October 23, 2015

Pelican Nebula or IC 5070 (Fall 2015)

This data includes deeper H-Alpha, OIII, and SII from DSW.  This is a slightly modified Hubble palette.

The bright star just to the right and lower than center is 56 Cygni, a double star the brightest component of which is magnitude 5.07 and type A6V.  56 Cygni is about 134 light years away.  The bright star at upper right is 57 Cygni, 530 light years away and type B5V.  The nebula itself is far in the background at 1800 ±200 light years.  Of course, the nebula has several layers.  The darker parts superimposed on the brighter emission nebulae are closer.  I've always suspected that the rounded ridge on the right with the Loch Ness Monster rising out of it is most near after the dark parts.

Telescope: Deep Sky West FSQ Setup
Camera and Exposure: QSI683wsg (SHO:20+17+16x1800")
Software: Nebulosity, SkySafari, Maxim DL, Photoshop CS3, Registar
Location: Deep Sky West Observatory

October 13, 2015

Iris (NGC 7023) to UGC 11678 (September 2015)

Here is the Iris Nebula again, this time with better data.  My last attempt at this, here, used data acquired in 2012 at the Comanche Springs astronomy campus in north Texas.  This new data comes from Deep Sky West, a remote observatory in north central New Mexico.  It's amazing data, and it comes nicely packaged in a form I can easily use.

This image is interesting for several reasons.  First, it shows much more of the cloud of dust in which the Iris shines.  The Iris Nebula and all the dust around it shine primarily by reflection.  The white-ish star at the center of the flower, called HD 200775, type BV3, shines light on the surrounding dust, and that light is reflected back in blue.  The dust around the flower reflects the light of other stars, too.  HD 200775 is also a double star, but the dimmer companion is too dim and too close to show up in a photo with this telescope and camera.

The Iris Nebula itself is not all blue, though blue reflection predominates.  The Hubble telescope reports red emission nebulosity here, too.  I could easily detect red glow in this data, but it was overwhelmed by the blue, and I did not try to show it.

Another neat thing about this data is that it stretches all the way from the Iris on the right to the galaxy UGC 11678 on the left.  On the basis of redshift (z= 0.008346), one can calculate that the galaxy is about 115 million light years away.  It would probably be much brighter if we could look at it without all the dust in the way!

Is imaging a different experience because I did not take the data myself?  A bit, but I'm at a point where my data does not depend on me; I take good data.  Data now depends primarily on my location.  Give me a dark sky, and I can take this data, too.  I don't have a dark sky; I live too near Houston.  So this remote observatory gives me the chance to observe digitally in the deep way I enjoy, and I get to learn something new, and I don't have to travel or stay up late.  Cool.

Telescope: Takahashi FSQEDXiii
Camera and Exposure: QSI683wsg (L: 37x900" + RGB 16±1x900")
Shrinkage: This image 70% of full.
Mount: SB MyT
Software: Nebulosity, SkySafari, Maxim DL, Photoshop CS3, Registar
Location: Deep Sky West Observatory