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Dates & Location

March 23rd - April 21st 2012 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

The Headphone Nebula,
PK 164 +31.3
Jones Emberson 1.

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

In the constellation of Lynx 8.5 degrees South West of Muscida (Omicron Ursa Majoris). It lies in our Milky Way galaxy some 1,600 light years away.
In this image North is at the 11 O'clock position.


Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
LRGB exposures:- 300:165:165:165 mins total using 20 min Lum and 15 min RG and B sub-exposures at -20°C and -25°C. All images binned 1x1. AllC

  What it is

This is a very faint mag 14 shell of gas expelled by a dying star. Its apparent size is 6 x 6 arc minutes. The rich blue star at the centre of the shell glowing at mag 16.8 is the core of the original star which is now so compact and hot that it radiates mainly ultraviolet light. This radiation is bombarding the expelled gas and causes it to glow in the wavelengths (colour) of the elements in the gas shell which were once the stars atmosphere. The main compisition of the shell is Hydrogen (red) and Oxygen (green). The gas shell continues to expand under the radiation pressure and is now so tenuous that a very distant blue spiral galaxy can easily be seen near the right hand edge and a pale yellow galaxy can be seen adjascent to the top edge of the shell.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5. Remote acquisition sequence program CCDAutoPilot.  
  Data reduction and Luminence De-convolution with CCDStack.  

Master RGB image and Master Lum Images prepared and finished with Photoshop CS2. Final LRGB image using PhotoShop CS2