NGC6820 is an emission nebula in the constellation of Vulpecula. That is part of a significantly larger nebula Sharpless 2-86. According to some resources, both NGC6820 and Sh2-86 are the same object. But this first one was discovered by Albert Marth on August, 7th 1864 using a 48-inch Lassell’s reflector. He noted that he observed only the small fragment (“knot”) in its southern-west part (

NGC6823 nebula narrowband
NGC6823 nebula narrowband

NGC6820 lies about 6,000 light-years away from us. One of the most striking features is the pillar of gas that comes from the east side of the nebula. Such pillars of gas and dust are probably formed by stellar winds and radiation from the hot massive stars. The center of the NGC6823 cluster formed about two million years ago – so these bright, young stars are really fresh. But the outer parts of this cluster contain even younger stars. NGC6823 cluster forms the core of the Vulpecula OB1 stellar association. Some dark clouds and Bok globules are also visible in the NGC6380 nebula.

My first attempt at this target was made over ten years ago using a modded DSLR and Newtonian telescope This time the instrument aperture was much smaller (90 vs 150mm), but the current refractor optics quality is better, and the monochromatic camera sensitivity is much, much better than the DSLR camera. All these factors plus using the narrowband filters allowed me to grasp some nebula features despite the fact, that light pollution became a significant problem in my backyard over the last ten years 🙁

NGC6823 nebula HSO crop
NGC6823 nebula HSO crop

When you enlarge the picture some other faints are better visible. GN 19.40.3 – small reflection nebula just right of the NGC6823, that resembles a comet. Kronenberger 9 planetary nebula – a blueish blob in the bottom part of the frame, or tiny planetary nebula PN G059.7-01.0 in the left part around the middle of the height. Dark nebulae in the right part are not cataloged either in Barnard or LDN lists, but we find them in the Dobashi catalog.

Image technical data:

Date: summer 2023
Location: Nieborowice, Poland
Telescope: TecnoSky 90/540 Owl triplet
Corrector: TS FF/FR 0.8x
Camera: QHY268M
Mount: EQ6
Guiding: ASI290MM + Evoguide ED50
Exposure: HSO 400:300:300 minutes, RGB 3x40 minutes
Conditions: Bortle 6, transparency and seeing varied