LBN 534 (GAL 110-13) and vdB 158 in Andromeda
LBN 534 (GAL 110-13) and vdB 158 in Andromeda
LBN 534 (GAL 110-13) and vdB 158 in Andromeda
LBN 534 (aka GAL 110-13) is a molecular cloud stretching across more than 1 1/2 degrees of sky in the constellation of Andromeda. The cloud is believed to be part of the star forming Lacerta OB1 association and is about 1,400 light years from us. At the southern end of the cloud (bottom in this image) is the blue reflection nebula, vdB 158.

Also shown at the far right in this image is the open cluster, NGC 7686 which contains about 80 stars. The annotated version of this image shows the location of a multitude of background PGC galaxies, as well as the small planetary nebula PK 110-12 1 (7:00 position from vdB 158).

This image shows a section of sky roughly 3.4 x 2.1 degrees. In this image, North is Up.

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 William Optics 50mm guide scope, Lodestar autoguider, PHD Guiding
Camera Hutech modified Canon 6D
Exposure 173 subs of 300 sec @ ISO 1600 (14+ hours total exposure)
Calibration 30 darks, 30 flats, 30 flat darks, 30 bias
Date August 17, August 18, October 6 and October 7, 2015
Temperature 69F on 8/17 and 8/18, 50F on 10/6, 56F on 10/7
SQM Reading Bortle 4 on all 4 nights - 21.55 on 8/17, 21.50 on 8/18, 21.25 on 10/6 and 10/7
Seeing 3/4 on 10/6; 4/5 on 8/17, 8/18, and 10/7
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
Software Used Images Plus 5.75 and 6.0 for camera control, Images Plus 6.5 for calibration, stacking, color channel splitting and recombination, ArcSinH stretching, star size reduction, edge masking, and feature mask. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, screen mask invert, high pass filter, lab color, vibrance, saturation adjustments, selective color, and match color. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Carboni Tools for additional noise reduction and smoothing. HLVG for additional color correction. Registar 64 for subexposure alignment and color channel alignment. Pixinsight 1.8 for automatic background extraction, star mask generation, multiscale median transformation, and morphological transformation.
Notes I concentrated on minimizing the stars while processing this image and utilized some new techniques, including masked stretching. As a result, I think the final image has a good balance of stars and nebula. I like this field of view because it has such an interesting mix of objects - including a faint planetary nebula!