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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Medusa Nebula in Narrowband

This project was fun! I finally had a chance to use my narrowband filters. This image was taken in May 2017. Total integration time in Ha/OIII/ SII is 10 hours. I used a modified Hubble palette for processing. This is my first narrowband image and I was not sure how to process it in Pixinsight. The image always came out too green after I color combined. After doing some homework and experimenting with Pixinsight, I finally found a combination that would work.

I find that color combining narrowband is not restricted to a certain pattern (flowers are red and green leaves are green.) This opens up all kinds of possibilities for creating "pretty pictures". I think that this nebula should be predominately red (hydrogen) to give an accurate representation of the object. Who cares! The colors chosen to represent a celestial body is entirely up to the individual. This is where personal taste and artistic preference takes precedent. That's why I love astrophotography and narrowband produces some pretty cool colors! 

Here's NOAA interpretation of the Medusa Nebula. This image is amazing! Take a close look and discover dozens of background galaxies. The Medusa Nebula is a planetary nebula. No, it's not a planet, but rather a star that is dying. The snake like filaments (hence the name Medusa) are being thrown into space as the star sheds its outer layers.

The universe has an infinite number of spectacular and fascinating wonders to behold...just look up!      George

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