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M8 "The Lagoon Nebula"




Scope: C8 at f/6.3; Location: Laguna Mountains, CA;  27 July, 2009; Camera: Canon XT 350D (Baader ACF modified)

Exposure: 15 x 6 min  (unfiltered) and 9 x 10 min (H-Alpha EOS Clip)  ISO 800 , 6/4 Darks, no Flats 

Processing: Images were captured with DSLR Focus  and saved as RAW file format. Unfiltered and H-Alpha exposures were decoded and dark corrected in IRIS. Exposures were aligned and stacked in IRIS with Sigma Median.  Dark point equalization and rough color balance  were done on the Unfiltered exposures in IRIS. On the H-Alpha exposure stack, RGB channels were separated and Red and Green were added (there is some signal crossed to Green in the DeBayering). Gamma adjustments were also done in Iris.  The unfiltered  exposure stack was blended with the H-Alpha stack as a luminance layer to bring out H-Alpha details and reduce star size.   The H-Alpha stack was also blended with red exposures for the Red channel.  Final stretching and touch up was done in PhotoShop.     Final Image size is approximately 3474x2314 - re-sampled to 2400x1632.

North is up in this image.  This image is guided.  M8 is sometimes known as the Lagoon Nebula and sometimes as the Hour Glass Nebula. This region is  an active star forming region  with young stars exciting surrounding Hydrogen to light emission. The Star Cluster in the left part of the nebula is cataloged as NGC 6530. Distance estimates vary but the approximate distance from Earth is about 5,200 light years.   The Horizontal FOV is about 55 min.

Image Center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 18h 03m 03s Dec: -2418'58"

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