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Saturday, January 12, 2013

A heavenly velvet, IC 405

A new image from the night of 10.01.

IC 405, the Flaming Star Nebula
In constellation Auriga

Colors are kind of "semi narrow band" in this image, since they are shot with QHY8 color camera and the Baader UHC-s filter.

This is a first time when I used two optics and the cameras at the same time.
H-a is shot with my old Meade LX200 12", Baader H-alpha filter and a cooled gray scale astrocamera, QHY9. 
Colors are shot at the same time by using a Tokina AT-X 300mm camera lens, Baader UHC-s filter and the cooled single shot color astrocam, QHY8. Tokina system was at back of the Meade telescope.

Image with Tokina AT-X 300mm camera lens, Baader UHC-s filter and QHY8 cooled color camera.
This image was shot at the same time as narrower field H-alpha shot with Meade LX200 12" and QHY9 astro camera.


IC 405 locates in constellation Auriga and it's an emission/reflection nebula. Reflection component can't be seen in my image, since I'm shooting only narrowband data and reflection part is broadband target.
Distance from Oulu, Finland, is about 1500 light years. Nebula is about 5 light years across.

IC 405, mapped colors in HST-palette

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

In a wider field image

The area of interest is marked with a white rectangle.

Wide field images of the area

A twelve panel mosaic of the constellation Auriga in HST-mapped colors.
Note. a largish image, 2.75MB and 2000x1100 pixels.
A blog post about this image, with technical details,  can be seen here:

A central portion of the mosaic above.

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 5Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel
12 x 1200s exposures for the H-alpha, emission of ionized Hydrogen = 4h

Optics and exposures used for colors
Tokina AT-X 300mm at f2.8
QHY8, a cooled single shot color camera
Baader UHC-s filter
36x300s = 3h

Color channels for HST-palette image, O-III and S-II, are from an older wide field image.

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