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Friday, December 7, 2012

Melotte 15, a closeup

I published the imaging project of Melotte 15 few days ago. This time I made a closeup images out of the same material.

The heart of the Heart, Mel 15

Image is in visual colors, combined from light emitted by the ionized elements, H-a, S-III and O-III
Click for a large image.

The open cluster centered in this image is known as Melotte 15 . Melotte 15 is embedded within a central portion of the much larger glowing nebula identified as IC 1805.

The interesting structure in the center of the image is a giant area of hydrogen gas that is caused to glow by the intense ultraviolet radiation from the massive stars of the Melotte 15 star cluster.
Dust and gas clouds are twisted by the pressure of the intense radiation, the solar wind.
This formation is estimated to be 7,500 light years away from Earth, North is up.

Image in Mapped colors, Red=S-II, Green=H-alpha and Blue=O-III
Click for a large image.

Orientation in IC 1805, the Heart Nebula

The area of interest is marked as a white rectangle. 

A 100% closeup

Not a bad resolution for an old Meade LX200 12" telescope. Seeing wasn't very good at the time, FWHM varied between 3,5 to 4,5. A light, 50% weighted deconvolution was added to stacked image, it lowered the FWHM value down to ~2.9

Technical details:

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

Optics, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9
Guiding, SXV-AO, an active optics unit, and Lodestar guide camera 8Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel
45 x 1200s exposures for the H-alpha, emission of ionized Hydrogen = 15h
Narrowband cahnnels for ionized Oxygen and Sulfur are taken from an older wide field image seen above.

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