Click here for a higher resolution image of IC 1318 (868 Kb)



The Details
IC 1318 in Cygnus
Astro Physics 160 EDF refractor at f/5.7
Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Tru-Balance 6nm Hydrogen Alpha filter
26 June 2008, 27 June 2008
Mount Wilson Observatory - Mount Wilson, CA
Ha 2 x 16 exp x 900 sec 1x1 bin (2 pane mosaic)
Maxim DL/CCD, Registar, Photoshop CS2
Field of View: 02°54 ’ x 02°11’ centered on RA 20h24m39s
DEC +39°40’48” (2000.0) . North angle 89.2°; east 90° CCW from north

IC 1318, also known as the Butterfly Nebula, is a large HII complex in the constellation Cygnus spanning across more than 150 light years of space. At a distance of about 5000 light years from Earth, IC 1318 reveals itself as a bright, tri-lobed emission nebula cut sharply by a dark molecular cloud known as LDN 899. The bright star in the lower right quadrant of the image is Sadr (Gamma Cygni), shining at magnitude 2.23 and marking the intersection of the wings and body of Cygnus the Swan. Sadr is about 1525 light years away and is thus a foreground star not associated with the emission nebula. The energy source responsible for illuminating this beautiful object is a Class O star completely obscured from view by the thick dust of LDN 899. Other objects of interest in the frame are the sparse open clusters M29 (left edge, center) and NGC 6910 (right side below centerline).

This 8 hour exposure mosaic is part of a work in progress to image an expanded area around IC 1318 over the summer of 2008.




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