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Image of the day 05/05/2019

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    Herschel’s Ray - NGC 2736, 


            Terry Robison
    Herschel’s Ray - NGC 2736

    Herschel’s Ray - NGC 2736

    Technical card

    Resolution: 3948x2600

    Dates:April 30, 2019

    Frames: 366x900"

    Integration: 91.5 hours

    Avg. Moon age: 25.33 days

    Avg. Moon phase: 18.68% job: 2668074

    RA center: 135.063 degrees

    DEC center: -46.043 degrees

    Pixel scale: 0.804 arcsec/pixel

    Orientation: 256.914 degrees

    Field radius: 0.528 degrees

    Data source: Own remote observatory


    Imagine a shock wave racing through interstellar space. This is what you are looking at.
    Herschel’s Ray is a sheet of glowing gas that we see almost edge-on from our vantage point. The structure contains many bright intertwined braided filaments giving a three-dimensional look. You can find this beautiful object near the Vela Pulsar in the constellation Vela. At an estimated distance of 800 light years away, and about 5 light years in length, its size is within the grasp of most amateur astrophotographers. The shockwave is moving through interstellar space at over 500,000 kilometres per hour. After the initial explosion, it was travelling in the millions of kilometres per hour range. I guess we all slow down in time.

    Traditional broadband imaging of this area reveals some lovely dark voids, a range of colourful stars, and a lovely teal colour not present in many celestial objects. Narrowband filters reveal strong emissions that may not be seen clearly with RGB imaging. My intent was to merge the interesting features from both imaging domains into one, and attempting to retain a colour space similar to that found in traditional RGB imaging.

    When I look at the final result, I was pleased with the intermixing of reds and blues at the bottom left of the image. It looks to be glowing and appears to have a three dimensional quality like the main target of the image. The data was pushed fairly hard in an attempt to reveal the background dark voids against a curtain of stellar dust. Hopefully, I didn't introduce to much noise. Herschel’s Ray is an incredible structure racing across the cosmos.

    Instruments Used:
    10 Inch RCOS fl 9.1
    Astro Physics AP-900 Mount
    SBIG STL 11000m
    FLI Filter Wheel
    Astrodon Lum, Red, Green, Blue Filters
    Baader Planetarium H-alpha 7nm Narrowband-Filter
    Baader Planetarium OIII Narrowband-Filter

    Exposure Details:
    OIII 87X1800
    Ha 58X1800
    Lum 52X900
    Red 16X450
    Green 16X450
    Blue 16X450

    Thanks for looking



    Terry Robison
    License: None (All rights reserved)

    Sky plot

    Sky plot


    Herschel’s Ray - NGC 2736, 


            Terry Robison