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IC 1871 – Part of the Soul Nebula
IC 1871 is a very busy region of the Soul Nebula, Sh2-199. The Soul Nebula itself is often referred to as IC 1848 but in fact, this is the designation of a star cluster within the nebulosity. The Soul Nebula is located within the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way in the constellation Cassiopeia at a distance of around 7,500 light years from the Earth with IC 1871 situated on the north-eastern edge of the nebula.
IC 1871 is rich is Ha emissions but less so in OIII which makes this region an ‘interesting’ challenge especially for bicolour imaging as displayed here, despite there being other regions within the Soul Nebula where there is a greater density of OIII emissions. If I could afford a 3nm SII filter, I would have used that too but I can’t so I didn’t!
The nebula also plays host to some fascinating dust lanes that produce some great additional features to contrast against the bright ridges of glowing gas clouds. Within these gas clouds, large cavities have been sculpted by radiation and winds from the region's most massive stars. The dense star-forming clouds of IC 1871 are an example of ‘triggered star-formation’, a theory that suggests that the compressed edges of the cavities caused by the outwards push of the radiation and wind cause the region to produce successive generations of new stars.
Mount: Mesu 200
Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150
Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific
Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8
Filters: Astrodon 3nm Ha, 3nm OIII
Subframes: 15 x 1800 sec Ha, 28 x 1800 sec OIII
Total Integration: 21.5 hours
Control: CCD Commander
Capture: MaxIm DL
Calibration, Stacking and Deconvolution: PixInsight
Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3
02° 59' 41.0"
+60° 41' 4.0"
This has been a bit of a project. Last year I worked out that my 200mm Canon F2.8 lens and ASI1600 would frame the whole of the Veil complex quite nicely. I captured Ha and OIII data for the east and west nebulae with a Tak FSQ 106 and added this into the widefield image. Although the Tak data had to be shrunk down it did add a bit of extra resolution where it was needed.
The difficulty for me has been the processing. I have found it really difficult to tease out the faint wisps of detail and have tried the usual routines of micro contrast adjustments using curves along with Scott Rosen's Screen blend/mask inversion method but the results weren't great owing to the close proximity of faint and bright nebulosity. I'd heard about the PI process tool for removing stars, Starnet, so loaded this and had a rare foray into PI. This proved very helpful. It was a luminence created from Ha and OIII using the 200mm lens with the Tak data mixed in. Then the starless layer was added in PS with the screen blend mode at 50% opacity. The nebulosity detail was so well preserved I didn't need a mask. After blending I reduced the stars a bit more using the starless layer again and darken as the blend at 50%. I should really unleash some of the stars to add a bit of "punch" but I've wrestled with this data enough for now! I plan to use it further as I look deeper into the Gorgon that is PixInsight!
Telescope: Tak 106 for E and W veils. Canon 200mmL lens
Camera: ZWO ASI 1600 pro mono cmos, Gain 150, offset 50
Filters: Baader 7nm OIII and Ha
E+W Veil 10x30 mins each channel for each nebula. Whole complex 50x5mins for each channel
Captured with SGP, calibrated, aligned and combined with PI, processed mainly with PS but PI for Starnet. Ha mapped to red and OIII to both blue and green
By Anne S
I've been imaging Thor's Helmet for the last couple of nights in Ha and O3. I notice that RGB data can be used to correct star colour. What exposure is recommended to capture the stars and how many should I take? It looks as if I've one more clear night for the time being.
This came as a bonus target, I didn't really plan to shoot it, but I took the opportunity to grab some frames before astrodark or with the DSLR or waiting for other targets
So this is a mix of everything:
10x2min Ha with the ASI1600 and 130PDS on the AZ-EQ5.
11x3min Ha with the ASI1600 and Esprit80 on the AZ-EQ5.
19x5min Ha with the ASI1600 and Esprit80, 11 on the AZ-EQ5, 8 on the EQ6-R.
15x5min Oiii with the ASI1600 and Esprit80 on the AZ-EQ5.
74x90s with the DSLR and 130PDS on the AZ-EQ5.
For a total of 5:34h.
Crop of RGB, HOO and HOO-RGB.
Which are your thoughts before I call it the final version?
Finally managed to observe the Veil nebula on last Saturday!
I remember spending too many hours searching for it during my observations.
The milky way band in the morning came up really nice ,almost a continuous band from scorpious to Cassiopeia (managed to see that too!).
Thinking about giving veil a last try, we pointed our skywatcher 8 inch dobsonian scope with 32mm plossl eyepiece and lumicon UHC filter and BAM! It was right there, bright enough to show it for first timers too! Looked like an arc or smoke chain coming out of matchstick.
All The reports say that Veil nebula is an easy object, but I have had hard time seeing it all this time, while easily observing Flame nebula and Horsehead nebula through smaller telescopes.
Maybe it's the real dark skies...or just some plain luck!