Witch Head Nebula
Witch Head Nebula
Reflection Nebulae in Eridanus

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Witch Head Nebula: This very faint object is so aptly named for the crone's head it resembles. It is a gas cloud reflecting the light from the (relatively) nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, resulting in the bluish color. It is about 1000 light years from us. The glow at the bottom is from the magnitude 3 star Cursa, just off the field of view. I was charmed as I processed this photo to find a few tiny galaxies in the field.


Technical Information:

BRGB: 240:200:320; Luminance layer consists of the blue channel; all channels consisted of 20 minute sub-exposures.

Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106, SBIG STL11000 (with Astrodon Generation 1 filters), on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.

Image Acquisition/Camera Control:MaximDL, working in concert with TheSky v6, all controlled with ACP Observatory Control software.

Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats), aligned, sigma reject performed, and combined in CCDStack. Luminance layer(s) mildly deconvolved in CCDStack. Color combine in Photoshop. Finish work (curves and levels, increasing saturation) was done in Photoshop CS5.

Location: Data acquired remotely from Fair Dinkum Skies, near Moorook, South Australia.

Date: Images taken in December 2010 and January 2011. Image posted March 17, 2011.

CCD Chip temperature: Varied from -5C to -15C

Copyright 2011 Mark de Regt

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