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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Melotte 15 panorama, reprocessed

One of my favorite images from this winter season is a two frame mosaic of the Melotte 15 area in IC 1805, the Heart Nebula. There wasn't actually anything wrong in my first version but I wanted to reprocess the data to see, if I'm able to give somehow a more fresh outlook to the image, specially the color scheme.

The heart of the Heart
Melotte 15 in IC 1805

Melotte 15 in mapped colors, be sure to 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. 

An interesting structure, at 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 violent radiation, the solar wind.
This formation is estimated to be 7,500 light years away from Earth, North is up.

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 of mine.

Some of my images showing the IC 1805 area

Previous version of the image above:

A collection of IC 1805 details:

An other panoramic mosaic of the IC 1805 area:

A closeup of IC 1805:

A two frame mosaic in visual colors:

A wide field shot of the IC 1805 and IC 1848:

A study about an apparent scale in the sky:

An other detail image of IC 1805:

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