HII regions are well known for being places where new stars are born, and are created when ultraviolet radiation from hot stars ionizes the surrounding gas, causing it to glow in visible and infrared light. This is a faint nebula and required over nine hours of integration time at each emission line to reveal the detail across the entire nebula.
MaxIm DL v6 was used to calibrate, align and stack the sub exposures. PixInsight v1.8 DBE (Dynamic Background Extraction) was used in the absence of suitable flat frames to remove sky background noise and gradients. Photoshop CC 2014 layers and layer mask processing techniques were used for colour enhancement and to tease out the detail – Levels, Curves, Reduce Noise, Selective Color, HDR toning, Smart Sharpen and Unsharp Mask in predominant use.
Right ascension: 04h 03m 14s | Declination: +51° 18' 58" | Distance: 10,700 Light Years
Field of view: 54 x 37 arcmin
Camera: SBIG ST-10XME
Telescope: APM 152-1200ED F/6.2 with Riccardi x0.75 Reducer
Guiding: Off-axis with Lodestar guider
Filters: Astrodon Ha (3nm), OIII (3nm), SII (3nm)
Exposures: Ha 28 x 20 min, OIII 27 x 20 min, SII 29 x 20 min
Total exposure: 28 hours
Image composition: False Colour Hubble Palette (SII, Ha, OIII mapped to RGB)
Scale: 1.49 arcsec/pixel
Image acquired: 23rd November 2014 – 6th February 2015
Image capture with MaxIm DL, FocusMax, ACP; Image processed with MaxIm DL; PixInsight; Photoshop CC 2014