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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sharpless-114, the Flying Dragon Nebula, reprocessed data

Originally I published this photo of Sh2-114 at 8. November 2015. I did some reprocessing, especially to the mapped color version.
Also I found another photo of this emission area taken by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and its four meter telescope. It was nice to notice, that my photo and processing with  only 0.28 meter telescope  could reveal a good level of details out of this dim target, if compared to a photo by Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Sharpless-114, the Flying Dragon Nebula
Click for a large image

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by the ionized elements. 
Red=Sulfur, Green=Hydrogen and Blue=Oxygen.

Kitt Peak 4-meter telescope vs. Astro Anarchy 0.28-meter telescope
Click for a large image

A photo by 4-meter telescope of NOAO compared to my photo of Sh2-114 with a Celestron Edge HD 11 inch telescope. Both images are in mapped colors from the light emitted by the ionized elements. 
Photos are cropped,scaled and rotated to match the data.

Image in visual spectrum
Click for a large image

Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements. 


Sh2-114 is a complex and unusual HII emission nebula. Its complex, wispy structure is likely the result of winds from hot, massive stars interacting with the magnetic fields in the interstellar medium. But very little is known about it. (Source,

There is a planetary nebula at the same field of view, Lan 384 (Kn 26)
Using existing digital sky surveys, Jacoby et al. (2010) presented Kn 26, a bipolar PN candidate known for a long time as the emission line source Lan 384. Here we present high spatial-resolution optical and near-IR narrow-band images of this nebula, high-dispersion long-slit echelle spectra, and low-resolution spectroscopy. The new data confirm the PN nature of Kn 26 and reveal features typical of bipolar PNe: butterfly morphology, H2 emission, and nitrogen enrichment. A detailed analysis of the morphology and kinematics, however, suggests the possible presence of two pairs of bipolar lobes that would make Kn 26 a new member of the class of quadrupolar PN.  (Source,

Lan 384 closeup

This is a closeup from top right third  of my photo.
Some latest info confirms this a s bipolar planetary nebula

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

10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL

Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 9x 1200s = 3h
O-III, 3 x 1200s binned = 1h 
S-II,  3 x 1200s binned = 1h 
Total 5h

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


steven said...

This is a nice demonstration of the value of small aperture telescopes for wide-field surface photometry! While the small telescope doesn't collect enough light to get the resolution of a 4m-class telescope, its surface brightness sensitivity is comparable. It's impressive what can be done with small aperture telescopes! Lovely images.

J-P Metsavainio said...

Thanks Steven,

Like to get my hands on a large aperture telescope some day...
I have shot many targets with a camera optics, love the wide field astrophotographing.
Especially with the narrowband filters. Here are some samples with Canon 200mm Ef f1.8 lens: