IC348 is located about 1000 light years away in the Perseus constellation and consists of an open star cluster of about 400 stars. These stars illuminate the surrounding dust and gas to produce a blue reflection nebula about 15 light years across. The cluster is estimated to be only 2m years old. More than half the stars have ring shaped disks, indicating potential planet formation. Thirty brown dwarfs have been discovered within the cluster, with three having a mass as low as 10 times that of Jupiter. In 2013, a very rare object (LRLL 54361) was discovered near the reflection nebula. This emits a flash of light every 25.34 days and is believed to be a pair of proto-stars orbiting each other. The stars attract dust and gas as they orbit each other and dump the matter into the growing stars as they near each other in their orbits, resulting in a short blast of intense radiation. IC348 is embedded in a star forming region known as the Perseus molecular cloud. This is mainly visible in the mid and far infra-red wavelengths, however, in visible light it’s almost invisible.
The LRGB image represents c11 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150. The image has a very high dynamic range and is not helped by the very bright star Atik which scatters light rays everywhere. It certainly makes processing a challenge