Stacks Image 662

Click here for a larger image
Click here for a annotated image outlining the objects

M17 and surrounding star field

About this object

M17, also know as NGC 6618, the Swan Nebula and the Omega Nebula is a bright nebula within the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. Its a region of Hydrogen emission and glows pinkish red. Its right near the center of this image. The nebula is extremely bright and can easily be seen in binoculars or small telescopes and under dark skies and good condition it can sometimes be seen visually. M17 lies some 5000 light years distant and is surrounded by many other areas of hydrogen emission as seem in the pinkish areas around the image. I was originally not going to process this image since I didn’t get much time to image it due to poor weather but after I looked at the raw data it seemed as if I could at least get colorful stars. I only managed to get 36min of blue filtered images so the image is a bit blue deficient but still shows color to the stars and when mixed with the Ha filtered image the extent of the hydrogen emission is easily seen. The image was processed with PixInsight using the NBCombination script mixing 80% of Ha into the red channel, 10% into the green channel and 20% into the blue channel. An annotated image outlining the other objects, like the open cluster M18 near the top and several Van de Burgh reflection objects can be viewed by clicking the link above.

Image Details

  • Optics : Stellarvue SVS 130 6 element refractor
  • Mount: Paramount MyT
  • Camera: SBIG STL 11K
  • Filters: Custom Scientific 50mm RGB filter set and 5nm Astrodon Ha filter
  • Exposure: HaRGB 240:78:54:36
  • Camera/Mount Control: The Sky X, CCD Autopilot
  • Guiding: Unguided using Protrack
  • Processing: PixInsight
  • Location: Stark Bayou Observatory, Ocean Springs, MS
  • Date: July 18
Stacks Image 74
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