IC1805: Heart Nebula through a narrowband hydrogen alpha filter
On Christmas Eve we had our first partly clear night in about 8 weeks. As luck would have it, it coincided with a full moon, so I used a 5nm hydrogen filter to try to block out the moonglow. And the filter blocks out London and Gatwick Airport too....why didn't I get into this before??
Because the light is only a small part of the spectrum, the image appears monochrome. But nevertheless, I'm quite pleased with the result, especially as the mist started rising as soon as I started taking this image, which was less than 2 hours in total as result. Who'd live in England, eh?
The large emission nebula IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart, with what some see as right and left "chambers". The nebula glows brightly as ionized hydrogen. The glow and the larger shape are all created by a small group of stars near the nebula's centre, off the top of my image, the solar winds from which sculpt the gas cloud into the pointed tendrils and fingers captured here....they generally point towards the stars which sculpt them. This open cluster of stars contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, many dim stars only a fraction of the mass of our Sun, and an absent microquasar that was expelled millions of years ago. The Heart Nebula is located about 7,500 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia.
Orion Optics UK AG16 Astrograph: SBIG 11000 M: Paramount ME2
9x12 minutes (1hr 48 minutes only), Astrodon 5nm H Alpha filter, processed with CCDStack, Photoshop, Pixinsight
Data capture: 24th December 2015