NGC 281 – Pacman Nebula

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The Pacman Nebula is something I’ve been wanting to image for quite some time. Mostly because it looks like what it is called… Pacman. NGC 281 is a very bright emission nebula in Cassiopeia only 9,200 light years away. Emission nebulas emit light due to ionized gases within the cloud.

To date, this is the longest image I’ve ever captured, coming in at 30 hours of imaging time! And more amazingly, I’ve had 9 nights of clear skies over the course of about 3 weeks. It usually would take 1-2 months to get this amount of imaging time.

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IC5067 – The Pelican Nebula

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The Pelican Nebula is an emission nebula within the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. The Pelican Nebula is identified as IC5070, but the prominent feature imaged below is a small portion, which is identified as IC5067.

The Pelican Nebula is an active star forming region, which helps to ionize the gasses, allowing for easier imaging through narrowband filters.

The Pelican Nebula is 1,800 light years away. This nebula is quite large. The image below is a single panel. In order to capture the entire nebula, I would need to create a mosaic 3 panels wide by 4 panels tall (12 panels total).

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IC 1805 – The Heart Nebula

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The Heart Nebula is an emission nebula located in the constellation Cassiopeia. The monochrome images shows the glowing, ionized hydrogen gas. Looking at the nebula through a hydrogen-alpha filter, it is quite easy to see how the nebula got its name.

IC 1805 is roughly 7,500 light years away, which means the light captured today, left the nebula 7,500 years ago, about the time humans first started smelting copper.

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NGC 7380 – The Wizard Nebula

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NGC 7380, located in the constellation Cepheus, is an open cluster of stars energizing the remaining gas and dust in the surrounding area. Over the next 100 million years, the nebula part of the cluster will eventually dissipate into nothingness, but the remaining stars will most likely last longer than our solar system.

NGC 7380 is 7,200 light years away, which means these images are capturing the cluster as how it appeared 7,200 years ago

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NGC 6888 – The Crescent Nebula

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Read more about the article NGC 6888 – The Crescent Nebula
NGC 6888 - Crescent Nebula

NGC 6888, located in the constellation Cygnus, is an emission nebula. This nebula is lit by a central star within the nebula.

Sometime between 250,000 to 400,000 years ago, this star ejected a stellar shell when it ballooned to a red giant star. Since that time, the central star is nearing the end of it’s life and the stellar winds have greatly increased (now categorized as a Wolf-Rayet star) resulting in another stellar shell.

The two different stellar shells are colliding, creating one outward moving shockwave and one inward moving shockwave. This is why the image appears to have two distinct shells.

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