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The Heart and Soul Nebulas with the Double Cluster | by Amazing Sky Photography
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The Heart and Soul Nebulas with the Double Cluster

This is a wide field image of the region of Perseus and Cassiopeia containing the bright Double Cluster at bottom left, and the large emission nebulas known as the Heart and Soul Nebulas at top. The Heart Nebula at right is IC 1805; the Soul Nebula (aka Embryo Nebula) at top left is IC 1848. The bright detached nebula at right is NGC 896. Also in the image to the right of the Double Cluster is the large scattered star cluster, Stock 2, the Muscle Man Cluster, barely standing out from the Milky Way background here. The compact star cluster above the Double Cluster is NGC 957. Despite the poor sky conditions, the small, reddened Local Group galaxies, Maffei 1 and 2 are visible above centre amid the dark lanes of interstellar dust.


This is a stack of 9 x 8-minute exposures at ISO 1600 with the Canon EOS Ra through the William Optics RedCat 51mm f/4.9 astrograph. This was on the Sky-Watcher EQM-35 mount as a test of the combination, and guided with the ZWO ASIAir and ZWO guidescope, which worked fine until the cold killed the iPad (despite it being plugged in). Placing the iPad inside worked for a while but the weak WiFi from the ASIAir made the iPad lose the connection and revert to my home WiFi, again stopping the guiding. However, the small mount guided quite well when the autoguider worked!


Clouds were also coming and going and prevented more images and any taking through a nebula filter — these are all unfiltered. Some light cloud in some frames add the star glows, and so I added a mild Orton Effect with Luminar 4 to purposely add a further soft glow “look” to the image, and which also punches up the nebulosity.


North is to the top right here, in this image framed at an angle from the usual N-S, E-W orientation to take in the nebulas and clusters. The graduated scale on the RedCat’s camera angle adjuster helped in the framing.


Taken from home under duress (equipment and sky issues!) October 12, 2020. Indeed, I was surprised to get even these frames to make a passable image.

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Taken on October 12, 2020