IC 5134 and NGC 7129 with Spitzer rollover

IC 5134
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

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FOV: Approximately 28' x 42'
Distance:  3,000 light years
RA (J2000): 21h 42m 50s
Dec (J2000): 66 degrees 06' 35"
Position Angle (Pinpoint):  0 degrees

The reflection nebula IC 5134 and associated star cluster NGC 7129 is a beautiful jewel that hides a violent stellar nursery beneath shrouds of dust and gas.  Some of the stars can be seen in visible light, as shown in the image above, but others can only be appreciated by virtue of their ability to heat surrounding gas (via UV emission) to emit in the infrared spectrum, as detected by the Spitzer Space Telescope rollover image (place your arrow over the above image to see the Spitzer rollover of this region).  The false color Spitzer image shows a cone shaped green region not apparent in visible light, just left of center, representing infrared emissions from carbon monoxide as a result of excitation by supersonic jets emitted by the bright stars in the center of NGC 7129.  The reddish linear regions in the visible light image represent Herbig-Haro objects, which have been excited to emit in hydrogen alpha by energetic jets emitted by young stars within the nebula.  On the higher magnification views, you can appreciate the presence of additional stars deeply embedded within the nebula, only seen in infrared light, by "blinking" back and forth between the visible light image and the Spitzer infrared image.  More information about this object may be found here.

Photographic Details:
Date:  July 10, 2008 (luminance); July 12, 2008 (RGB)
Scope:  Vixen VC200L at f6.1 (FL = 1228 mm) on the Takahashi NJP Mount
Autoguider:  SBIG ST-402 with 60mm guidescope, focal length 227mm
Camera:  Apogee U32 -20C
Astronomik Clear (unblocked), R, G, B filters
Exposures:  Luminance, 48 x 5' (unbinned); R, 12 x 5' (binned 2x2); G, 12 x 5' (binned 2x2); B 12 x 8' (binned 2x2).  Total exposure, 7.6 hours
Conditions:  Transparency good; seeing (FWHM) approximately 3"
Post-processing:  Debloomed, calibrated, aligned, and Sigma Clip combined in Maxim.  DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Deconvolution in AIP4WIN.  Further processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).
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