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The Flaming Star Nebula 'IC405' - HaHaRGB

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My best (and longest) exposure to date!


RGB One Shot

18x 600sec light exposures

Flats(+Bias), Darks processed

I also tried (for the first time), some exposures with a 2" Astronomik H-alpha 12nm narrowband filter - a bit of a slow process with a OSC camera(!), but a useful exercise in learning how to 'self' guide with 10 second exposures - the one problem with the SBIG camera being that the inbuilt guider ends up behind the filter....


Ha Astronomik via RGB One Shot Colour camera

9x 600sec light exposures

Flats(+Bias), Darks processed

Only used a small amount of this to increase the detail and brightness of the central region as the data was rather noisy...

Overall I'm rather pleased with the results - especially the amount of blue reflection nebulosity that shows through (although the camera is more sensitive in the blue spectrum), and also the 'wall' extending so far.... it does not hold up so well at 100% though!!! :(

Another target that I'd like to try and add more data to in the future... :)

Tak FSQ106-ED @ native - 530mm/f.5

SBIG 4000XCM - OSC self guiding @ -20c

IDAS-V2 filter

Tak EM400 mount

Control via 17" G4 Apple Powerbook running MicroProjects Equinox 6 and Image.

Pre-processed, aligned and stacked in Nebulosity2.

Post Processing in PhotoShop CS3 + Noel's Actions

Has taken far longer to process than capture(!)

Followed Robert Gendler's excellent tutorial on how to blend the Ha data into the RED channel, then add the HaRed channel as a mild Luminosity layer to the new HaRGB image.... (link to that below)

Untitled Document


The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405/SH 2-229/Caldwell 31) is a diffuse mixed emission nebula and reflection region in the constellation Auriga that mainly surrounds the star AE Aurigae (a blue O-type main sequence dwarf with a mean apparent magnitude of +5.99). It gives the impression that the star is burning, hence its name.

AE Aurigae is an 'erratic variable' and one of the runaway stars whose proper motion can be traced back to the area of Orion's Belt.

It might have been ejected during a collision of two binary star groups. The collision is also credited with ejecting Mu Columbae and 53 Arietis and has been traced back to the Trapezium cluster (in the Orion), some two million years ago.

The red and purple colors of the nebula are present in different regions and are created by different processes. AE Aurigae is so hot it shines blue - emitting light so energetic it knocks electrons away from surrounding gas. When a proton recaptures an electron, red light is frequently emitted. The purple region's color is a mix of this red light and blue light emitted by AE Aurigae but reflected to us by surrounding dust. The two regions are referred to as emission nebula and reflection nebula, respectively.

The Flaming Star Nebula, officially known as IC 405, lies about 1500 light years distant, spans about 5 light years, and is visible with a small telescope.

Thanks for looking....

Clear skies,



Edited by TakMan
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Beautiful Damian, and as you say, probably the best result you have enjoyed (so far :p )

It's a tricky one this, as the bits that shine so brightly via reflection, and very dark as regards glowing emissions, but you have processed this very nicely indeed, and you should rightly be proud of it :)



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Damian .. fabulous image and worthy of the note in the runners up POW..

this is a fabulous image and tight colourful stars... thanks also for the tutorial link, i'd lost that one... :)

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