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Friday, March 29, 2013

Owl nebula, Messier 97




This seems to be my last image for the winter season 2013.


M97, the Owl nebula
in constellation Ursa Major

Click for a large image.
Image is in visual spectrum, red light is emitted by an ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III. Some of the colors, like stars, are shot simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter.


INFO

In my image the outer shell of ionized Oxygen, O-III, can be seen around the round nebula. It's very rarely imaged, I found just couple of images, taken with large 2-3 meter telescopes, showing it. I did use my "Tone Mapping" technique to dig out this very faint signal.

The Owl Nebula, M97, is located about 2,600 light-years away toward the bottom of the Big Dipper's bowl. M97, from Messier's list of objects, its round shape along with the placement of two large, dark "eyes" do suggest the face of a staring owl. One of the fainter objects in Messier's catalog, the Owl Nebula is a planetary nebula, a dying sun-like star as it runs out of nuclear fuel. In fact, the Owl Nebula offers an example of the fate of our Sun as it runs out of fuel in another 5 billion years. The nebula spans over 2 light-years.


A drawing of Owl Nebula from 1848

I wanted to place this sympathetic image here, It's a drawing of Owl nebula by William Parson back from 1848.


O-III channel processing
to show the outer shell structure

Click to see large image
  1. Calibrated and stretched stack, 8h of exposures.
  2. Stars are removed by using several iterations of "dust and scratches" filter under PhotoShop.
  3. Levels are set.
  4. First iteration of curves.
  5. Second iteration of curves, second set of "dust and scratches" filtering to remove background unevenness, mild gaussian blur and some median filtering (5x5) to reduce noise level
  6. Finally image number 5 is combined with second image from top to have both, core details and the outer halo.

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 4Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel

Exposures from three different nights, 16., 26. and 29.03 2013

H-alpha 18x1200s, binned 1x1 = 6h 
O-III  24x1200s, binned 1x1 = 8h
+
Color exposures with QHY8 single shot color camera and Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 lens.
36x600s exposures with UHCs-filter = 6h





Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jones-Emberson 1, the project continues


The Jones-Emberson 1, project continues. I shot five more hours of O-III (light emitted by an ionized Oxygen.) to this planetray nebula. The area of O-III seems to be more extended, than most of the images around are showing.  

At previous mail, I wrote about a possible outer halo in this PN. I have not collected enough information to confirm it, even though I shot five more hours with my fast imaging system, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 lens, UHCs-filter and QHY8 camera. It's very much possible, that there is nothing after all but we'll see at end of the next season, spring 2014. 

Generally the new O-III data gives a softer look to this extremely dim planetary  nebula. The total exposure time is now ~36h, with wide field color data. 


Jones-Emberson 1
Ra 07h 57m 51.628s   Dec +53° 25′ 16.96
PK 164+31.1 a planetary nebula in Lynx

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A cropped full size image, this is a large object as a planetary nebua.
Image is in visual spectrum and dominated by the red light emitted by ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III. Some of the colors are shot simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter.


A wider field

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INFO

There are many background galaxies in this image but they are not showing very well, due to narrowband imaging method. Galaxies and stars are broadband targets and they dim down much, when narrowband filters are used. I'll like to be able to shoot this from a dark location with a LRGB-method.

 largish and very dim, planetary nebula.PK 164+31.1, sometimes known as a "Jones-Emberson 1" has an angular diameter of 6', 67" x 6', 67" and it locates in constellation Lynx. Distance from my home town Oulu, Finland, is about 1600 light years.
The tiny Blue central star is a white dwarf, the intense ultraviolet light emitted by this star makes elements in a ring glow. Ionized Hydrogen emits red light and the ionized Oxygen blue one. 

Why the name "PK 164+31.1"?
PK comes from the names of Czechoslovakian astronomers Perek and Kouhutec. 1967 they created an extensive catalog of all of the known planetary nebulae in  1964. The number indicates the position in the sky. The alternative name "Jones-Emberson 1" is after its discoveries.

Five hours of new O-III data
Shot at 25.03. 2013

This image shows an example about my processing technique. I'm using a special technique of mine to dig out a very weak signal. The upper image shows a stacked, calibrated and heavily stretched 5h exposure of an O-III light.  The image below shows the same data after star removing procedure . The signal from the ionized oxygen is then stretched much more and smoothed out by using a median filtering, 5x5, and some gaussian blur.


