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The Official Sky-Watcher Target of the Month Challenge

Official Rules:

  1. Target is announced at the beginning of each month LIVE on the Sky-Watcher What's Up? Webcast, websitesocial media, and e-newsletter
  2. Imaging only - Must provide an image by the end of the month
  3. Email image and details to
  4. Must provide your name, equipment, image specifications, image file, FITS file, and mailing address
  5. Include your social media handles if you would like us to tag you in any future posts of your work
  6. US and Canada only (please include phone # for Canada addresses)
  7. All valid submissions will receive an official, embroidered, adhesive TOTM patch and a possible inclusion in Sky-Watcher's social media, E-newsletters, and web site
  8. Each new year will feature a new patch design and/or color scheme


September 2023

LDN 1235 The Shark nebula

Image Credit: Kevin LeGore
Constellation: Cepheus
RA: 22h06m34s.77
Dec: +73°0851.5
Distance: 650 ly
Mag. n/a
Object Type: Dark/Reflection nebula

August 2023

Barnard 150

Image Credit: Kevin LeGore
Constellation: Cepheus
RA: 20h 50m 40s
Dec: 60° 18′ 00″
Distance: 1200 ly
Mag. n/a
Apparent Dimensions: 1°

AKA IC Seahorse Nebula

July 2023

The Blue Horsehead Nebula

Image Credit: NASA/Mario Cogo

Constellation: Scorpius
RA 16h 11m 58.6s
Dec −19° 27′ 17″

Distance 400 ly
Radius 40 ly

AKA IC 4592

June 2023

Abell 039

Image Credit: NASA APOD / George Jacoby (WIYN Obs.) et al., WIYN, AURA, NOAO, NSF


Constellation: Hercules
RA  16h 27m 33.737s
Dec  +27° 54′ 33.44″

Distance  3.3 kly 

Apparent magnitude  13.7, Central Star: 15.59
Apparent dims .155.1″ × 154.5″


May 2023

NGC 4762 - The Paper Kite Galaxy

Image by Kevin LeGore, Esprit 150

Constellation: Virgo
RA: 12h 52m 56.05s
Dec: +11° 13′ 51″

Distance: 58 Mly

Apparent magnitude (V) 11.12


April 2023

The Box Galaxy Cluster

Constellation: Coma Berenices

    RA     12h 12m 18.7s
Dec    +29° 10' 46"
Distance: 200 mly
Apparent Magnitude: 12.2
Apparent diameter: 1.8' x 0.9'
AKA NGC 4169, Hickson 61


March 2023

Hubble's Variable Nebula

Image: The Hubble Space Telescope/NASA

Constellation: Monoceros

RA  6h 39m 10s
Dec  +8° 45′
Distance 2,500 ly
Apparent magnitude (V) 9.0
Apparent dimensions (V) 2′

 NGC 2261, Caldwell 46


February 2023

Abell 12

Image by Kevin LeGore
(Hidden) Planetary Nebula
Constellation: Orion
RA    06h 02m 21.4s
Dec  +09° 39′ 07″
Apparent Magnitude: 14
(Hint: Try an OIII or UHC filter)

January 2023

Arp 273 (The Rose)

Image by Kevin LeGore
Interacting Galaxies
Constellation: Andromeda
RA 02h 21m 28.703s
Dec  +39° 22′ 32.65″
Apparent Magnitude: 13.7
Apparent diameter: ~ 2.6 arcminutes

December 2022 TOTM

The Witch Head Nebula / IC 2118

Image by Richard Wright
Reflection nebula
Constellation: Eridanus / Orion
RA 05h 02m 00.00s
Dec −07° 54′ 00″
Apparent Magnitude: 13
Apparent diameter: 3 x 1 deg

November 2022 TOTM

Simeis 147 / Sharpless 240 / The Spaghetti Nebula (link)

Image by Richard Wright

Supernova remnant

Constellation: Auriga / Taurus

RA: 05h 39m 06s
Dec: +27° 59′ 55″ 

Apparent Magnitude: 6.5

Apparent diameter: ~ 3 degrees

October 2022 TOTM

IC 63 Ghost of Cassiopeia (link)

Image by Kevin LeGore
Emission/Reflection nebula
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Designations: IC 63, Ghost of Cassiopeia

RA: 005913s.2

Dec: +60° 55′ 48



September 2022 TOTM

Wings of the Dumbbell Nebula (wiki)

Image by Kevin LeGore

Emission / Planetary nebula

Constellation: Vulpecula
Designations: NGC 6853, M27, Diabolo nebula, Dumb-Bell nebula

RA: 19h 59m 36.340s
Dec: +22° 43′ 16.09″

Apparent magnitude: 7.4
Apparent dimensions: 8.0′ × 5.6′

NOTE: This month's target is specifically the outer wing structure of the nebula and will require an OIII filter.

August 2022 TOTM

The Soap Bubble Nebula (wiki)

Image 1 by Kevin LeGore. Image 2 by Kitt Peak

Emission nebula / Planetary nebula

Constellation: Cygnus
Designations: PN G75.5+1.7, PN Ju

RA: 20h 15m 22.2s
Dec: +38° 02′ 58″

260" in angular diameter