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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The ghost of Christmas past, IC 63

I have shot this target many times at this time of year. Every time I have a different result due to seeing conditions, exposure times used and different optical configurations. Naturally I am more experienced to process astronomical images now, that few years back.

IC 59 and IC 63

Please, click for a large image!

A bicolor composition by the light of ionized elements, hydrogen and oxygen. (H-alpha and O-III)
The blue color in the photo is not a reflection component but weak O-III emission.

Hydrogen emission only (H-alpha)
Please, click for a large image!

H-alpha emission only


IC 59 and IC 63 at the distance of about 600 light years in the constellation Cassiopeia.
Image spans about 0,8 degrees vertically, that's about ten light years at its estimated distance.
IC 59 is at left edge of the image and IC 63 at middle. Nebulae are ionized from the ultraviolet radiation of hot, luminous star gamma Cas at upper right it locates only three to four light years from the nebulae.

C 63 is a combination of emission and reflection nebulae. Since this is a narrow band image, reflection component is not get captured due to a broad band nature of it. Instead there is an ionized Oxygen, O-III, in this image and it can be seen as a Blue.
Nebula is next to the Gamma Cassiopeiae, a bright, mag. 2.47, star in middle of the "W" asterism in constellation Cassiopeia.

Orientation in Cassiopeia

The area of interest can be seen at the middle of the image. Click for a large image.

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, 21 x 1200 s binned 2x2 
O-III, 6 x 1200 s binned 4x4 = 

Variable Star of Mira Cet type, an animation
00 59 34.72 60 43 21.9

A variable star can be seen at center right, it's much brighter at 2010 image.
Click for a large image.

While I was combining data from 2010 to a new data, I noticed a difference between images.
There was a bright star in image from 02.10.2010, the same star in new image set from 24.12.2012 was much dimmer. I did use a Simbad astronomical database and it gave me a report of an variable star. 

V* AV Cas -- Variable Star of Mira Cet type
with radius arcmin
Distance to the center arcsec: 6.34
Other object types: Mi* () , V* (V*,AN,AAVSO) , * (CSI,[I81]) , IR (2MASS,MSX5C)
ICRS coord. (ep=J2000) : 00 59 34.00 +60 43 18.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
FK5 coord. (ep=J2000 eq=2000) : 00 59 34.00 +60 43 18.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
FK4 coord. (ep=B1950 eq=1950) : 00 56 30.55 +60 27 08.4 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
Gal coord. (ep=J2000) : 123.9263 -02.1343 ( Infrared ) [ 70 60 0 ] B 2003yCat.2246....0C
Spectral type: M8 C ~
Fluxes (4) :
B 13.5 [~] E 2003AstL...29..468S
J 7.136 [0.020] C 2003yCat.2246....0C
H 6.170 [0.026] C 2003yCat.2246....0C
K 5.670 [0.020] C 2003yCat.2246....0C

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