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Dates & Location

27th Sept - 28th October 2011 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

Melotte 15.
Part of the very much larger Heart Nebula which includes the new star cluster IC1805

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3278mm focal length, F8.2.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-5L filter wheel.
TheSky V6 telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control.
ScopeDome remote observatory.


Where it is in space

In the direction of the constellation of Cassiopeias near the plane of the Milky Way. it is approx 4.6° North of the Famous Double Cluster in Perseus. In this image North is to the left of top.

Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
Exposures: Ha 19 x 20min + 5x20 and 5x10min Luminance:100:110:110 mins R:G:B, using 10 min sub-exposures
-25°C. All images binned 1x1.
Mainly automated session using CCDAutoPilot V5.

  What it is

Melotte 15 has its home in the large cloud of dust and molecular gas designated The Heart Nebula. The bright red cloud to the lower right is being fiercly eroded by intense radiation pressure from the new massive, hot blue stars that have formed in the cloud.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5/ TheSky6.  
  Data reduction with CCDStack. Lum and RGB masters and RGB colour combine prepared and in CCDStack.  

Final HaLRGB processing using PhotoShop CS2. To view the LRGB version of this image click here: Click for LRGB Image