Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Saturn Nebula

Running the 14 inch at f/5 with the large DS2.3+ imaging chip results in a relatively wide fov.  This is not a good combination for imaging small, compact planetary nebulas.

This is especially true of the Saturn Nebula (NGC 7009). The nebula was a tiny object in the full image and this rather noisy image is a very small, cropped part of the full image. It's immediately obvious why the object is called the Saturn Nebula. The nebula is formed by the ejection of the outer layers of a low mass star. The characteristic blue/green color is obvious in this image. The internal structure of the object is complex, but unfortunately, that complexity cannot be seen in this image. The object was either invisible or "blown out" in every integration I tried. I am sure that a larger image scale (for example, the 14 without the focal reducer) would stand a better chance of showing this structure.