The Great Nebula in Orion, Running Man and NGC1999
This project has been another long-held ambition for me and has been a labour of love over the past few weeks for Steve and I on our shared rig in Spain. We alternate over three weeks the duties of controlling and operating the rig and the capture programme and have both shared the joy and frustration of the winter weather - yes even in Spain. I've been intrigued by NGC1999 and its 'keyhole' along with the faint blue reflection nebula that surround the main attractions or M42, 43 and the Running Man and am delighted to have stitched together this four panel mosaic to show their relative positions. Processing has taken as long as the total integration, circa 40 hours, and I can foresee us adding to this data next year. There is a tiny amount of data to capture to help the mosaic in a couple of places and we hope to be able to do this when the weather clears and at the next New Moon.
NGC 1999 is a dust-filled bright nebula with a vast hole of empty space represented by a black patch of sky, as can be seen in the photograph. It is a reflection nebula, and shines from the light of the variable star V380 Orionis. It was previously believed that the black patch was a dense cloud of dust and gas which blocked light that would normally pass through, called a dark nebula. Analysis of this patch by the infrared telescope Herschel (October 9, 2009), which has the capability of penetrating such dense cloud material, resulted in continued black space. This led to the belief that either the cloud material was immensely dense or that an unexplained phenomenon had been detected. With support from ground-based observations done using the submillimeter bolometer cameras on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment radio telescope (November 29, 2009) and the Mayall (Kitt Peak) and Magellan telescopes (December 4, 2009), it was determined that the patch looks black not because it is an extremely dense pocket of gas, but because it is truly empty. The exact cause of this phenomenon is still being investigated, although it has been hypothesized that narrow jets of gas from some of the young stars in the region punctured the sheet of dust and gas, as well as, powerful radiation from a nearby mature star may have helped to create the hole. Researchers believe this discovery should lead to a better understanding of the entire star forming process (Wikipedia).
Each panel has 13 x 1200s Ha; 12 x 300s + 15 x 180s + 30 x 30s Lum; 12 x 300s of RGB each. A total integration of 37.3 hrs. Tak 106, 10 Micron GM1000HPS, QSI683wsg-8, Astrodon filters, SGP for capture and PI for processing, e-Eye, Spain, February 2018.
Data capture: Steve Milne & Barry Wilson Processing: Barry Wilson