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Monday, December 13, 2010

NGC 1499, the "California Nebula", a closeup

NGC 1499, the "California Nebula" locates in constellation Perseus. Distance is about 1000 light years.
This is a closeup image, the actual nebula covers about 2,5 degrees of sky.
RA 04h 03m 18.00s Dec +36° 25′ 18.0"
The image is in HST-palette, (HST=Hubble Space Telescope)
from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.

I have shot this image as a wide field version before. For this closeup I shot 27x1200s, binned down 2x2, for H-alpha channel, colors are from my older wide field image. NGC 1499 has a very low surface brightness, hence a longish integration time is needed.

Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.

Technical details:

Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack. 
Deconvolution with a CCDSharp, 30 iterations, 50% mix..
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3.

Telescope, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9 Guiding, SXV-AO @ 4,5Hz
Image Scale, 0,75 arcseconds/pixel
Baader H-alpha 7nm 27x1200s, binned 2x2

Older wide field version of IC 405 from 2008 is used for colors.

Original Blog post and details:

This image was published at July 2009 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine's Gallery, in page 78, 

there is a full page image of NGC 1499, the "California Nebula" by me.
Total exposure time is 18 hours.

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