Spring Images


Here’s a few images taken over the spring and early summer. The first is a closeup of the centre of the Carina Nebula taken as a false colour narrowband filtered image. The colours correspond to the emission from certain elements within the nebula. Red is mapped to sulphur, Blue to Hydrogen and Green to Oxygen. The Carina Nebula (catalogued as NGC 3372) is a large, complex area of bright and dark nebulosity in the constellation Carina, located in the Carina–Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The nebula is approximately 7,500 light-years (2,300 pc) from Earth.

This was imaged through a 21″ telescope located in Australia. The bright structure to the left of the image is known as the Keyhole Nebula and is a small dark cloud of cold molecules which is silhouetted against the much brighter background nebula.

This image was published in the June edition of Astronomy magazine, published in the US.

The second image was Imaged through a 24″ Planewave CDK instrument of the Crescent Nebula (NGC6888). The Crescent Nebula is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, about 5000 light-years away from Earth. The nebula is formed by the fast stellar wind from the Wolf-Rayet star WR 136 (HD 192163) colliding with and energizing the slower moving wind ejected by the star when it became a red giant. The result of the collision is a shell and two shock waves, one moving outward and one moving inward. The inward moving shock wave heats the stellar wind to X-ray-emitting temperatures.

The outer shockwave (rich in double ionized oxygen, OIII) can be seen to the upper left of the nebula in the image. The Crescent Nebula appears in an extremely rich area of hydrogen gas in and around the star Sadr in the heart of Cygnus.

The third, and final image, is of the lower section of NGC7000, the North American Nebula. This area is effectively the Gulf of Mexico region.

The image is constructed of false colour. The red area’s are primarily higher energy Sulphur rich gas and dust. This area is known as the Cygnus Wall, and is an active area of star formation. The blue areas are rich in oxygen, and green areas hydrogen. The dark areas at the base of the image are dust, these dust areas define the shape of NGC7000.

The image was captured through a 24″ Planwave CDK telescope using Ha, SII, and OIII filters.

Thanks for looking, Steve