David Knisely's Useful Targets for the H-Beta Filter List

I received via PM over at, permission from David to post this list as long as I acknowledge and give him credit for it which I hope I am doing here. If you have a H-Beta filter (I do! See my March 12th, 2010 report where I saw the Horsehead Nebula in Orion with it) note that some of the objects are viewable now, while in July and August with the H-Beta up in Cygnus. So give them a try, I will when I am back to DSO's and leaving the Lunar landscape and double stars alone!

Useful Targets For The H-Beta Filter by David Knisely

While the H-Beta is probably one of the less-used nebula filters, the commonly expressed idea that it works only on a handful of objects is not necessarily true. Here is a list of some of the more prominent objects that the H-Beta may be at least somewhat useful on. Some may require larger apertures, but a few have been seen from a dark sky site by just holding the filter up to the unaided eye and looking at the sky. Some of these will also be helped by a narrow-band filter like the Lumicon UHC.

2. NGC 1499 (CALIFORNIA NEBULA, naked eye and RFT)
3. M43 (part of the Great Orion Nebula)
4. IC 5146 (COCOON NEBULA in Cygnus)
5. M20 (TRIFID NEBULA, main section)
6. NGC 2327 (diffuse nebula in Monoceros)
7. IC 405 (the FLAMING STAR NEBULA in Auriga)
8. IC 417 (diffuse Nebula in Auriga)
9. IC 1283 (diffuse Nebula in Sagittarius)
10. IC 1318 GAMMA CYGNI NEBULA (diffuse nebula in Cygnus)
11. IC 2177: (Diffuse Nebula, Monoceros)
12. IC 5076 (diffuse nebula, Cygnus)
13. PK64+5.1 "CAMPBELL'S HYDROGEN STAR" Cygnus (PNG 64.7+5.0)
14. Sh2-157a (small round nebula inside larger Sh2-157, Cassiopeia)
15. Sh2-235 (diffuse nebula in Auriga).
16. Sh2-276 "BARNARD'S LOOP" (diffuse nebula in Orion, naked eye)
17. IC 2162 (diffuse nebula in northern Orion)
18 Sh2-254 (diffuse nebula in northern Orion near IC 2162)
19. Sh2-256-7 (diffuse nebula in northern Orion near IC 2162)
20. vdB93 (Gum-1) (diffuse nebula in Monoceros near IC 2177)
21. Lambda Orionis nebular complex (very large, naked-eye)

In addition, a number of the brighter nebulae like NGC 7000 or M42 will respond to H-Beta use for revealing certain specific detail, although other filters may provide a somewhat better view overall.

Making a Digital Sketch

Here is another way that I recreate a sketch I've made to be viewed on line. I take my notes. draft and final sketch and then combine them in a digital format using GIMP. My favorite way I cannot do, which is to have the lap top out with me in the field which I do frequently, and create the digital sketch as I am observing it.

Here is NGC 6543 which you can see here. Hope it helps and someone can gain something from this format. The process for doing it in the field is basically the same as what I do here, sans the sketch. I often do a live sketch even with the digital sketch. I like having both. I would like comments if something needs to be clarified, re-shot, more details on something etc. Would someone like me to do each of the objects I show, a PN (done) a Globular, a Galaxy (each of the types, sprial, face on, edge on, tilted, and an elliptical (the easiest)? I'll be doing some open cluster work soon also. Anyway, if I don't hear then I won't post anymore of these.

There will be A LOT of little movies here. I tried to upload just 4 segments of about 8 minutes each and Blogger cannot handle that so I am now going to do much shorter segments. Some may say this isn't sketching, some may say it is. That's up to the individual I figure and what they feel conveys the best image of what they have seen. I have had several requests for a tutorial and I hope this shows those who asked how to create a digital sketch in GIMP either based on a live sketch or based on doing it at the eyepiece.

You may need to turn the volume up on each individual movie to hear it and it is faint.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX

Part X

Part XI

Part XII


Part XIV

Part XV

Part XVI