Emission Nebula, with a Star Cluster, in Auriga


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IC410: This is a large region of nebulosity surrounding NGC1893, a young open star cluster, which can be seen near the center of the nebula (partially obscured by foreground interstellar dust, which shows on this picture as the "holes" near the center of the nebula). The star cluster's stars help ionize the nebula's gas, causing the red hue of the nebula. This nebula lies about 12,000 light years distant, which would make the nebula about 125 light years across. I took this picture because I was intrigued by the "tadpoles" toward the right side of the nebula. They apparently are composed of denser and cooler gas and dust than the rest of the nebula, and are about ten light years long, with their "tails" emanating from the star cluster, whose winds and radiation helped form them.


Technical Information:

(HaR)RGB: 600:180:90:90 (Luminance layer consists of a blending of twenty 30-minute images through an Astrodon Ha filter and twelve 15-minute images through an Astrodon red filter; red channel consisted of twelve 15-minute images with Astrodon filters. Green and Blue channels were each six 15-minute inages. All images unbinned).

Equipment: AP130 f/6 Starfire, SBIG ST-10XME with CFW8 (Astrodon filter set), on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.

Image Acquisition/Camera Control: CCDSoft v5, controlled with CCDAutoPilot3, working in concert with TheSky v6.

Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats) and debloomed (Ron Wodaski's debloomer) in CCDSoft v5. All images aligned, Poisson sigma rejection performed, combined and deconvolved (Ha and red used on luminance layer only) in CCDStack. Color combine in CCDStack. Finish work (curves and levels, increasing saturation, Gaussian blur of color layer; smart sharpen luminance layer; high pass filter of luminance layer and Ha layer) was done in Photoshop CS2.

Location: Data acquired remotely from the Tejas Observatory, located on the grounds of New Mexico Skies, near Mayhill, NM (elevation 7300 feet).

Date: Ha images taken on the nights of February 4, 5 and 6, 2007. Red images taken on the nights of February 5 and 6, 2007. Green and Blue images taken on the night of February 7, 2007.

Pixel scale: 1.67 arcseconds per pixel.

CCD Chip temperature: -25C

Seeing: Generally fair, but variable.

Transparency: Good.

Moon Phase: Close to full

Copyright 2007 Mark de Regt

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