of the Helix in Leo"
Dim Planetary Nebula in Leo
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Location Map for Planetary. This huge object is located 4 degrees
to the upper right (NW) of Regulus.
Instrument: 12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform: Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera: SBIG 10XME NABG with Enhanced Water Cooling
Guider: SBIG ST4
Exposure: LRGB = 180:20:20:20 (RGB Binned 2x2)
RGB Combine Ratio: 1: 1.05: 1.11
Filters: AstroDon RGB Tricolor
Location: Payson, Arizona
Elevation: 5150 ft.
Sky: Seeing FWHM = 4.5 arcsec (Maxim DL - 10min subframe), Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature: 45 F
CCD Temperature: -30 C
Processing Tools: Maxim DL, Gralaks Sigma, Photoshop, PixInsight, CCDOps Debloomer.
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This is perhaps
the dimmest nebula I have ever photographed. At nearly half a
degree in size, this huge nebula is a very old object, spread
out now so thinly that it is almost nothing but vacuum. It took
very careful processing with extremely noisy images to produce
this final rendition. Surprisingly, the nebula which is bluish
in color, was rimmed by a reddish edge in places. The 16th magnitude
central star is easily seen as a blue object in the middle of
the frame. Some catalogs list this object as a super nova remnant,
however the blue central star seems to rule this out.
The entire field
is filled with hundreds of yellowish faint distant galaxies.
The brightest is CGCG 63-100 to the lower left, a 15.2 magnitude
Sb spiral half an arcminute in size. This giant Helix Nebula
sized object taunted me for a while when shooting galaxies in
this region, and I finally took a stab at this tenuous bubble.