Imaging telescope or lens: Celestron C14 EDGE HD
Imaging camera: FLI MicroLine 16803
Mount: Astro-Physics AP 1600
Guiding camera: ZWO ASI 1600MM cool
Filter: Astrodon LRGB 50mm
Astrodon B Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 12x1200" -25C bin 1x1
Astrodon G Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 13x1200" -25C
Astrodon L Gen.2 E-series: 8x1200" -40C bin 1x1
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 10x1200" -40C bin 1x1
Integration: 14.3 hours
Avg. Moon age: 20.46 days
Avg. Moon phase: 64.33%
Mean SQM: 21.80
Mean FWHM: 2.20
Astrometry.net job: 1876884
RA center: 86.703 degrees
DEC center: 0.146 degrees
Pixel scale: 0.476 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 179.800 degrees
Field radius: 0.374 degrees
Locations: Deep Sky West, Rowe, NM, United States
M78 is a reflection nebula that's a part of the Orion Molecular Cloud complex. This area is a complex combination of reflection nebula and dark dust lanes and it's a region that I've wanted to image for many years. Now that I have a good view of the southern sky, it was finally possible. Unfortunately, mediocre seeing and occasional windy nights through the new moon cycle made it tough to accumulate enough high quality images to finish this image. I would have liked 1.5 x- 2x as much data but the conditions just wouldn't cooperate (at least for now.) Correctly color calibrating this image was particularly challenging because blue light from many of the stars in this region is filtered out so that they appear more red than they would in open space. Photometric calibration simply doesn't work well. I tried virtually every reference standard available before simply using the balance determined by the filters themselves (i.e. no calibration other than background neutralization.) Maybe I'll gather more data on this one to try to clean it up a bit but for now, I think that it's a pretty good start.
As always, C&C is welcome so let me know what you think.
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