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Dates & Location

June 11th - 19th October 2012 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

NGC 7380 (the open star cluster formed from this nebula),
The nebulosity is commonly known as The Wizard Nebula due to its resemblance to a cauldron of hot coals.

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3278mm focal length, F8.2.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-8L filter wheel.
AstroDon MMOAG with SBIG Remote Guide Head.
Optec Pyxis 3" Rotator.
TheSky V6 telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control.
ScopeDome remote observatory.


Where it is in space

It lies only 8,000 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus, Visually, it is approx 4.8° West of Zeta Cephei and covers 20x 20 arcminutes which is 2/3 the visual size of the full Moon.
n this image North is at the 10 O'clock position.


Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
Exposures:- 780: 660:700 mins total using 20 min Ha, SII and OIII, 60 mins each for RGB using 10 min subs.

  What it is

The Wizard nebula surrounds the developing open star cluster NGC 7380. Visually, the interplay of stars, gas, and dust has created deep etchings in the gas from which the stars originally formed. The active star forming region spans about 100 light years. Although the nebula may last only a few million years, some of the stars being formed may outlive our Sun.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5. Remote acquisition sequence program CCDAutoPilot.  
  Data reduction, Synthetic Luminance (Ha+SII+OIII) de-convolution and master RGB colour image prepared with CCDStack.  

Narrowband combination and blending created and finished with Photoshop CS6. Final RGB image created using PhotoShop CS6.