Reflection nebula in Perseus

Uploaded 11/28/10

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This off the beaten path object in Perseus is nothing more than a wisp visually, even with large amateur telescopes. My friend Steve Coe's observations indicated that there seemed to be a dark area near the core, but little more. It is plotted innocently on the Megastar Atlas as one of the very few reflection nebulas in this region of any size. Very tempting. Little did I know at the time that this tenuous wisp would pan out to be a splendid object, displaying a pale blue haze around a bright central star, dark lanes cutting through it, with an outer very light blue and magenta haze of dim stellar reflection. This was the single longest shooting sequence I can do in one night on one object - 4 hours. Thats just over the trees in the east, to hitting the tube against the concrete pier near the end.


The central star is 9.4 magnitude SAO56726, and is a very hot spectral class of A2IIev comp. This high output star lights the nebula and is central in this image. The nebula itself is listed as 9 arc minutes, however its extended envelope makes it much larger photographically. Finally, the bright orange star at the bottom is 10.6 magnitude and of a late spectral class K or M.

Instrument: 12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian Mount: Astrophysics 1200 QMD CCD Camera: SBIG 10XME NABG with Enhanced Water Cooling Guider: Meade DSI Pro w/Lumicon Newt Easy Guider Exposure: RGB = 4h total AstroDon RGB Combine Ratio: 1: 1.05: 1.2 Location: Payson, Arizona, Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing FWHM = 5 arcsec (Maxim DL - 10min subframe), Transparency 9/10 Outside Temperature: 35 F CCD Temperature: -30 C Image Processing Tools: Maxim DL: Calibration, deblooming (Starizona Debloomer), aligning, stacking PixInsight: Curves, Deconvolution Photoshop CS2: Curves, Color Correction, Gradient removal (Grad Xterminator), Cleanup HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS