IC 443 Widefield

IC 443
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here or on image for a larger image.
Please click here for this image in Ha light.

Magnitude:  Approximately 12.0
Size: 50'
Distance: 5000 light years
RA: 6h 17m 49s
Dec: 22 degrees 49' 00"

IC443 is a beautiful supernova remnant in the constellation Gemini, produced by a supernova explosion thought to have occurred about 30,000 years ago.   X-ray emissions are produced by a neutron star hidden deep within the nebula, which is all that remains of the original star.  The neutron star is highly dense and rapidly rotating, representing the end stage of a star with between 1.4 and 3 solar masses.   In addition to hydrogen, the nebula is comprised of other more complex elements such as oxygen, silicon, carbon, and iron, which were created during the star's lifetime through
nuclear fusion .  These elements may someday become part of a solar system that could support life. 

Photographic Details:

Date:  December 23 and 24, 2006.

Takahashi FSQ106, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  SBIG STL11000M, -20C
Astronomik RGB filters; Baader 7nm Ha filter.
Exposures (unbinned):  19 x 20' Ha (6.3 hour Ha exposure over 2 nights); 12 x 5' R; 12 x 5' G; 15 x 8' B (4 hour RGB exposure).  Total exposure 10.3 hours.
Conditions:  Unseasonably warm and comfortable.
Calibrated, aligned, and Sigma Clip combined in MaximDL, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Subsequent processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).  The RGB was processed first, and then Ha was added back to the R, G, B channels using lighten mode in the following percentages: 100% Ha (Red), 7% Ha (Green), 15% Ha (Blue).  Halos caused by the STL11K coverslip were removed individually in PS.  Final color and detail adjusted using the Selective Color tool in PS.

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