Merope and IC349

17th December 2004
Object name: IC 349
Object type: Bright nebula
Size: 26.0'x26.0'
Apparent RA: 3h 46m 38s Apparent Dec: +23 57' 27"
Constellation: Taurus

200mm F5 newtonian @F5 , SC3.5 toucam RAW mode. IRB filter.
80mm F5 refractor @ F10 guidescope with SC1 toucam and GuideDog

Exposures. 130x15s .

Merope is a 4th magnitude B6IV star 360 light years away. It's part of the famous Pleiades (M45) open cluster in Taurus. Checking a star chart, this area is riddled with numerous reflection nebula. The brightest part is around the Merope - pictured here. I've taken a black and white image, but added the blue colour in post processing to give a more pleasing result.

This is a very popular target - one of those targets, like m42, that everyone has a go at sooner or later. I tried in the past with my SC1 camera, but the results were not good. Happily the SC3 can pick up the delicate strands of nebulosity. I was suprised by this new camera again - I could see the reflection nebula in the raw frames on the laptop!

This image only shows part of the IC 349 nebula.

The AVI was stacked in Registax 3 with darkframe subtracted and "dark pixels" removed with registax 3 Sigma Clipping. Curves in photoshop. False colour added in photoshop and slight noise reduction in Neat Image