Ten years after he first shot the object, Ron Brecher set his sights again on the Running Man Nebula, also known as NGC 1977.
With the experience behind his belt, this beautiful shot aimed at a piece of Orion’s sword garnered Brecher the Photo of the Week for April 10, 2020.
“The Running Man Nebula includes pink HII emission regions, and blue reflection nebulae,” he wrote in a post. “Dark dust throughout gives the area surrounding the bright nebula a smoky texture. This complex lies around 1,500 light years away, and is about 7.5 light years across.”
He noted that he has imaged the whole sword previously, showing the Running Man Nebula in context.
“My 2010 image of this object is one of my first astrophotos,” he wrote. “It’s amazing to me how far I have come in this hobby.”
On the technical details, Brecher wrote he used a Paramount MX mount with TheSkyX. Focus was done with an Optec DirectSync motor and controller, and automation with CCDCommander.
“Equipment control with PrimaLuce Labs Eagle 3 Pro computer,” he wrote. “All pre-processing and processing in PixInsight. Acquired from my SkyShed in Guelph. Minimal moonlight, above average transparency and average or better seeing. Data acquired February 21-March 1, 2020.”
Luminance was captured in 40 shots at 10 minutes each, totalling 400 minutes. He used a Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 f/7 refractor and a QHY 16200-A camera with an Optolong UV/IR filter.
Chrominance was captured in 154 images at three minutes each, for 462 minutes — a total of 14 hours and 22 minutes. He used a Takahashi FSQ-106 ED IV at f/3.6 and a QHY367C one-shot colour camera with an Optolong L-Pro filter.
Our runner up this week was Ryan Fraser with his shot of the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101.
Imaging for an astounding 16 hours, Fraser wrote that he caught M101 in HaLRGB, just south of London, Ontario. He captured the image over four nights: March 26, and April 1, 3 and 4, 2020.
Fraser also said he used a EQ-6 Mount, and captured 2.25 hours of Ha, 8.4 of L, 3.0 hours of R, 1.5 hours of G and 1.5 hours of B.
“SGP for acquisition, all broadband subs at two minutes, Gain 15; Ha at five minutes, Unity Gain. Processing in PixInsight and Photoshop,” he wrote.