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Sharpless (H alpha) Areas in Cassiopeia To Cygnus

June 2014 - October 2014

September 2015 - Nov 2015

May 2016 - August 2016

The region between Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Cygnus sits near most northern section of the Milky Way.  This region is filled with bright areas of Hydrogen that are cataloged in the Sharpless Catalog. I started this just as a single frame of M52 and the nearby Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635, SH2-162).  My original intent was to shoot this area in multiple filters (since the Bubble does have Oxygen and Sulfur). When I saw what I was getting  I decided to change the goal to instead capturing the larger extent of nearby Sharpless objects.  Once I completed the first mosaic in 2014 I expanded the project to include the entire stretch of sky.

The Astrodon 3 nm H Alpha filters I use give me outstanding contrast.  Consequently even the smaller Sharpless objects stand out really well. 

Overview of Current State

The entire project covers a huge part of the sky.  Because of this I decided to break the project into sections. The figure on the right will provide some reference.  Follow the links in the titles to see the portions of the project.


The original 2014 work was in Cassiopeia and is shown in Yellow.  This consists of the area from about M 52 southwest for about 9 degrees. 

Starting in 2015 I worked on a larger area marked in Green to expand the current mosaic. I hope to complete this section in Fall of 2016.

Northern Cygnus

The tan areas mark the approximate boundary of the 2016 Northern Cygnus Mosaic.  The mosaic is a rough retangle with an added section to include Sadar and SH 108.

From 2012 to 2015 I imaged several projects in this area including NGC 7000 (North American), SH 199, and SH 108

2016 Status of Cas to Cyg Project

Future Project Years

The 2014 work only covered a portion of the potential Sharpless regions in Cassiopeia.  In 2015 I launched on the second phase of the project shown in yellow below.  This will not complete until Fall 2016 (hopefully).  The tan sections link to the Cygnus mosaic.

2015 Cas to Cyg Extension

Because I worked on 3 color images of NGC 7000, SH119, and SH 171, I started late in 2015. Thus I was not able to complete the yellow slice in 2015 and the work has extended to 2016.

Here is an idea of the size of the undertaking.  For clarity I have not filled in all of the squares of the mosaic.  Instead only the east side and the SW corner are shown.  This will catch most of the Sharpless Objects in this band.  Some of the outliers may be the subject of individual projects. 

Full Project map

Here is a PDF that shows the full extent of the work.  The 2016 Cygnus work included as corners A27, A29, A41, and A38 with A37 as a bonus.  So roughly rectangular with a extension on the top.

Cygnus portion of project

Copyrights For Photos

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(c) 2014-2016 Robert J Hawley  Some Rights Reserved.
Except as noted,all work on this site by Robert J. Hawley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This permits the non commercial use of the material on this site, either in whole or in part, in other works provided that I am credited for the work.