9/24/2011 IC 1805 The center of the Heart Nebula

06 October 2011

Hello Everyone!

After several weeks I was finally able to finish image processing for some narrowband captures I did in early September. This image is the center region of the Heart Nebula.  The center region (the bright part in the image) is known as NGC 896, and the Heart Nebula is known as IC 1805.

From the Wikipedia article:

“The Heart Nebula, IC 1805, Sh2-190, lies some 7500 light years away from Earth and is located in the Perseus Arm of the Galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia. This is an emission nebula showing glowing gas and darker dust lanes. The nebula is formed by plasma of ionized hydrogen and free electrons.

The very brightest part of this nebula (the knot at the right) is separately classified as NGC 896, because it was the first part of this nebula to be discovered.

The nebula’s intense red output and its configuration are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula’s center. This open cluster of stars known as Melotte 15 contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun’s mass. The cluster used to contain a microquasar that was expelled millions of years ago.”

Frames for this image were taken from Seattle Washington over the course of seven nights, between September 9th and September 24th.

As I did not like the color set with the Hubble Palette for this image (it had a nasty green shade to it) I have opted for the popular gold/teal motif.

IC 1805 – The center region of the Heart Nebula
LRGB image using Ha for Luminance, SII for Red, OIII for Blue and Ha for Green
Hubble palette converted to Gold/Teal motif using this technique.
Baader filters
19 exposures of OIII, with 20 minute subs each
11 exposures of SII, with 20 minute subs each
15 exposures of HA, with 20 minute subs each
Imaging scope: Astro-Tech AT10RC Ritchey Chrétien at f/6.7 (native f/8)
Focal reducer: Astro Physics CCDT67 focal reducer
Imaging camera: QSI 583wsg monochrome
Guide camera: Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Mount: Celestron CGE hypertuned by Deep Space Products
Capture and stacking in Maxim DL
All other processing in Photoshop

This final image contains over 15 hours of exposures.