Tadpoles (SHO)

This image was a collaboration among four NOVAC members. We each contributed data to the final result and ended up with more than 98 hours of sub exposures in the final result.

This was the first time any of us had tried this and we did run into some bumps along the way. We had to discard some data because the image scale was too coarse. If we do this again we’ll define the parameters a bit more rigorously.

However, even without that it turned out to be a great project to work on. While the image detail was diluted some by the data from coarser image scales the noise level made up for that. With this many subexpousres the noise level was quite low making the images easier to process.

The nebula itself is a dusty emission nebula in Auriga. The “tadpoles” that give it its name are stellar nurseries. The “tails” on the tadpoles are caused by stars in open cluster NGC 1893 near the center of the nebula.

This is presented in the SHO palette (sulfur to red, hydrogen to green and oxygen to blue). In this case that adds to the aquatic feeling with the bluish gas being the medium through which the tadpoles swim.

For all the technical details, see the astrobin. You can see the versions created by the other collaborators here, here and here.

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