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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The ghost of Christmas past, IC 63

I shot new data for this object at the night of 24.12 to dig out some dimmer components. It was really freezing night, the temperature drops down to -24 centigrade (-11.2 Fahrenheit) and it was windy too.

IC 59 and IC 63
in constellation Cassiopeia

Colors are mapped to a HST-palette, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen
Click for a large image.

IC 59 and IC 63 at the distance of about 600 light years in the constellation Cassiopeia.
Image spans about 0,8 degrees vertically, that's about ten light years at its estimated distance.
IC 59 is at left edge of the image and IC 63 at middle. Nebulae are ionized from the ultraviolet radiation of hot, luminous star gamma Cas at upper right it locates only three to four light years from the nebulae.

C 63 is a combination of emission and reflection nebulae. Since this is a narrow band image, reflection component is not get captured due to a broad band nature of it. Instead there is an ionized Oxygen, O-III, in this image and it can be seen as a Blue.
Nebula is next to the Gamma Cassiopeiae, a bright, mag. 2.47, star in middle of the "W" asterism in constellation Cassiopeia.

Orientation in Cassiopeia

The area of interest can be seen at the middle of the image. 
Click for a large image.

A closeup of IC 63

Click for a large image.

Image in visual colors

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. Click for a large image.

Variable Star of Mira Cet type
00 59 34.72 60 43 21.9

A variable star can be seen at center right, it's much brighter at 2010 image.
Click for a large image.

While I was combining data from 2010 to a new data, I noticed a difference between images.
There was a bright star in image from 02.10.2010, the same star in new image set from 24.12.2012 was much dimmer. I did use a Simbad astronomical database and it gave me a report of an variable star. 

V* AV Cas -- Variable Star of Mira Cet type
with radius arcmin
Distance to the center arcsec: 6.34
Other object types: Mi* () , V* (V*,AN,AAVSO) , * (CSI,[I81]) , IR (2MASS,MSX5C)
ICRS coord. (ep=J2000) : 00 59 34.00 +60 43 18.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
FK5 coord. (ep=J2000 eq=2000) : 00 59 34.00 +60 43 18.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
FK4 coord. (ep=B1950 eq=1950) : 00 56 30.55 +60 27 08.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
Gal coord. (ep=J2000) : 123.9263 -02.1343 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
Spectral type: M8 C ~
Fluxes (4) :
B 13.5 [~] E 2003AstL...29..468S
J 7.136 [0.020] C 2003yCat.2246....0C
H 6.170 [0.026] C 2003yCat.2246....0C
K 5.670 [0.020] C 2003yCat.2246....0C

Technical data

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

Exposures from 02.10.2010
H-alpha 6x1200s, binned 1x1
O-III 1x1200s, binned 3x3
S-II 2x1200s, binned 3x3

Exposures from 24.12.2012
H-alpha 12x1200s, binned 1x1

Total exposre time 7h

A single unprocessed 20 min. H-apha exposure

The image is just calibrated, linearly stretched and scaled down.

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