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Thursday, February 21, 2013

A new image, NGC 2174, the Monkey Head Nebula

Image from last Tuesday, 19.02. I managed to use a crack in almost unbreakable cloud cover.
Result, ~4h exposures for the ionized Hydrogen of NGC 2174, the Monkey Head Nebula.
While shooting with my old Meade 12", I shot colors simultaneously with the QHY8 astrocamera, Baader UHCs-filter and the Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens. 

NGC 2174, the Monkey Head Nebula
In the constellation Orion

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.
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A closeup

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NGC 2175, it's surraunded by an emission nebula Sh2-252, it's sometimes called as a "Monkey head nebula". NGC 2175 locates in constellation Orion. In my northern location, 65N, this target is not very high, about 39 degrees in maximum elevation. Distance from Oulu, Finland, is about 6350 light years.

Image in mapped colors

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 1590 can be seen at middle of the image.
Colors in the nebula are taken from this older image of mine:
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A study about the apparent scale in the sky
Note. A Moon size circle as a scale, click for a large image

More info about this scale study in blog post here:

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
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
Baader IR-cut filter
22x600s = 3,6h

Color channels for a mapped-palette image, O-III and S-II, are from an older image of mine.

A single unprocessed 1200 second frame of H-a emission

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

And yes, it really does look like a head of a monkey!

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