The Bubble Nebula in Hydrogen Alpha (NGC 7635)

Bubble Nebula in Hydrogen Alpha
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

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Magnitude:  about 7.0
Size: about 15'
Distance: 11,000 light years
RA: 23h 20m 42s
Dec: 61 degrees 12' 00"

The Bubble Nebula is one of only a few "bubbles" identified in the night sky, and it forms a photogenic partner with the open cluster M52, seen in the lower left.  It is an unusual planetary nebula named for the surrounding bubble that is seen in the upper right portion of the photograph above, caused by gas ejected from a massive central star.  The rate of ejected gas is so brisk that it "runs into" the wall of the surrounding nebula, thus creating a boundary of higher density gas that forms the outer shell of the bubble.  More information about this process may be found here.

Photographic Details:

Date:  July 24, 2005
Scope:  Takahashi FS102 at f8, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  Maxcam CM10.

Astrodon Ha filter (6 nm bandpass).
Exposures:  25 x 10' each.  Total exposure: 4.2 hours.
Conditions:  Temperature 75 degrees F dropping to 65 degrees F throughout the night; above average transparency, below average seeing; calm; clear, with a waning moon. 
Post-processing:  Subs were debloomed with Ron Wodaski's Debloomer software, dark frame calibrated, and then aligned in Registar.  Sigma combined using RC Sigma Reject MaximDL, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Further processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).

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