Reflection Nebula in Taurus

Uploaded 11/21/2001

Located due south of the star Merope in the Pleiades - M45 cluster is this wispy reflection nebula grouping. The star, Merope a magnitude 4.17 type B5 star is the source of illumination for this reflection nebula, composed of smoke sized dust particles in space. The nebula has two parts, the first is the bright core directly surrounding Merope, IC349 seen at the top, and the wispy blue nebula encompasing the entire cluster is NGC1435. This object is a real challenge to photograph with a CCD camera because of the combination of a very bright star and dim reflection nebulosity. I avoided the star by putting it just out of the top of the frame, and to keep the other cluster members from blooming, this image is a pure RGB exposure to subdue the star brightness during the 10 minute sub exposures.

Instrument:  12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform:  Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera:  SBIG ST7E w/Enhanced Cooling
Exposure:  RGB = 20:20:40 (RGB Binned 1x1)
Filters:  RGB Tricolor
Location:  Payson, Arizona
Elevation:  5150 ft.
Sky:  Seeing FMHW = 2.0 arcsec, Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature:  15 C
CCD Temperature:  -25 C
Processing:  Maxim DL, Photoshop, AIP, PW Pro.




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