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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Soul Nebula detail, IC 1848

I was able to shoot through four nights at last week. Unfortunately three of those night was ruined by a bad seeing, FWHM around 7, and nearly invisible thin clouds ate out the weaker signals. However, I had enough good data for couple of new images, here is the first one, IC 1848.

A closeup of IC 1848, the "Soul Nebula"
Ra 02h 51m 36.24s Dec +60° 26′ 53.9"

Image is in mapped colors from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.
Star colors are shot with a QHY8 color camera, Tokina 300mm f2.8 optics and the Baader UHCs filter.
The open cluster IC 1848 can be seen at upper right edge of the image. (Two bright stars surrounded by a group of dimmer stars.)

There are 14x20min H-alpha light collected for this image, color data is borrowed from my older wide field image of the Soul NebulaThis is the second time for my tandem camera system, Star colors are shot at the same time, as the closeup image, with the QHY8 color camera and the Baader UHCs-filter. This filter delivers real colors for the stars, even though it's kind of narrowband filter.


Soul Nebula, (Sh2-199, LBN 667) is an emission nebula in constellation Cassiopeia. IC 1848 is a cluster inside Soul Nebula. Distance is about 7.500 light years. This complex is a Eastern neighbor of IC 1805, the "Heart Nebula" and they are often mentioned together as Heart and Soul. 

A study about the apparent scale

IC 1848 in visual colors

Image is in visual spectrum and dominated by the red light emitted by ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III. Colors are shot  simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter. 

Orientation and colors

The area of interest is marked with a white rectangle. Mapped colors, in up most image, are from this one.

This UHCs filtered image was shot simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter. 
Colors in visual color image, second from the top, are taken from this image, as well as the star colors in both versions.

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

Optics and exposures used for colors

Tokina AT-X 300mm at f2.8
QHY8, a cooled single shot color camera
Baader UHC-s filter
Baader IR-cut filter
16x900s = 4h
Color channels for a mapped-palette image, O-III and S-II, are from an older wide field image.

A single calibrated 1200 second frame of H-a emission

A single 20 min. frame, just calibrated and stretched. Imaged with the QHY9 camera, Baader 7nm H-alpha filter and Meade LX200 12" telescope.

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