Iris Nebula – NGC7023

The Iris Nebula, NGC 7023 or better LBN 487, is definitely one of my all time favorites. I have one of my early versions from a year ago in this blog. Usually we admire the mysterious blue glow of the reflection nebula diverting the light of the embedded magnitude 7 star, SAO 19158.

However, there is much more to see… vast structures of bright and dark dust clouds surrounding the Iris. I have never seen these additional structures beyond the Iris in so much detail. Only the dark skies as DSW allow for such depth to make then visible.

This LRGB composite results from 37 luminance, 16 red, 17 green, and 15 blue subs with 900 sec each – more than 21 hours of photon collection in total. The post-processing is also challenging, getting the details of the blue Iris and the brownish dust clouds at the same time required quite some mask-gymnastics.


Exposure: LRGB, (37,16,17,15) x 900sec Date: 2015-09-03…13
Setup: Takahashi FSQ106 EDXIII with QSI 683WSG-8 Site: Deep Sky West Observatory, NM, USA

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