IC 2118 "Witchhead" in Eridanus


Scope: Megrez II  f/2.6;  Location: Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, CA; 10 Dec. 2004; Camera: ToUcam SC3

Exposure: 8 x 100 sec Luminance exposures with Baader IR Block Filter; 8 x 60 sec RGB - two frame mosaic

Processing: Images were captured in K3CCDTools 2. Each mosaic frame (LRGB) was aligned/stacked in Registax 3 and saved as FITS. Luminance and Color channels were scaled and rough color balanced in Astroart. Channels were co-registered in Astroart. Nebula extraction was performed on the Luminance channel and was added slightly to the Blue channel. This way the nebula takes some color without effecting star color. Luminance and Color FITS were combined in Photoshop with Luminance Layering. The two frames were mosaic combined in Photoshop.  Color balancing and final touches in Photoshop. SGBNR was used to smooth background noise on  the final result. Image was resized to 700 x 1730.

This image was taken with fairly good conditions at a dark site. This is a guided image. North is up and slightly to the Right. This object is a spectacular reflection nebula illuminated by the nearby star Rigel (not in the image).  This object is sometimes called the "Witchhead Nebula" . It is a difficult object to image because of its large size and faintness. Unfortunately my image does not do justice to this spectacular object. Horizontal FOV is about 60'


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