Horsehead Medusa Nebula Horsehead

(Click on image for Full Resolution)

Date: Jan - Mar, 2009
Exposure: LRGB - 640m : 230m : 270m : 330m
64 x 600s L, 23 x 600s R, 27 x 600s G, 33 x 600s B
Processing: CCDAutoPilot4 used to collect data over multiple nights. CCDSoft for image acquisition, CCDStack on a x64 Vista machine for Image calibration, Astrodon LRGB filters (40 flats each L,R,G,B, Bias subtracted and Sigma Clip combined, 65 bias frames Sigma Clip combined, 40 x 600s darks, Sigma Clip combined), alignment, normalization, FITS master files creation, and RGB raw TIFF creation. Photoshop CS2 for final LRGB processing, final layers adjustment and jpg conversion for the website.
Conditions: Fair to Good, Mag 6-7 Skies
Scope: RCOS 10" Astrograph
Camera: SBIG ST-10XME, -20°
Comments: I started on Jan. 19th and finished collecting the data on Mar 26th. A lot of data got thrown out due to high clouds, but I still had plenty to produce a good image. The seeing was softer than I would have hoped for. If I could get some good nights here at home, I would get some additional data with the 16" RCOS to try and bring out the faint outer shell that can just barely be seen in this image. The Medusa Nebula (AKA PK205+14.1), is a planetary nebula that shows the blue central star, that still generates enough heat and light to keep this nebula glowing.