Long time since a result due to poor weather etc. NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula is an unusual reflection nebula. The bright central star illumninates the surrounding dust, but the nebula is mottled with large clouds of unlilluminated dust. This makes the object very difficult to image in my opinion. As your exposure time increases, you keep seeing new features around the dark clouds. The colours end up very blotchy around the dark areas. You can see my colour gets very untidy around the perimeter. The slight contrast between the dark clouds on the outer fringes makes it very hard to judge what is actual nebula and what is false gradient. I've gone for a processing that shows some of the contrast in the dimmer areas, however, strange bits of colour spring up all over the place, and o this is not the most accurate colour rendition.
This image gives a good demonstration of all the strange goings on around this nebula.
This object has long been a favourite image of mine, since a very humble effort here with an SC1 logitech webcam, complete with banding. Other efforts:
Captured in Artemis Capture. Aligned and stacked and balanced in Maxim. Processing in Photoshop. L captured on 20th Sept and colour two days later.
I think I need some longer and deeper colour data.
This image was autoguided using my 400mm focal length refractor and my black and white SC1 webcam.
Current Imaging equipment configuration
Exposure Details :
Coma Corrector 78x100s on 200mm @ F5 with ART285
Coma Corrector G 10x120s on 200mm @ F5 with ART285
Coma Corrector B 10x120s on 200mm @ F5 with ART285
Coma Corrector R 10x120s on 200mm @ F5 with ART285
Curdridge Observatory, Southampton,UK