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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Supernova remnant Sharpless 224 in auriga

The imaging season up here 65N starts to be over soon, in a week we'll be out of astronomical darkness for about six months. This photo of dim supernova remnant in constellation Auriga is one of the last images for the Spring season 2016.

Sharpless 224 in visual colors
Click for a large image

Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.

Sh2-224 in mapped colors
Click for a large image
The photo is in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, 
red=sulfur, green=hydrogen and blue=oxygen.


Supernova remnant Sharpless 224, Sh2-224, locates in constellation Auriga at distance of about 14700 light years. It has an apparent size about 60 arc minutes, the real size is around 235 light years. This is a very dim target and lots of exposure time is needed to reveal any details out of it. Beside Hydrogen alpha, there are also weak emission from ionized oxygen, O-III, and ionized sulfur, S-II. 

Wide field images of the area
Click for a large photo, 1800 x 1500 pixels, 3MB

This photo is from March 2009. QHY9 astrocamera, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens and Baader narrowband filters. Total exposure time is around 15h. Original photo with technical details can be seen HERE

12 panel mosaic of constellation Auriga
Click for a large photo, 2600 x 1200 pixels, 5MB

Mosaic image is from March 2012. This panoramic mosaic spans about 21 degrees of sky. 
That's 42 full Moons side by side. QHY9 astrocamera, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens and Baader narrowband filters. Total exposure time is around 70h. Original photo with technical details can be seen HERE

Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 21 iterations, added at 25% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope
Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics (For S-II and O-III channels)
10-micron 1000
Meade LX200 GPS 12" (For S-II and O-III channels)

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL
QHY9 (For S-II and O-III channels)

Astrodon filter, 5 nm H-alpha
Baader filter, 8,5 nm O-III
Baader filter, 8 nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 24 x 1200s binned 2x2 =8h
O-III, 12 x 600s binned 4x4 = 2h (Year 2009)
S-II,  12 x 600s binned 4x4 = 2h (Year 2009)
Total 12h

A single uncropped, calibrated and stretched 20 min. H-alpha frame as it comes from the camera

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