NGC 1333 - A Stellar Nursery in Perseus (QSI Version)
NGC 1333 - A Stellar Nursery in Perseus (QSI Version)
NGC 1333 - A Stellar Nursery in Perseus (QSI Version)
The constellation of Perseus contains some extraordinary molecular clouds, many of which are areas of star formation. One of the very youngest in the Perseus OB2 association is NGC 1333. This beautiful nebula contains hundreds of stars that are as young as a million years old, and is one of the nearest star forming regions to us. The youngest of these protostars create outflows that collide with the surrounding medium to create Herbig-Haro objects. NGC 1333 is known to contain at least 36 of these HH objects and many of them can be seen in the bright red emission regions within NGC 1333.

The blue nebulae in this image are areas of dust that are reflecting the light from the hot blue stars in front of the dust. Additionally, this image shows several dark nebulae where the dust obscures the light behind it.

This image shows a section of sky roughly 1.1 x .8 degrees. In this image, North is to the Right.

Exposure Details
Lens Nikon 600mm f/4 ED IF
Focal Length 600mm
Focal Ratio f/6
Mount Schaefer GEM - 7 1/2 inch Byers gear
Guiding QSI 690 OAG, Lodestar Autoguider, PHD2 Guiding
Camera QSI 690wsg-8 (Set Point -10C) with Astrodon Gen II Series E LRGB filters
Exposure LRGB, 100:11:10:19 x 600 seconds (23 1/3 hours total exposure), all binned 1x1
Calibration 50 darks, 40 flats, 200 bias
Date November 2, 5, 24, and 29, 2016
Temperature 45F on 11/2 and 11/5, 40F on 11/24, 30F on 11/29
SQM Reading 21.25 on 11/2 and 11/24, 21.10 on 11/5, 21.45 on 11/29
Seeing 4/5 on 8/16 , 5/5 on 9/8, 3/5 on 10/9, 4/5 on 10/10, 5/5 on 10/11
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
Software Used Images Plus 6.0 for camera control, Images Plus 6.5 for calibration, stacking, DDP and ArcSinH stretching, adaptive Lucy-Richardson deconvolution, and star size reduction. Sequence Generator Pro 2.5 for camera control, framing and automated focusing. Plate Solve 2 for plate solving. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, lab color, saturation adjustments, selective color, match color, screen mask invert, high pass filter, and stack blending. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Carboni Tools for additional noise reduction and smoothing. HLVG for additional color correction. Registar 64 for subexposure alignment. Focus Magic for focus restoration.
Notes Although I had imaged this part of the sky last year with my Canon 6D, this year I wanted to capture finer details within the main nebula and my new QSI CCD filled the bill. I'm happy with the improvement in resolution as well as the overall look of this astrophoto.

This image won first place in CloudyNights' February 2017 CCD Imaging and Processing contest. It then went on to win the CloudyNights' site wide contest for February 2017!

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NGC 1333 - A Stellar Nursery in Perseus