Sunday, October 8, 2017

The North America Nebula

This is the first successful image of my Pentax-based imaging rig:
(click on image for full resolution)
Processing this image was a challenge - mostly because the imaging scale is so different then my images from my Takahashi TOA-130 scope. It has A LOT of stars and very little true background.

This nebula is four times the size of the full moon (which demonstrates the HUGE field of view of the 55mm lens!!!) The nebula and the Pelican Nebula (the lower, smaller nebula) are part of the same interstellar cloud of ionized hydrogen - which is forming stars. Between the nebulae and us are dust lanes that create the shape. We don't know for sure how far the nebula is away from us and what its dimensions are. Some speculate that Deneb (the very bright star in the lower part of the image and one of the brightest stars in our skies) ionizes this nebula. which would put it at a distance of 1800 light years and a diameter of 100 light years!