Monday, March 30, 2015

Great Bear's fleece

I meant to picture IFN (Integrated Flux Nebula) with Great Bear's galaxies, but eventually I pictured galaxies with traces of IFN :) Dark sky in Zatom has been helpful and I managed to gather 10 hours of signal, but it turned out to be not much, and additionally it is a task for dedicated CCD camera, not just a DSLR. But, to the point...
IFN is very elusive nebula that glows with the combined light of the stars of the Milky Way reflected and re-emitted by interstellar gas and dust. The IFN consists of blue starlight scattered by interstellar dust, as well as red light emitted by interstellar atoms and molecules. The IFN is so elusive it was not identified until the early 1990s. With modern equipment and fast telescopes, however, the IFN is within reach of amateur astronomers with moderate equipment like me - Canon 450D and 135mm f/4 telephoto lens. However dark sky is required and it is priceless.

IFN nebula in Great Bear constellation - M81 and M82 galaxies at the bottom. Canon camera and 135mm lens
There are quite many objects in the frame, like you may check in the annotated image below. Some of these galaxies belong to the M81 Group - like for example irregular galaxy Holmberg I, quite faing with low surface brigthness.

After downsizing the picture the IFN can be revealed with higher contrast:

So, literally, everywhere you point the telescope, there is always something :)

Clear skies!

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