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"Heart of the Heart" and Melotte 15 in Cassiopeia



Scope: Explore Scientific "Levy" Mak-Newt 152 mm at f/4.8,  Laguna Mountains, CA   9 September 2011, Camera: ST8300M

Exposure: 15 x 9 minutes H-Alpha (1x1 bin),  10 x 5 minutes UV/IR Block (1x1 bin), 10 x 3 minutes RGB Exposures (2x2 bin) 

Processing: Images were captured with CCDSoft. Aligned/stacked and dark subtracted in Astroart ; Sigma Combine method was used for stacking subs.  All channels were scaled and rough color balanced in Astroart.  Gradient removal  was done in Astroart. Channels were co-registered in Astroart.   The 9 minute 1x1 bin H-Alpha  exposures  were  blended with 5 minute UV/IR Block exposures (50% lighten)  for the main luminance construction. Level adjustments and curves were used to bring out object features.  LRGB combine was done in Photoshop.   A light background noise reduction was applied  to the Luminance channel.  Selective sharpening was applied to the Luminance channel.  Final touches and color balance in Photoshop. Final Image size is approximately 3252x2532 (cropped and resized to 2800x2100).

All exposures in this image were guided; North is up in this image. The field in this image is from the constellation of Cassiopeia. This is a close in view of the "Heart of the Heart" (IC 1805). This area is an emission nebula complex part of a much larger emission complex known as the "Heart Nebula" The star cluster catalogued as Melotte 15 is in the center - right of the field.  The cluster is estimated to be 7,500 light years distant from Earth. This image replaces an earlier image in the Archives here. The Horizontal FOV is 88'.

Image center is located approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 02h 35m 14.9s Dec: +6124'06" 


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

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