Monthly Archives: December 2012

Pelican Nebula Ionisation Front – IC5067

The Pelican Nebula is large, low-density cloud of partially ionised gas associated with the North America Nebula in the constellation Cygnus. Light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming cold gas to hot and causing an ionisation front to advance outwards. Within the advancing front areas of dense cold gas can be seen to resist ionisation and survive as long pillars of dust and gas. Jets of hot gas ejected from the heads of some prominent pillars are also apparent in the image.

Right ascension: 20h 51m 17s | Declination: +44° 24′ 13″ | Distance: 2,000 Light Years
Field of view: 57 x 38 arcmin

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 120 F/7.5
Guiding: Starlight Xpress Active Optics (SXV-AO-LF) unit
Filters: Baader Ha (7nm), OIII (8.5nm), SII (8nm)
Exposures: Ha 11 x 15 min; OIII 22 x 15 min; SII 30 x 15 min
Total exposure: 15.75 hours
Image composition: Colour Mapped Narrowband SII:Ha:OIII (Hubble Palette)
Scale: 1.56 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: Over 10 nights in August through December 2012 from Bristol (UK)

Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL (Fat Tail Deconvolution), Photoshop CS4

Advanced CCD Imaging Course – Herstmonceux

I attended an Advanced CCD Imaging Course this weekend at the Herstmonceux Science Centre in Kent. This is the former home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. The course was held in Dome B in the company of the Yapp 36-inch reflecting telescope shown in the photograph and was organised and chaired by Ian King of Ian King Imaging.

The talks and demonstrations presented a range of CCD image processing approaches and associated techniques for astrophotography. Presentations included: monochrome Ha imaging (John Evans), broadband and colour imaging (Nik Szymanek), PixInsight image processing (Nigel Ball), and narrowband and bi-colour imaging (Ian King & Nik Szymanek).

All speakers provided live demonstrations of their image processing work flow and it was fascinating to watch the differences and common elements in the approaches of four practitioners in the field of astrophotography. I particularly enjoyed Nigel Ball’s presentation which gave me a number of ideas about how to further incorporate PixInsight into my own narrowband image processing work flow.