Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

Sh2-115 & Sh2-112 Emission Nebula

Abell 71 (PK85+4.1 Planetary Nebula)


Mouse over images to see deep sky object designations


Sh2-115 and Sh2-112 (far right) are faint emission nebula cataloged by S.Sharpless in 1959.  They are located in Cygnus, just 1 and 2 degrees northwest of Deneb, the brightest star of that constellation. The brightest parts of the Sharpless nebulae can be glimpsed visually, but it takes a dark sky and a decent rich-field telescope.

Abell 71 is the designation of the small round patch of emission nebulosity near the upper left edge of the photograph (mouse over for location).  It is also known as Sh2-116 and PK85+4.1.  The latter being designated as a planetary nebula, but it has more recently been described as a small patch of emission nebula with a surface magnitude of 14.50.

The star V2015 cyg (shown in mouse over) is both a variable and double-star with an average magnitude of 5.78.


  • Date & Location:  June 28th, 2012 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm winds, temperature range 59F to 55F

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with some patchy clouds and average transparency. 

  • SQM-L: 20.45 start - 20.16 finish (hour prior to sunrise)

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor with focal reducer (432mm f4.3)

  • Filter:  Hutech IDAS-LPS (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AstroPhysics AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  Orion SSAG @5 seconds

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500d) Hap Griffin modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  2 x 3min, 1 x 6min, 5 x 8 min,,  @ ISO800 - 52 minutes total exposure

  • Calibration Frames:  Master Dark & Bias 60F

  • Processing:  Images Plus 4.50b, PS CS6, GradientXTerminator, NIK filter tools 

  • Comments:  Good skies except for occasional patchy mid-level clouds that halted exposures three separate times.


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors