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The Details
Gum 23/22 and RCW 38 in Vela
Astro-Physics 12" Mak-Cass f/8
Astro-Physics 1600 Mount with absolute encoders
FLI 16803 Proline CCD
Tru-Balance 5 nm H Alpha Filter
22 February and 14/20/26 March 2016
Las Campanas Observatory, Chile
Ha 39 x 1200 sec, 1x1 bin
ACP, Maxim DL/CCD, , CCDStack 2, Photoshop CS5
Field of View: 52' x 52' centered on RA 08h58m42s
DEC -47°21'28" (2000.0) . North angle 179.6 °; east 90° CCW from north.
Gum 23 is a large, bright emission nebula lying approximately 5500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the southern constellation Vela (The Sails).  Buried and hidden within its cloak of dust and gas is a young, massive star forming region known as RCW 38.  This cluster is located deep within the brightest knot of the nebula (Gum 22) as seen in the above image.  Less than 1 million years old, it harbors over a thousand stars with a massive O5.5V star at its heart.  The stellar wind from this giant has evacuated a 0.6 light-year diameter “bubble” around it and contributed, along with its neighbors, to the ionization of the surrounding hydrogen gas by virtue of intense UV radiation.  Many of the massive stars in this cluster will be short-lived and end their lives as supernovae, making RCW 38 a powerful and violent region of space.

Total exposure time was 13 hours. This image is the result of a collaborative effort between Howard Hedlund of Astro-Physics, Inc. and Dave Jurasevich.




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