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WIP - The Heart Nebula in Ha, IC 1805 , Sh2-190

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The Heart Nebula - Ha, Oct/Nov 2012 WIP

A mere 14x 600 sec exposures

This was never intended to be a 'project' as such - I was using it to Beta test the cameras and software.... As I was using the Ha filter, I just happened upon this target as a rich source of Ha data.

Taken on/off over three sessions it occurred to me later to try and process what I had - was pleasantly surprised at the results (despite stretching it to the limits!) Give it another 2-4 hours and it should be quite respectable.... pity that I did not take more care in the framing though over the sessions as I have had to crop the top and more noticeably the left edge, thereby loosing some of the subtle edge detail in the outer wall.... never mind though, two hours in, so might just as well add this to the library of ongoing projects!

Takahashi FSQ106-ED + dedicated F/R @f/3.6

SBIG STF8300M + Baader 7nm Ha filter. Guided with SBIG ST-i via ST-80 via MicroProjects Equinox Image (beta test)

'Scopebuggied' Takahashi EM400 mount - controlled via MicroProjects Equinox Pro (all on a 17" MacBook Pro)

Preprocessed (Darks and Flat frames), aligned and stacked in Nebulosity 3.

Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5 with 'Noel's Actions'

The Heart Nebula, IC 1805, Sh2-190, lies some 7500 light years away from Earth and is located in the Perseus Arm of the Galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia. This is an emission nebula showing glowing gas and darker dust lanes. The nebula is formed by plasma of ionized hydrogen and free electrons.

The very brightest part of this nebula (the knot at the right) is separately classified as NGC 896, because it was the first part of this nebula to be discovered.

The nebula's intense red output and its configuration are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula's center. This open cluster of stars known as Melotte 15 contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun's mass. The cluster used to contain a microquasar that was expelled millions of years ago. (Wili)

Full Res picture here:


Thanks for looking as always...

Clear skies,



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Outstanding resolution and signal. F3.6... to die for! Super Heart wriggling with detail.


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After seeing Paulo's version I decided to re-process from scratch for a more subtle look.... will leave it there for now though as I collected another three hours on Saturday which I haven't had time to look through yet....


Edited by TakMan

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Astounding work in progress Damian. Amazing depth for a relatively short overall exposure time

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Thanks Gina and Martin - although this mono imaging is going to take me ages to ever get a 'colour' image - and I've got all sorts of processing questions running around my head to ask you all going forward.... I'm really happy with the data I'm collecting in a reasonably short time! No light pollution gradients to get overly worried about yet either!

Ollly: with this cameras smaller 5.4µ pixels (compared to my old ST-4000's 7.4µ), I have been able to utilise the focal reducer and retain my previous set-ups native f/5 resolution (just about), whilst gaining a wider field in the process.... f/3.6 is great (thank god though for the Robofocuser!!!!!), although f/5 wasn't slow by any means, with our weather - quicker the better!

Hoping when I get to add the extra data collected on Saturday for this that the noise levels will drop.... we'll see.... still learning (and de-bugging the software - SBIG could do with an electric cattle prod up the ****), the 'joys' of being Mac based for astro imaging!

Hi res link attached:


Thanks for the comments....


Edited by TakMan

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