Ghost Nebula, IC 63 (Copy)


Ghost Nebula, IC 63   These bright rims and flowing shapes suggest to some melting ice cream on a cosmic scale. Looking toward the constellation Cassiopeia, the colorful  skyscape features the swept back, comet-shaped clouds IC 59 (left) and IC 63. About 600 light-years distant, the clouds aren’t actually melting, but they are slowly dissipating under the influence of ionizing ultraviolet radiation from hot,luminous star Gamma Cas. Gamma Cas is physically located only 3 to 4 light-years from the nebulae, whose glow is in the upper right edge of the frame. This image was photographed  using narrowband Hydrogen and Sulfur filters that capture light that is re-radiated from Hydrogen and Sulfur atoms that have been ionized by uv light. The image is done in the Hubble palette with Hydrogen in green and Sulfur in red. In fact, slightly closer to gamma Cas, IC 63 is dominated by  Hydrogen alpha radiation(green in the image) as the ionized Hydrogen atoms recombine with electrons. Farther from the star, IC 59 shows proportionally less H-alpha emission but more of the light(red) from Sulfur atoms.  The field of view spans about 1 degree or 10 light-years at the estimated distance of Gamma Cas.


Optics: 20″ Planewave CDK20
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME II
Camera: FLI PL16803
Filters: Astrodon Ha, Sii 3nm
Dates/Times: Jan 2018, Dec 2018
Location: Adler Earth and Sky Observatory, Jackson Hole, WY
Exposure Details: Ha(2:2)=38x20min,  Sii(4:4)=28x20min, total 64 images, 22 hr
Acquisition & Guiding: MaximDL/TheSkyX, MOAG, SBIG STi
Processing: MaximDL, Photoshop CC2018