NGC 7380 – The Wizard Nebula – 8th Nov 2023
I’m back! Been about three years since my last serious deep sky image. I’ve recently had an almost complete revamp of my imaging setup, which I’ll go over fairly soon in a bit more detail, but suffice to say I’ve changed my imaging PC, the software I use to capture (now N.I.N.A. – from here on in called NINA because I cant be bothered to type loads of full stops), added a new main Player One Ares-C Pro CMOS OSC imaging camera, changed my mono camera from an Atik 314L to an Atik 383L+, and stuck it all on a new Skywatcher EQ6 mount, that I’ve belt-modded into the bargain.
Not much then(!) No new scopes yet, though have a Spanky Samyang 135mm Camera lens that’s recently arrived for gorgeous widefields… watch this space!
Say hello to the Wizard. This is NGC 7830, a cluster of young stars in Cephus, which is surrounded by a lovely emission nebula, known as the Wizard Nebula. The young stars in the centre of the nebula are making it glow. and the nebula itself looks like a wizard (in this case on his back) with his wizard’s hat and outstretched hands under his cloak – well that’s what I can see anyway…!
I’d previously imaged this gorgeous object in Hydrogen Alpha mono (here), but never got around to capturing the OIII data to make it into a nice dual-narrowband image. As I’ve recently become the proud owner of a Player One Ares-C Pro (more on that in a later post), I decided to revisit the Wiz, to grab him in colour.
This was imaged though an Altair Tri-band filter, which isolates the three particular bands of light that make up the majority of Narrowband objects (Hydrogen lpha and OIII), but rejects pretty much everything else. This really helps cut down on the effects of light pollution on the image, though doesn’t solve the issue entirely, as modern LED street lamps unfortunately give off a far wider range of wavelengths than the old orange sodium lamps, and this makes them far harder to filter out. It’s one of the things about imaging from an urban environment that is getting harder and harder to mitigate…
This was captured using NINA (Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy), which is. Wonderful piece of software, available completely free here. Feel free to buy Stefan a coffee via PayPal, or subscribe to his Patreon to keep things flowing.
It was stacked and the initial stretching done in MaximDL, and then the stars removed using StarNet. This allows the processing of the Nebula itself without affecting the stars, which can then be replaced afterwards. Allows far more scope for bringing out faint detail, noise reduction and some sharpening without messing up the stars.