Here’s part of the Heart Nebula, an emission nebula found in the constellation Cassiopeia. This expansive mixture of glowing interstellar gas and dust is over 200 light years wide and covers 2.5 degrees in the night sky — that’s a cloud of dust that would appear 5 times the size of the moon! Too bad we can’t see it with our naked eye, but turn a telescope with narrow band filters on it for a few hours and this is what you get. Click the pictures below for a high res version 1800×1750 pixels big.
In order to capture the entire nebula with my current telescope I’d need make a mosaic using 6-8 pictures like the one above.
The Heart Nebula – IC 1805
Ha, Oiii, Sii @ 120x120x120 Minutes Each – Hubble Palette
Total exposure: 6 hours
Camera: Apogee U16M
Guider: SBIG 402 with MMOAG Off Axis Guider
Telescope: RCOS 14.5
Mount: Paramount ME
Location: Auberry, CA
Date: 1/1/2012, 1/2/2013
Software: The SkyX, MaximDL, FocusMax, CCDAutoPilot, CCDStack, Photoshop