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Sunday, May 12, 2013

A starless Melotte 15 in IC 1805, the Heart Nebula

For some reason, I like to make starless versions of my astronomical images now and then. They'll show the actual nebula better and have a kind of mystique feel. 
Human brains has a tendency to form some quasi logical shapes out of cloud of random dots, like stars in this case. Without stars, the shapes in a gas cloud stands out much better, I think.

A starless Melotte 15 in IC 1805

Image with a suppressed stars, click for a large image.
Original image with a technical details can be seen in THIS blog post.

Image with the stars

Melotte 15 area in IC 1805, the Heart Nebula
Original image with a technical details can be seen in THIS blog post.


The "Heart Nebula", IC1805 locates about 7500 light years away in constellation Cassiopeia. This is an emission nebula showing glow of ionized elements in a gas cloud and some darker dust lanes.
In a very center of the nebula, lays Melotte 15, it contains few very bright stars, nearly 50 times mass of our Sun, and many dim ones. The solar wind, a radiation pressure, from massive stars makes the gas twist to a various shapes.

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
18 x 1200s exposures for the H-alpha, emission of ionized Hydrogen = 6h
Narrowband cahnnels for ionized Oxygen and Sulfur are taken from an older wide field images.

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