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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PK 164+31.1, Start of the new project

PK 164+31.1, the "Headphone Nebula"
A false color H-alpha image of PK 164+31.1

I started a new project with this planetary nebula at January 22, the same nigh as I shot the IC 410.
This planetary locates in constellation Lynx. Magnitude is 14 but it has a very low surface brightness. The 16.8 magnitude central star can be barely seen in the image. Distance is about 1600 ly. This is a large object to a planetary nebula, dimensions are 6,7 x6,7 arcminutes. This object is not too commonly imaged.

Seeing was very poor at that night and I shot this target only to see if it can be captured at all. I shot H-alpha frames binned down 2x2, image scale is 1,5 arcseconds/pixel. I'll shoot more frames to this when weather allows and hopefully in better seeing. I have plans to expose O-III and S-II too to make a three band color image out of this target.
Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack.
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3
Telescope, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9
Guiding, SXV-AO @ 8Hz
Image Scale, 1,5 arcseconds/pixel
H-alpha 7x1200s Binned 2x2
This exposure time is way too short for this low surface brightness object!

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