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M97 - Owl Nebula in Ursa Major

 

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Scope: C8 f/7.7; Location: Dos Picos Park, Ramona, CA;  16 March 2009; Camera: Artemis285

Exposure: 10 x 6 min Luminance exposure (bin 1x1) with Baader IR Block Filter; 8 x 3 min RGB (bin 2x2)

Processing: Images were captured Artemis Capture (as FITs). Aligned/stacked and dark subtracted in Astroart with Sigma Combine. Luminance used Average combine with Sigma combine for improved S/N (satellite trails and pixel voids on Average combine were replaced with Sigma combine pixel values manually). Luminance and Color channels were scaled and rough color balanced in Astroart.  Central Gradient was removed on all channels in Astroart. Channels were co-registered in Astroart. The 6 minute IR block exposures were used for the main luminance construction with level adjustments and curves to bring out object features.   LRGB combine was done in Photoshop. G2V  factors applied to color channels.  Background noise reduction was applied to the Luminance channel in PixInsight LE prior to LRGB combine.   Final Image size is approximately 1392x1040.

This image exposures were guided - except for green (accidentally); North is up.  M97 known as the "Owl Nebula" is a planetary nebula. These nebula form when a relatively small star (generally no larger than 3 times our sun) burns all of its hydrogen. Eventually this process leads to ejection  of significant portions of its stellar mass in an expanding shell leaving a small energetic central star.  M97 is about 1,300 to 2,600 light years distant from Earth. This image replaces an earlier image that can be seen in the Archives here. Horizontal FOV is 20'.

Image Center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 11h 14m 48.0s Dec: +5501'00"

 

All images and content remain the property of Jim Thommes - copyright 2003 - 2012

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