Merope and surrounding reflection nebula (NGC 1435)

Merope and NGC 1435
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Magnitude:  4.12 (Merope itself)
Distance: 360 light years
RA: 3h 46m 31s
Dec: 23 degrees 57' 36"

The star Merope is part of the Pleiades open star cluster (M45) and is surrounded by one of the brightest reflection nebulae of this group (NGC 1435).  The reflection nebulosity of NGC 1435 spans about 0.5 degrees, or about the size of the full moon.   During visual observation, there is a hint of nebulosity in a small scope such as an 8" SCT, although the full extent can only be observed in longer exposure photos such as this one.

Photographic Details:

Date:  September 29, 2003
Scope:  LX90 at f6.3, Lumicon OAG
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder
Camera:  Canon 10D
Filter:  IDAS LPS
Exposures:  6 x 9' each at ISO1600.
Temperature 49 degrees F; average transparency; average seeing; wind minimal.
Post-processing:  Raw conversion, adaptive dark frame subtraction, alignment, autograding, min/max excluded averaging, and background compensation done in ImagesPlus; levels and curves adjustment in Photoshop; final smoothing done in Pleiades SGBNR software.

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