Exposure: 21x600" (left pane) + 21x600" (right pane) @ ISO 800
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 88FD with Borg DG-L
Filter: Baader UV/IR cut 2"
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6 Pro
Camera: Modded Canon 350D in cooler box
Date: 11th December 2009
Location: Rasos de Peguera (Barcelona, Spain)
Comments: This is a very beautiful area of the night sky, plenty of very faint nebulosity and dust. It was my first attempt on a mosaic and I commited some alignment between panes mistakes, that's why it is so narrow vertically.
Great swaths of dust disguise this direction in our galaxy, in the constelation Perseus. This great molecular cloud harbours the formation of new solar systems. However, facination with the field lies not with what is seen, but instead by the intimated hints of activity. Subtle glows of pink and blue do little to cast warmth on a field that shows the structure of the cold interstellar medium. To the left the cluster and surrounding bluish reflection nebula of IC348 punctuate the darkness. To the right the strange and ornate concentration of NGC 1333 looks as a miniature peacock amid dark and foreboding clouds.
IC 348 is about 1000 light-years away from the earth and contains within a young open cluster, cataloged as Cr 41, consisting of hundreds of stars responsible for the lighting of the cloud and whose age, derived from the study of emission lines H II , is between 0.7 and 12 million years. In the region there were two episodes of star formation in sequence: the first generation is represented by low mass stars of OB association OB2 Perseus, while the last generation is shown by the younger stars, formed about 2-3 million years ago, as a dispersion in the Perseus cloud.
NGC 1333 is a reflection nebula also about 1000 light-years away, it is one of the closest regions of star formation. The stars in NGC 1333 newly formed are no more than a million years old. Much of the light from these stars is obscured by the dark cloud of dust from which they were formed. By using the Spitzer Space Telescope of NASA infrared light of these objects was detected. This allowed to look through the dust for a more detailed understanding of how stars begin their lives. The first one is to the north near the nebula, while the latter lies to the south in the most dense cloud of gas.