Hydrogen Alpha Emission Surrounding SH2-157


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Copyright Steve Cannistra

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2.6 x 3.9 degrees
RA (J2000): 23h 16m 56s
Dec (J2000): +60 degrees 56' 17"
Position Angle: +79 degrees

The band of hydrogen alpha emission and dust that marks the summer Milky Way is a rich source of interesting targets for astrophotography.  This is a wide field view of a particularly lovely area, showing several objects that are well-known to astrophotographers.  These include SH2-157 (just right of center, which looks like a lobster claw to those of us in New England), the Bubble Nebula, NGC 7538, and open star clusters such as M52.  The above image represents a 5 hour cumulative exposure taken in hydrogen alpha light.  I also folded into the image one of my recent higher resolution shots of the Bubble Nebula in order to provide more detail.  Please check out the larger sized images (download may be slow due to their large size), since there's a great deal of interesting detail hiding amidst the hydrogen clouds.  For a wide variety of Sharpless targets, you might check out Dean Salman's website.

Photographic Details:

Date:  September 4, 2008
Scope:  Takahashi FSQ106 at f5 on the Takahashi NJP Mount
Autoguider:  SBIG ST-402 with 60mm guidescope, focal length 227mm
Camera:  STL11K -20C
Baader 7nm Ha filter (50.8 mm unmounted).
Exposures:  Ha- 15 x 20'.  Total exposure 5 hours.
Post-processing:  Calibrated, aligned, and Sigma Clip combined in Maxim, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Further processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).

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