Reflection Nebula in Perseus

Click here for uncropped versions: 40% (1578x1550) 65% (2565x2519) 100% (3946x3876)


NGC1579 and IC2067: Because NGC1579 resembles the better known Trifid Nebula, but lies much farther north our sky, this pretty nebula is sometimes called the "Northern Trifid Nebula." The blue reflection nebula toward the right edge of the image, about 2/3 of the way down, is IC2067, a reflection nebula. NGC1579 is about 2,100 light-years away and 3 light-years across. While NGC1579 contains both red and blue colors (the blue in both being reflection nebulae), and both have prominent dust lanes, they are quite different in that the Trifid Nebula gets its red from hydrogen alpha emissions, while NGC1579 gets its red because the dust in NGC1579 occludes and scatters the light from an embedded, extremely young, massive star which itself is a strong emitter of red hydrogen alpha light.


Technical Information:

L(HaR)GB: 705:450:210:135:240 (a total of 29 hours of light-frame exposure time); L, R and G all were comprised of 15-minute exposures; B of 20-minute exposures, and Ha of 30-minute exposures. The red channel is a blend of the R and the Ha data.

Equipment: RC Optical Systems 14.5 inch Ritchey-Chretien carbon fiber truss telescope, with ion-milled optics and RCOS field flattener, at about f/9, and an SBIG STX-16803 camera with internal filter wheel (SBIG filter set), guided by an SBIG AO-X, 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), cosmetically-corrected, aligned, combined and cropped in Pixinsight. Color combine in Pixinsight. Some finish work (background neutralization, color calibration, deconvolution, lessening the dynamic range, noise reduction and sharpening) done in Pixinsight; some cleanup finish work was done in Photoshop CC.

Location: Data acquired remotely from Deep Sky West Remote Observatory, Rowe, New Mexico, USA.

Date: Images taken on many nights in November and December 2019. Image posted January 20, 2020.

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

Seeing: Quite variable over the course of the month, with individual subexposures varying from 2.0 arcsecond FWHM to 2.9 arcsecond FWHM; integrated luminance layer was deconvolved to 2.2 arcsecond FWHM.

CCD Chip temperature: -25C

Copyright 2019, 2020 Mark de Regt

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