This is very poor season for Astrophotography and astronomy. It doesn't get dark. It is raining. Very difficult to do any astro imaging. To keep myself sane, I've been looking through my data from last year (2010) for anything I've not finished off or published.

During september, I took a lot of data in narrowband of the Heart Nebula with the intention of creating a mosaic of the area. Whilst I got some good narrowband data for the Heart Nebula, I only got the hydrogen alpha data for the Soul nebula section. The weather soon deteriorated and I lost my enthusiasm for the project, so data for the two corners never got collected.

As I've gone back to more high resolution imaging this year, it is very unlikely that I'll get the data needed to complete the scene, so I've dusted it off and posted it in monochrome.

The IC1805/IC1848 Heart and Soul complex (featuring the Rolling Stones Nebula) is a vast area of nebulosity on the border of Cassiopeia and Perseus. The field presented here is around 4 degrees across - which is about 8 moon diameters. This means that this region appears 8 times larger than the full moon in the sky - if only our eyes worked better!

The data for this image is all captured using an Artemis 285 CCD camera and a 135mm M42 SLR lens (5 on ebay) on my LXD55 telescope mount. An Astrodon 6nm hydrogen alpha narrowband filter was used. Autoguiding using a 1000mm guidescope with a black and white chipped SC1 webcam.

The data was collected across several nights in September 2010 during a period of good weather. The mosaic is made up from two separate shots. The upper right shot is a 9.5 hour exposure, made up by combining 900s sub exposures. The lower left panel is a 9 hour exposure, again, made up by combining 900s sub exposures. Total integration time is 18.5 hours. Moonlight interfered with the Soul nebula section, hence the loss of depth in that area compared to the upper right frame.

The image below is resized down to 640 pixels wide.

Click here for the 1024 pixel version.

Click here for the original resolution version.

The collected data for each panel is median combined in Maxim and the post-processed in photoshop. Final construction in photoshop.