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 5Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel


Exposures

H-alpha 21x1200s, binned 1x1 = 8h (A new set from the spring 2013.)
(Older sets from Spring 2010)
H-alpha 32x1200s, binned 2x2 and 7x1200s, binned 3x3 = 13h 
O-III 2x600s, binned 4x4 and 1x1200s, binned 4x4 = 1h
O-III 15x1200s, binned 1x1, = 5h (A new set from the spring 2013.)
S-II 3x600s, binned 4x4 and 1x1200s, binned 4x4 = 1h 20min.
+
Color exposures with QHY8 single shot color camera, spring 2013
48x600s exposures with UHC-sfilter = 8h



A single unprocessed 1200 second frame of H-a emission

A single 20 min. frame, just calibrated and nonlineary stretched to visible. 
Imaged with the QHY9 camera, Baader 7nm H-alpha filter and Meade LX200 12" telescope.

Color data

This is a image used for colors only, it doesn't need to be high resolution, nor pretty, since there are very litle details in other than H-a channel.

A UHCs filtered data from Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera lens, total 8h.





Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jones-Emberson 1, a Palnetary Nebula



I have shot some new h-alpha data for this extremely dim planetary nebula. Total exposure time is now around 20h for the light emitted by an ionized Hydrogen alone. Colors are shot simultaneously with H-a by using the Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera optics, UHC-sfilter and a cooled single shot color astrocamera, QHY8. Exposure time for the color information is around 8h. Total exposure time used is ~23h.

NOTE!

An unknown outer shell structure might be visible in my color data! It can be an artifact though and much more exposures are needed to show it well enough to be sure. Explanation at the end of this post.


Jones-Emberson 1
Ra 07h 57m 51.628s   Dec +53° 25′ 16.96
PK 164+31.1 a planetary nebula in Lynx

A cropped full size image, this is a large object as a planetary nebua.
Image is in visual spectrum and dominated by the red light emitted by ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III. Colors are shot simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter.
NOTE. An updated image, 5h of O-III data added 25.03.


A wider field

NOTE. An updated image, 5h of O-III data added 25.03.

INFO

There are many background galaxies in this image but they are not showing very well, due to narrowband imaging method. Galaxies and stars are broadband targets and they dim down much, when narrowband filters are used. I'll like to be able to shoot this from a dark location with a LRGB-method.

 largish and very dim, planetary nebula.PK 164+31.1, sometimes known as a "Jones-Emberson 1" has an angular diameter of 6', 67" x 6', 67" and it locates in constellation Lynx. Distance from my home town Oulu, Finland, is about 1600 light years.
The tiny Blue central star is a white dwarf, the intense ultraviolet light emitted by this star makes elements in a ring glow. Ionized Hydrogen emits red light and the ionized Oxygen blue one. 

Why the name "PK 164+31.1"?
PK comes from the names of Czechoslovakian astronomers Perek and Kouhutec. 1967 they created an extensive catalog of all of the known planetary nebulae in  1964. The number indicates the position in the sky. The alternative name "Jones-Emberson 1" is after its discoveries.

Jones-Emberson 1, H-alpha emission alone

Image shows this planetary nebula in light emitted by an ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. In color image, there is also light from an ionized Oxygen, O-III. (H-a emits red light and O-III green/blue light.)

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 5Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel


Exposures

H-alpha 21x1200s, binned 1x1 = 8h (A new set from spring 2013)
(Older sets from Spring 2010)
H-alpha 32x1200s, binned 2x2 and 7x1200s, binned 3x3 = 13h 
O-III 2x600s, binned 4x4 and 1x1200s, binned 4x4 = 1h
S-II 3x600s, binned 4x4 and 1x1200s, binned 4x4 = 1h 20min.
+
Color exposures with QHY8 single shot color camera, spring 2013
48x600s exposures with UHC-sfilter = 8h



A single unprocessed 1200 second frame of H-a emission

A single 20 min. frame, just calibrated and nonlineary stretched to visible. 
Imaged with the QHY9 camera, Baader 7nm H-alpha filter and Meade LX200 12" telescope.

