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Part of the Nebula (also known as NGC 3372) around the star Eta Carinae.

This giant diffuse nebula is one of the largest H II regions (ionized hydrogen gas) in our galaxy.  Eta Carinae itself is a very peculiar star, having varied widely in brightness in the past.  At one time in 1843, it was the brightest star in the sky after Sirius.  It is thought to be among the most massive and luminous stars in our Milky Way, at more than 100 solar masses.


Image info

Telescope:  Orion 80ED apochromatic refractor at f/7.5

Focus:  Prime focus

Filter:  Astronomik Hydrogen Alpha 13nm FWHM

Mount:  Vixen GPD with Skysensor2000

Camera:  Artemis 285 CCD camera

Guiding:  700mm refractor guidescope, SAC7 camera, autoguided with Guidedog software

Exposure:  Total 105 mins (15 x 420s)

Date:  4th Feb 2006

Processing:  Offset and flat fielding, registering and stacking done in IRIS.  No dark frames.  Curve stretching,  Levels, Smart Sharpen in Photoshop CS2.


With stiffening of my guidescope mountings, and tweaking of Guidedog settings, I managed to get the guiding error on this image down to within 2 arcsec, ie a single pixel.  The result is a wealth of detail and depth.  Good transparency, excellent seeing and no wind.


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