I decided to create a 2 frame mosaic spanning from SH2-188 Nebula to the famous NGC 457 ET Cluster.
NGC 457 is an Open Cluster in Cassiopeia, 7900 light years from us. It has an estimated age of 21 million years. The cluster is sometimes referred as the Owl Cluster, or ET Cluster (due to its resemblance to the movie character). Two bright stars, magnitude 5 Phi-1 Cassiopeiae and magnitude 7 Phi-2 Cassiopeiae can be imagined as eyes. This is the Equatorial view of the cluster.
Portrayed are LHaRGB and LRGB versions. I acquired the data for this image in August and September 2017. It is almost 32 hours of integration time. Wanted to portray Pacman surrounded with all that dust in the area, as can also be seen in the DSS stretched image. The processing was tricky. In the end I chose to go with a version that revealed enough dust all round, even though it may make the main nebula appear not as dominant. For the LRGB image I did Photometric Color Calibration in Pixinsight, and then reduced some of that green. For the LHaRGB version I tweaked the color a bit more. Click the images for bigger versions.
Telescope: WIlliam Optics FLT 98 F/6.3 618mm
Exposures: Lum 15 hours in 10 min subs, Ha 15 hours drizzled in 20min bin 2×2 subs, RGB 1hour 40min.
Processing: Pixinsight, PS
Location: Corinthia, Greece, SQM-L 20.5, bortle 4.5, August – September 2017.
NGC 6791 is an open star cluster at Lyra. It is one of the older clusters in our galaxy. Just 5 arc-minutes Northwest of the cluster is the star Kepler-19 which has been found by the Kepler mission to be hosting exoplanets.
I decided to image this cluster in a wide field of view that also shows the dust in the area, making for a nice frame.
Telescope: William Optics FLT 98 at F/5
Exposures: Lum 5 hours, RGB 45,45,60 min, total 7.5 hours
M81 M82 in Ursa Major, a pair of galaxies surrounded by the integrated flux nebula (IFN). The IFN is dust that surrounds our galaxy and is illuminated by the stars of our galaxy as a whole. In contrast, dust inside the galaxy is illuminated by individual stars, and is called reflection nebulae.
This is a new process of an image that I captured back in 2015. I wanted to capture the IFN from my rural site which has a mag 20.5 SQM or Bortle 4.5. Luminance 19 hours, RGB 3 hours, for a total of 22 hours.
This was a challenge. I wanted to see how deep I could go from my sky, which is at around 5-5.5 mag, or 20.3-20.5 sqm. My point of reference was Fabian Neyer’s great image of the Pacman, which you can see here: http://www.starpointing.com/ccd/ngc281.html
We seem to be having a similar sky, however after 32 hours of total exposure, and 15 min subs, I wasn’t able to capture as much as he did. I did a hard processing, stretching the image a lot, and some fainter structures were there. A truly dark sky would surely reveal a lot more. Overall, it is nice to go for popular targets, while trying to capture more stuff that are there, but are a lot harder to pick out. Image details are as follows:
Scope FLT 98, Camera QHY9
Luminance 10 hrs 15 min, Ha 20 hrs 30min, RGB 1hrs 30 min, total 32 hrs 15 min, 15min subs