View Full Version : Dark and Reflection Nebulae B26 and vdB31

Dennis Persyk
March 7th 04, 07:18 PM
Image at

Barnard dark nebulae are dark patches of sky with dense dust clouds
which obscure the stars behind the clouds. Early astronomers thought
these were merely areas devoid of stars but Barnard taught otherwise.
The most famous and often photographed dark nebula is B33, the

While processing my B26 images I noticed a considerable luminosity
surrounding AB Aurigae, the bright 7.1 magnitude star just left of
center. At first I thought the luminosity was an artifact internal
scatter in the scope optics from the bright star. Upon further
investigation I found that I had captured the van den Berg 31
reflection nebula.

Nebula vdB 31 is reportedly a tough visual target with an 18-inch
scope, although I found one brave sole on the web who claimed to have
seen it in a 12-inch scope. It is an interesting imaging subject. I
imaged it with a 4-inch refractor and MX716 CCD camera combining 9
unguided exposures of 5 minutes each.

Clear skies,

Dennis Persyk
Igloo Observatory Home Page http://dpersyk.home.att.net
Hampshire, IL