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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

M57, the "Ring Nebula", a new imaging project

M57, NGC 6822, the "Ring Nebula", locates in constellation Lyra and the distance is about 2300 light years.

Last night I started a new imaging project with the M57. I'm targeting to expose outer shells of this planetary nebula. There is two layers of outer shells, both very dim. In this image the first shell is visible clearly and there is a hint of the second one. There is now 2h 40min. of H-alpha exposures, least ten more hours is needed to show the structure in H-a light.
The, 1.2 solar masses,  white dwarf in the center of the nebula has visual magnitude 15,75. It can't be seen in a H-alpha light image, it will be interesting to see, if it'll shows at O-III channel I'm gonna shoot later.
Too bad, that I'm not able to shoot any broad band luminance data due my intense light pollution, with H-a, needed exposure time will be very long..

This target is not very high, here at 65N. Maximum elevation is about 50 degrees and after two and half hours, it was only about 30. Since this is a small target, good seeing and reasonable altitude is needed to show any details.

Technical details:

processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack.
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Telescope, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9 Guiding, SXV-AO @ 10Hz
Image Scale, 0,75 arcseconds/pixel
Exposures H-alpha 7x1200s, binned 1x1

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