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The Nebulas of Auriga | by Amazing Sky Photography
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The Nebulas of Auriga

This is a portrait of the main glowing nebulas amid star clusters in central Auriga, the Charioteer.


The main nebula at right is the Flaming Star Nebula, aka IC 405. But in this long exposure its mass blends into the central roundish nebula, IC 410. At top left is the pair of Sharpless nebulas, Sh 2-232 and the small Sh 2-235. The fingerlike nebula at top centre is Sh 2-230. The star cluster just to its left is Messier 38, with the small cluster NGC 1907 just below M38. The star cluster at left centre is Messier 36. At centre frame is the nebula IC 417 around the cluster Stock 8. The line of colourful stars at lower right between IC 405 and IC 410 is the Little FIsh or Flying Minnow asterism, aka Mel 11.


This is a stack of 11 x 12-minute exposures at ISO 3200 through an Optolong L-Enhance dual-band nebula filter, blended with a stack of 12 x 8-minute exposures without a filter (for more natural star colors and the blue reflection nebula in IC 405) at ISO 800. All with the Canon EOS Ra camera through the f/5 51mm William Optics RedCat astrograph with a Starizona filter drawer. Autoguiding was with the Lacerta MGEN3 autoguider which applied a dithering shift between each frame to help cancel out thermal noise when stacking. No darks or LENR were used here on this mild winter night at -5° C or so.


All stacking, alignment and blending was in Adobe Photoshop 2021. Luminosity masks (DM2, D and M) applied with Lumenzia helped bring out the faint nebulosity.

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Taken on January 15, 2021