Color data

This is a image used for colors only, it doesn't need to be high resolution, nor pretty, since there are very litle details in other than H-a channel.

A UHCs filtered data from Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera lens, total 8h.


Possible finding, an outer shell?

After removing all the stars from the color image above, I was able to stretch the individual color channels to an extreme, without blowing the stars. It is possible, that there is an unknown outer shell in this nebula!
It's possible, that this is just an artifact and much more exposures are needed to show it well enough to be sure. This season starts to be over up here 65N but I'll continue to study this at next spring season, 2014.

A very strongly stretched starless color image of Jones-Emberson 1, 8h exposure, shows a hint of an outer shell structure at mostly Right side at the image above. Outer shell seems to be a pure O-III emission and that's kind of typical to a many planetray nebulae. But as mentioned, this is speculation until I have more data. 


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Melotte 15 panorama, reprocessed



One of my favorite images from this winter season is a two frame mosaic of the Melotte 15 area in IC 1805, the Heart Nebula. There wasn't actually anything wrong in my first version but I wanted to reprocess the data to see, if I'm able to give somehow a more fresh outlook to the image, specially the color scheme.


The heart of the Heart
Melotte 15 in IC 1805

Melotte 15 in mapped colors, be sure to click for a large image!


closeups





INFO

The open cluster centered in this image is known as Melotte 15 . Melotte 15 is embedded within a central portion of the much larger glowing nebula identified as IC 1805. 

An interesting structure, at the center of the image, is a giant area of hydrogen gas that is caused to glow by the intense ultraviolet radiation from the massive stars of the Melotte 15 star cluster.
Dust and gas clouds are twisted by the pressure of the violent radiation, the solar wind.
This formation is estimated to be 7,500 light years away from Earth, North is up.



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
45 x 1200s exposures for the H-alpha, emission of ionized Hydrogen = 15h
Narrowband cahnnels for ionized Oxygen and Sulfur are taken from an older wide field image of mine.


Some of my images showing the IC 1805 area

Previous version of the image above:
http://astroanarchy.blogspot.fi/2012/12/melotte-15-in-ic-1805-project-finalized.html


A collection of IC 1805 details:

An other panoramic mosaic of the IC 1805 area:

A closeup of IC 1805:

A two frame mosaic in visual colors:

A wide field shot of the IC 1805 and IC 1848:


A study about an apparent scale in the sky:

An other detail image of IC 1805:



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sharpless 261, the "Lower's Nebula"




This starts to be my final images for this season. We'll be out of an astronomical darkness in couple of weeks, up here 65N. 
Difficult target just above the Orion, I have spent three night trying to collect enough photons to have a nice image. Sh2-261 doesn't rise very high up here, so I have only around three hours per night to shoot this.
I manged to collect five hours of H-a light and six hours UHCs-filtered colors. 11h total exposure time is not too much for this object.

Sharpless 261 (Sh2-261) , the Lower's Nebula


Image is in visual spectrum and dominated by the red light emitted by ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III. Colors are shot simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter.


INFO

SH2-261, or Lower's Nebula, is a Hydrogen Alpha emission region  located in the upper area of Orion, near the Gemini constellation. Image covers about a same area as a full Moon. There is  no information about the distance of this hydrogen cloud, so we are not able to determine how large it is.

The nebula is named after amateur astronomers Harold Lower and his son Charles, who discovered this nebula in 1939 from a picture taken with their homemade 8 inch, f/1 Schmidt camera.

Image in Hydrogen alpha light alone




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 7Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel
15 x 1200s exposures for the H-alpha, emission of ionized Hydrogen = 5h
+
Color exposures with QHY8 single shot color camera
36x600s exposures with UHC-sfilter = 6h






Friday, March 15, 2013

Rosette Nebula, a closeup, part II



I have combined the new Rosette data to an old one, from the year 2010.
New image has little different colors and much tighter stars. The natural color image, more or less red, is done by combining colors from wider field Rosette image to a closeup. Wide field image used is shot with Tokina 300mm f2.8 camera optics, UHC-s-filter and the QHY8 color camera. UHCs-filter from Baader delivers natural colors to the Nebula and stars. UHCs-data is shot simultaneously with new image of H-a emission.


