Reflection Nebula around the star Merope
Part of Pleiades Star Cluster, in Taurus

Click on image for higher-resolution version (2564 x 1682; twice the linear dimensions of this image)


NGC1435: Merope (the brightest star in the field, in the lower center of the image) is one of the "Seven Sisters" comprising the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster, a cluster in the vicinity of a nebula. The nebula becomes a reflection (blue) nebula as a result of the action of the stars of the cluster. It is approximately 440 light years from Earth. The small bright blob just to the right of Merope is Barnard's Merope Nebula, IC 349.


Technical Information:

LRGB: 60:50:50:50 (Luminance layer consists of four 15-minute images, unbinned; R, G and B consist of ten 5-minute images, all binned 2x2).

Equipment: 16" RCOS at about f/9, and an SBIG ST-11000M with internal filter wheel (Astrodon filter set), on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount. This image was reduced in size 65% from the raw frames; the higher resolution image linked to this page is reduced 30% from the raw frames.

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

Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats) in CCDSoft. All channels combined in Ray Gralak's Sigma pre-beta 11. Luminance layer subjected to one iteration of Lucy Richardson deconvolution in CCDSharp. L, R, G and B layers registered and combined in CCDStack.

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

Date: Luminance images taken during the nights of 11/23/2006; RGB images taken during the nights of 11/17 and 11/18/2006.

Pixel scale: Luminance layer taken at .505 arcseconds per pixel. This image is reduced 65%, for an image scale of about 1.4 arcseconds per pixel; the "full-sized" image has an image scale of about .72 arcseconds per pixel.

CCD Chip temperature: -25C

Seeing: Highly variable.

Transparency: Very good

Moon Phase: No moon during imaging

Copyright 2006 Mark de Regt

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