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The emission nebula NGC 6164-5, a rectangular, bipolar cloud with rounded corners and a diagonal bar producing an inverted S-shaped appearance. It lies about 4,200 light-years away in the constellation Norma. The nebula measures about 1.3 parsecs (4.2 light-years) across, and contains gases ejected by the star HD 148937 at its heart. This star is 40 times more massive than the Sun, and at about three to four million years of age, is past the middle of its life span. Stars this massive usually live to be only about six million years old, so HD 148397 is aging fast. It will likely end its life in a violent supernova explosion.

Like other O-type stars, HD148937 is heating up its surrounding clouds of gas with ultraviolet radiation. This causes them to glow in visible light, illuminating swirls and caverns in the cloud that have  been sculpted by winds from the star.

 

Image info

Telescope:  Orion 80ED apochromatic refractor at f/7.5

Focus:  Prime focus

Filter:  Astronomik Hydrogen Alpha 13nm FWHM, Astronomik RGB.

Mount:  Vixen GPD with Skysensor2000

Camera:  Artemis 285 CCD camera

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

Exposure:  Total 70 mins (14 x 300s) L, 45, 55, 45 mins R,G,B.

Date:  27th May & 7th June 2006

Processing:  Offset and flat fielding, registering and stacking done in IRIS.  No dark frames.  Curve stretching,  Levels, Smart Sharpen in Photoshop CS2.  Luminance is a mix of Red and H-alpha.  Luminance layering with the RGB.  Noise reduction in Neat Image.

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