Rosette Nebula & a star cluster NGC 2239
Ra 06h 33m 45s Dec +04° 59′ 54″


Image is in visual spectrum and dominated by the red light emitted by ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III. Colors are shot simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter.
¨

A new data alone

Image is in visual spectrum and dominated by the red light emitted by ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III. Colors are shot simultaneously with H-a emission by using QHY8 color camera, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and Baader UHCs-filter.

A leaping Puma

A detail, from the image above, looks like a leaping puma!


INFO

The Rosette Nebula (also known as Caldwell 49) is a large, circular H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros. The open cluster NGC 2244(Caldwell 50) is closely associated with the nebulosity, the stars of the cluster having been formed from the nebula's matter. The cluster and nebula locates at a distance of about 5,200 light years from Earth. The diameter is about 130 light years. 
The radiation from the young stars ionized the atoms in the nebula, causing them to emit light, typical to each element, producing the visible nebula. Stellar winds, radiation pressure, from a group of stars cause compression to the interstellar clouds, followed by star formation in the nebula. This star formation is currently still ongoing.


Rosette closeup in mapped colors
from narrowband channels


Image is in mapped colors from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.


A new data alone

Image is in mapped colors from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.


A wide field image of the Rosette Nebula


Image is in mapped colors from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.



A study about an apparent scale

Click for a large image! 
Note. A moon size circle in the images as a scale. (Moon has an apparent size of 0.5 degrees, that's equal to 30 arc minutes)


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 11Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel
13 x 1200s exposures for the H-alpha, emission of ionized Hydrogen = 4h 20min.
+
Data from 2010
H-alpha 13x1200s, binned 1x1

Colors are taken from my older wide field image, for a mapped color composition, and new UHCs-filtered image, for a visual color composition.
 emission.

UHCs-filtered image
Shot for color information

This image is used just for the color information. Only 20min. of exposures.
Tokina 300mm f2.8 camera optics, UHC-s-filter and the QHY8 color camera. UHCs-filter from Baader delivers natural colors to the Nebula and stars. UHCs-data is shot simultaneously with new image of H-a emission.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Rosette Nebula, a closeup



The weather up here 65N hasn't been very cooperative. My latest image, the Rosette Nebula, has taken during four different nights, about an hour at the time, before the clouds rolled in. Images are shot at 20.02, 25.02, 07.03 and 08.03. 2013. 
I shot just H-alpha channel, other two channels, S-II and O-III are from an older wide field image of the same target.



"Rosette Nebula"
Ra 06h 33m 45s Dec +04° 59′ 54″

Image is in mapped colors from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.


INFO


The Rosette Nebula (also known as Caldwell 49) is a large, circular H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros. The open cluster NGC 2244(Caldwell 50) is closely associated with the nebulosity, the stars of the cluster having been formed from the nebula's matter. The cluster and nebula locates at a distance of about 5,200 light years from Earth. The diameter is about 130 light years. 
The radiation from the young stars ionized the atoms in the nebula, causing them to emit light, typical to each element, producing the visible nebula. Stellar winds, radiation pressure, from a group of stars cause compression to the interstellar clouds, followed by star formation in the nebula. This star formation is currently still ongoing.



Natural colors
from narrowband channels

Image is in visual spectrum and dominated by the red light emitted by ionized Hydrogen, H-alpha. Blueish hues are from ionized Oxygen, O-III.


A wide field image 

A wide field image of the Rosette Nebula in visual colors, taken with the Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens and the cooled astronomical camera, QHY9.
Blog post about the image with technical data: 

A study about an apparent scale

Click for a large image! 
Note. A moon size circle in the images as a scale. (Moon has an apparent size of 0.5 degrees, that's equal to 30 arc minutes)


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 11Hz
Image Scale, ~0,8 arc-seconds/pixel
13 x 1200s exposures for the H-alpha, emission of ionized Hydrogen = 4h 20min.
Colors are taken from my older wide field image

A single unprocessed 1200 second frame of H-a emission

A single 20 min. frame, just calibrated and nonlinear stretched to visible. 
Imaged with the QHY9 camera, Baader 7nm H-alpha filter and Meade LX200 12" telescope.