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Wizard Nebula
Matt Bushouse

The nebula was originally dicovered by Caroline Herschel in 1787. It is nestled in the star cluster NGC 7380. It is seen as a nebula where stars are being born and dispersed. With massive gravitational forces that end up creating these stars and pull in the gases and other elements to form the hydrogen clouds seen in the pictures it is a wonder to look at. It is a mere 8,000 lightyears away from earth and the area in which stars are born in is just 100 lightyears accross. The nebula can be seen with a small telescope by looking in the region of the constellation King of Aethiopia, otherwise known as Cepheus.

The first image on the left is a RGB exposure taken to see full color. While compiling the image it was interesting to see that both the Green and Blue had very little, if any, of the actual nebula in them. It was not until adding and tweeking the Red image exposure that the details of the nebula clouds really came out. This is because the nebula is primarily made up of hydrogen gas which emits light in the red wavelength. As you can see the more detailed images of the clouds appear around the bottom and in the middle of the image, where you can see some good contrast of the clouds rolling around each other. The fact that the dust is even seen is because the dust in the clouds absorb the light from around and behind them.The second image on the right was put together using an infrared filter. Infrared, red and green light in this picture take on the roll of red, green, and blue light in the normal picture. What is interesting in this picture is that if you look closely the red spots you now see are stars that are putting out much larger amounts of infrared light than any of the others around them. This is because the stars themselves are buried behind the nebula clouds so the only light getting through is being filtered by the gasses of the nebula which primarily let infrared light through.

References:

Robert Nemiroff & Jerry Bonnell. Astronomy Photo of the Day<http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap111102.html>.

Right Ascension (J2000) 22:47:27.901s
Declination (J2000) 58 07'
Filters used B (Blue), I (Inferred), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure time per filter B, I, V, and R (6.00)x5
Date observed October 13, 2011

 

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