NGC 7380 The Wizard

I know that I keep telling myself not to attempt deep red nebulae until I have a modified camera but I just can’t help it, I love the deep red Hydrogen emission colours and the mysterious shapes that these nebulae form. Anyway, earlier this month I noticed that NGC7380 (in the constellation Cepheus) was placed nicely for a photo; my resolve broke and I thought the worst thing out “I’ll just spend a little time taking some test shots”. Inevitably this leads to insufficient integration time especially when I should be extending the time on an object in this wavelength region. There you go, a little over 1hr 10mins of exposure later & I’ve set myself a processing challenge 🙂

ngc7380-080907-1g2se_pi  Click on image for a larger view.

I’ve been playing with the processing on & off for over 2 weeks but the image above is what I’ve now settled upon. Details as follows:

Imaging info: Canon 20D C6SGT Prime f10 ISO1600 Exposure 1hrs 10.25 mins in 31 subs

Processing Info: flat & dark correction, stacked, aligned, colour balanced, asinh stretch all in Iris  –  levels adjustment in Photoshop  –  noise control & enhancement in Pixinsight & PureImage  –  final balancing & clarity in Lightroom.

I know that there’s more to be had from this nebula and I shall return in the future but for now it has provided me with a fun challenge that has allowed me to learn more useful processing skills.

 NGC7380 is in fact an open cluster of stars with associated nebulosity. It is thought to be 7-10 thousand light years away and was discovered by William Herschel’s sister Caroline. It is sometimes called “The Wizard”  – imagine a pointy hat & beneath it a wizard throwing out his hands to cast a myriad of spells.


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