Saturday, 29 August 2009

Obscure Nebula - looking deeper

We had compared our images of Gyulbudaghian's Variable Nebula (HH 215, GM 1-29) and neither of us could see anything definate. It was the last deep-sky night for a fortnight as the moon was setting at 11pm as a distorted deep orange almond sinking behind the horizon. So, I was inspired to take another good bunch of 30" pics. All in all, I stacked 46 (including the previous pictures - below) to get a total exposure of over 25 minutes at f/4.8 on the 20" telescope. Here is the result. This picture is improved enough for you to see the Herbig-Haro jet HH 415 and the background nebulosity is clearer. HH 415 can be found by going below and slightly left of the bright blue star right of centre to find a bright-looking 13th magnitude star. There is a very faint star just below this and the object is the small streaky blur just below that. As for the main object around PV Cephei (just below centre), I still can't really see much there. With this picture, I increased the saturation, as it had somehow dropped during processing. So now the colours of the stars are revealed and they are stunning! This is especially useful on PV Cephei, which is clearly revealed to be a dim red colour, sitting in its dark patch of nebulous dust. Who knows what magnitude it's at now!?

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