Reflection Nebula in Perseus

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NGC1333 is a reflection nebula visually located in the constellation Perseus. The blue color comes from the light from many young blue stars in this star-forming region (hundreds of which are less than a million years old; for reference, our sun is about 5 billion years old) reflecting off the gas/dust of the region. The red regions just above the blue reflection are Herbig‐Haro objects.

Surrounding, and partially obscuring, the blue reflection nebula is a dark nebula, catalogued as Barnard 205 (or Lynds 1450).

This nebula is in a cloud of space dust (a "molecular cloud") about 1000 light years away from us, and (assuming that distance is correct), the photo shows about eleven light years across. The entire field of the uncropped image is about the same width as a full moon. There are no background galaxies or stars (all the stars are between us and the nebula, because the molecular cloud prevents light from penetrating it (which also accounts for the dusty look to parts of the photo).


Technical Information:

(HaL)(HaR)GB: 420:330:435:300:320 (a total of a bit over 30 hours of exposures); luminance layer consists of blend of 22 fifteen-minute images using a luminance filter and 14 thirty-minute images using an Ha filter; R channel is a blend of the Ha data and 29 fifteen-minute images taken through a red filter; G consists of 20 fifteen-minute images taken through a green filter, while B is the combination of 20 twenty-minute images taken through a blue filter.

Equipment: RC Optical Systems 14.5 inch Ritchey-Chrétien carbon fiber truss telescope, with ion-milled optics and RCOS field flattener, at about f/9, and an SBIG STX-16803 with internal filter wheel (SBIG filter set), guided by an SBIG AO-X/STX Guider, all riding on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.

Image Acquisition/Camera Control: Maxim DL, controlled with ACP Expert/Scheduler, working in concert with TheSky X.

Processing: All images calibrated (darks, bias and sky flats), aligned, and combined in Pixinsight. Color combine in Pixinsight. Some finish work (background neutralization, color calibration, deconvolution, gradient removal, HDR Multiscale Transform for noise reduction and sharpening) done in Pixinsight; some finish work (Neat Image noise reduction, LRGB combination, high pass filter, contrast and saturation adjustment) was done in Photoshop CC.

Location: Data acquired remotely from Sierra Remote Observatories, Auberry, California, USA.

Date: Images taken on many nights from October 2020 into October 2021. Image posted October 4, 2021.

Date: Image scale of full-resolution image: 0.56 arcseconds per pixel.

Seeing: Excellent, with calibrated luminance images varying from 1.4 to 1.7 arcsecond FWHM

CCD Chip temperature: -25C

Copyright 2020, 2021 Mark de Regt

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