M57 & IC1296

Planetary and Face on Spiral in Lyra

Uploaded 7/17/2001

Above: One of the largest and brightest objects of its type in the northern sky is M57, The Ring Nebula in Lyra. This planetary is 9.7 magnitude, and its oval shape measures 86 x 63 arcseconds in size. The smallest stars in this image are less than 2 arcseconds across and seeing conditions were extremely exceptional this night. The blue central star can be seen clearly, but a few other stars can be seen on the rings face, overwhelmed by the brightness of the nebula. This hour long exposure was originally taken as three 20 minute integrations with the RGB filters. In the digital darkroom, a luminosity frame was synthesized by adding all of the color frames together forming an equivalent hour long exposure to process as the L channel. After processing, the 60 minute L channel was combined with the 60 minutes of color data to create this image.

The 14.8 magnitude spiral galaxy, IC1296 appears to the upper right. It is so much fainter than the nebula that it is normally invisible in nearly all shots of the ring. Special processing techniques were used to enable both to be visible in a single frame. The galaxy is class SBb and .9 x .5 minutes in size.

Above: A different treatment of the luminosity frame brings out the faintest details of both nebula and galaxy. Here, DDP was used to make visible the extremely faint outer halo around M57 from a previous outburst. IC1296 also has a circular halo as well, which is dimly seen here.

Instrument:  12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
CCD Camera:  SBIG ST7E w/Enhanced Cooling
Exposure:  LRGB = 60:20:20:20 (RGB Binned 1x1)
Filters:  RGB Tricolor
Location:  Payson, Arizona
Elevation:  5150 ft.
Sky:  Seeing 8/10, Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature:  61 F
CCD Temperature:  -20 C
Processing:  Maxim DL, Photoshop, AIP4WIN.




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