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Old 03-11-2023, 09:01 AM
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joshman (Josh)
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NGC246 Skull Nebula in HOO

This small Planetary Planetary Nebula lies approximately 1,600ly distant in the constellation of Cetus. Like all planetary nebulas, this provides a glimpse at the potential future for our own star once it runs out of enough mass to keep the outer layers gravitationally bound. At this point the star begins to shed its outer layers that continue to expand in a giant bubble like structure.

This planetary nebula is right at the edge of what I consider feasible with my current line up of equipment. I used all the processing tricks I know to make the most out of this tiny target, including application of 2x Drizzle during stacking and careful use of deconvolution. That being said I am very surprised at how much of the inner structure I was able to resolve, including splitting the central "Binary" star system.

I say "binary", but it is technically a hierarchical ternary star system. The main central star, HIP 3678 A, is a White dwarf that can be seen in my image to be orbited by HIP 3678 B, a K-type, or "orange" dwarf. Not resolved in my image is the third member of this star system, HIP 3678 C, which is a tiny M-type red dwarf orbiting close to the central star.


Click here to the picture to see the image on Astrobin, and don't forget to take a look up close!

Please enjoy, and Clear Skies!
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Old 03-11-2023, 12:39 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Fabulous result. A result right at the capability limits of your equipment. Well done.
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Old 04-11-2023, 10:59 PM
Dave882 (David)
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Josh this is fantastic. Structural detail and colour is amazing. If the clouds ever part Id love to have a crack at this!
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Old 05-11-2023, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinderboxsky
Fabulous result. A result right at the capability limits of your equipment. Well done.
Thanks Steve! I was very surprised at how well it turned out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave882
Josh this is fantastic. Structural detail and colour is amazing. If the clouds ever part Id love to have a crack at this!
Thanks David!


I think there's still some improvement to be made in my processing, and I'd love to capture some more data, especially in RGB to bring out more details in the surrounding star field. There is a *very* faint SII signal in this target as well, but that would require significant investment in capture time to be use-able.
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