First HST

During this awesome weather we are experiencing I have been able to further work on refining the automation of the scope and collect a fair amount of data. I have had little inclination however to sit in a dark room and process any of it whilst the weather is nice – best left for when the clouds roll in.

I thought I’d post this rough cut of the North American nebula however – as it is the first time I have collected all three of the HST pallette colours (Ha, OIII, and SII) of the same target. The HST pallette refers to the colour mapping made famous by the Hubble Space Telescope Pillars of Creation image. The pallette assigns Hydrogen Alpha to Green, Sulphur to Red, and Oxygen to Blue.  The idea is to seperate and show the definition between the Hydrogen and Sulphur gas that both emitt light in the Red spectrum. This can be seen to good effect in this image in the yellow gas in the bottom right. Some interesting detail when you zoom in close.

NA Gulf of mexico 1

(Click on image for full res.)

I chose this target to test how well I could aquire multiple targets in one night, and it seemd a good area to shoot whilst waiting for the Andromeda galaxy to rise into view. It is a small section showing the “Gulf of Mexico” of the very large North American Nebula. The field of view is shown below:


Having seen the result, I think the next move has to be to take another shot to the west to create a two frame mosaic including most of the yellow gas stripe.

The data for the image was acquired over two nights and is made up of 10* Ha, 11*OIII and 7*SII exposures- all of which were 10 minutes in duration.

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