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Monday, January 30, 2012

"What?" Project finalized


Image in HST-palette from ionized elements, Red=Sulfur, Green=Hydrogen & Blue=Oxygen. 
North is Right. Click for a large image!

I shot data for ionized Sulfur and Oxygen last night and now I can compose a three channel RGB-image.
This cosmic question mark, in constellation Cepheus, contains following objects; At top, Cederblad 214(Ced 214) surrounded by NGC 7822, a dot like nebula at the bottom is known as Sharpless 170,(Sh2-170). Image spans over Five degrees vertically. Distance from my observatory, is ~2750 light years and it spans about 40 light years.

Total exposure time is about 9h with an ultra fast Canon EF 200mm f1.8 optics and the QHY9 astronomical camera.


This image get selected as a Space Picture of the Week by the National Geographic magazine. 
You can see the story HERE

Couple of closeups to show the resolution
Not bad for a 200mm camera lens

A natural color composition
From emission of ionized elements

Narrow band channels combined to a visual spectrum, R=Hydrogen + Sulfur, G=Oxygen and 
B=Oxygen + Hydrogen. North is Right.
A gray circle, at top Right, shows the apparent size of the full Moon.
(Moon has an angular size of 30', that's 0,5 degrees)

Technical details:

Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Levels, curves, color and mosaic combine in PS CS3.

Optics, Canon EF 200mm camera lens at f1.8
Camera, QHY9
Guiding, Meade LX200 GPS 12" and a Lodestar guider
Image Scale, ~5,5 arcseconds/pixel
Exposures, Baader 7nm H-a, 13x1200s + 10x900s = 7h
O-III 1h and S-II 1h, total 9 hours.
Calibration with Darks, Flats and Bias frames.

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