The Butterfly Nebula
IC 1318
The Butterfly Nebula (IC 1318) in the constellation of Cygnus is one of the most popular objects in the summer sky. Surrounding the supergiant star Sadr (Gamma Cygni), there is a variety of gas and dark nebulae that make this area incredibly fascinating! IC 1318 is a diffuse emission nebula, situated approximately 4,000 light-years away from Earth. The nebula spans an area of about 70 light-years and is characterized by its intricate and delicate structure, resembling the wings of a butterfly, hence its name.

IC 1318 is predominantly composed of ionized hydrogen gas, which gives it its characteristic reddish glow. The intense radiation emitted by nearby young, hot stars excites the hydrogen atoms, causing them to emit light. This process, known as ionization, creates the stunning visual display seen in the nebula.

Within IC 1318, there are several regions of active star formation. The high-density pockets of gas and dust serve as nurseries for the birth of new stars. These young stars, often embedded within the nebula, illuminate their surroundings and sculpt the surrounding material through their powerful stellar winds and energetic radiation.

In order to bring out as many details as possible, I decided to use the false color technique, that got famous by the pictures of the Hubble Space Telescopes. The "real" colors are assigned to other colors: sulfur (Sii) = red, hydrogen (h) = green, oxygen (o) = blue. This results in an increase in contrast, and more details become visible.


Image Details
Date
june 4, 10, 14 & July 17, 2023
LOCATion
Hannover (Germany)
Sky Quality
Bortle 5
Telescope
Celestron RASA 8 (203/400 f/2)
Mount
Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro
Main Camera
TS 2600 MP
Gain 100, Offset 50, -10°
Focuser
Celestron Motorfocus
Processing
Astropixelprocessor, Photoshop, Pixinsight
Filter
Baader H-Alpha Highspeed 3.5nm
Baader O-III Highspeed 4nm
Baader S-II Highspeed 4nm
Exposure
Ha: 95 × 120″ (3h 10′)
OIII: 95 × 120″ (3h 10′)
SII: 96 × 120″ (3h 12′)
RGB (stars): 70 x 10'' (11' 40'')

Total: 9h 43‘ 40''
Guiding
ZWO ASI 120MM, PHD2
Calibration
Flats, Darks, Darkflats
Software
N.I.N.A., EQMod
Other
Artesky Filter Holder
  
  
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