory - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm. Temperature average 63F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with above average transparency transitioning to average transparency.

  • SQM-L:  20:46 start to 20:53 at finish.

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor @ 540mm f5.4 with TeleVue Field Flattener.

  • Filter:  Astronomik CLS (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AstroPhysics AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  Orion SSAG @5 seconds exposures.

  • Camera:  Canon 6D Hutech Modified

  • Exposure:  25 - 4 minute subs  @ ISO 800 -  (100 minutes) 1 hours 40 minutes total exposure time.

  • Calibration Frames:  16 Darks & Bias, 10 Field Flats w/Alnitak Flat Man & 10Dark Flats - Custom White Balance

  • Processing:  Images Plus 5.75a, PS CS6, GradientXTerminator, NIK filter tools 

  • Comments:  This seemed to be a good target to try out the 6DH DSLR since there were both Ha & Blue Reflection Nebula along with a myriad of small stars.  Star resolution and small details much better resolved at 100% magnification than those from T1i.   


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors