Taken from one of our favourite “Summer sites” in Northwest Italy, the California Nebula, designation NGC 1499 or Sh2 220, is an extensive emission nebula in the constellation of Perseus.  It is 2.5° long but due to its limited brightness (apparent magnitude 6.0) is difficult to observe visually. It lies 1000 ly from Earth. Narrowband images produce, per definition, saturated colours that can lend themselves to a very dramatic interpretation of the available data – These Deep Sky Objects are very energetic regions of space, and it is interesting to try and represent this “drama” within the image.  As part of the “Flaming Sky” series (see Showcase), this version of the California Nebula is based around hydrogen-alpha (red) and sulphur-II (yellow) data.

Celestron RASA 11″ 
10Micron GM1000 HPS 
SIGMA fp (monochrome) / SIGMA fp L (colour)
H-alpha / S-II ultra-fast narrowband filters
ca. 3 hrs, ISO 1600, F2.2, 620mm 

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