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Two Clear Nights! Melotte 15


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Melotte 15 (Collinder 26)


Located in the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way, Melotte 15 is an open star cluster that lies in the very heart of the Heart Nebula (IC1805) in the constellation Cassiopeia, approximately 7,500 light years from Earth. Also catalogued as Collinder 26, the intense radiation from the bright, hot, young stars within the cluster have eroded the nebulous region surrounding it to produce wonderful, intricate pillars of dust. The surrounding nebulosity glows brilliantly in the red portion of the light spectrum by the ionization of hydrogen gas which acts as a glorious backdrop to the darker dust regions making this an excellent target for both broadband and narrowband imaging.

With clear skies a rarity at my location recently, I decided to produce this image using the bi-colour process wherein Ha is mapped to the Red channel and OIII is mapped to both Green and Blue channels to produce a detailed but false colour image. This allowed me to produce a colour image over just two nights




Image Stats


Mount: Mesu 200
Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150
Flattener: Sky-Watcher Esprit specific
Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8
Filter: Astrodon 3nm Ha, 3nm OIII
Subframes: 15 x 1800 sec bin 1x1 Ha, 14 x 1800 sec bin 1x1 OIII
Integration: 14.5 hours
Control: CCD Commander
Capture: MaxIm DL
Calibration, Stacking, Deconvolution and noise reduction: PixInsight
Post-Processing: PhotoShop PS3







02° 34' 23.0"


+51° 32' 31.0"






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Oh very moody. That’s worked rather well. Was wondering how this would look with this setup.. turns out it’s pretty amazing. Can’t wait for the mosaic now Steve.. go on.. you know you want to.. 😏😆🤣

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16 hours ago, Stuf1978 said:

Outstanding :) 

Thank you

14 hours ago, The Lazy Astronomer said:

My thoughts exactly! It is fantastic 

Really pleased you like it

13 hours ago, Clarkey said:

Really great image👍

I have got 4 hours clear sky at the moment - first in weeks...... and I am on bedtime duty with kids

Thank you - ah yes, I remember bedtime duty with the kids but in those days it kept me from my CB radio rather than astronomy!! I volunteered for the late night baby feed though as that meant I didn't feel guilty about staying up really late chatting on air .....

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