The Swan Nebula M17

Emission Nebula in Sagittarius

Uploaded 7/6/03

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This exceptionally detailed nebula resembles a swan swimming on a lake. It is also one of the few deep sky objects that the cameras orientation must be skewed a bit to show off its namesake. (The Horsehead is another example). The color change across the face is well known to film shooters on this object, this CCD image reveals it especially well. The proportion of OIII is greater on the dimmer outer loop thus it is pinker in color. The dark lanes in this object are amazing. The orientation may be related to magnetic fields in this object. Please try to view the 1200 image or larger if bandwidth allows. The detail increases dramatically with image size.

Now that I am using a enhanced water cooling package, the images of summer nebulosities can be just as deep if not deeper than the shots with no cooler I was obtaining on the coldest winter evenings. The difference in faint nebulosity from the 0C I was running to the -25 I am now able to reach is phenomenal.

Processing: Summed L channels in Maxim, curves in Picture Window Pro. Then into AIP for deconvolution. The RGB channel was treated exactly the same and the L and RGB data was combined in Photoshop in the LAB color mode.

Instrument:  12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform:  Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera:  SBIG ST8i NABG with Enhanced Cooling
Guider: Lumicon Newt. Easy Guider & SBIG ST4
Exposure:  RRGB = 60:20:20:40 (RGB Binned 2x2)
RGB Combine Ratio:  1: .8: 1.2
Filters:  RGB Tricolor
Location:  Payson, Arizona
Elevation:  5150 ft.
Sky:  Seeing FWHM = 4.5 arcsec (Maxim DL - 10min subframe), Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature:  28 C
CCD Temperature:  -25 C
Processing Tools:  Maxim DL, RG Sigma, Photoshop, AIP4WIN, PW Pro, RW Debloomer.


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