Exposure: 39x600" @ ISO 1600
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 180ED f2.8 @ f3.75
Filter: Hutech IDAS LPS P2 MFA
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6 Pro
Camera: Cooled Canon 550D
Date: 26th November 2011
Location: Coll d'Ares, Àger (Lleida, Spain)
Comments: another difficult target, the dust swaths are very faint so the image needs to be stretched strongly, this makes very difficult keeping the stars controlled.
Great dust masses darken this direction of our galaxy in the constelation Perseus. What makes this field so facinating is not only what is seen, but also the hints of activity hidden amid the darkness. This great molecular cloud harbours the formation of new solar systems. To the left the cluster and surrounding bluish reflection nebula of IC348 shine among the darkness. To the right the peculiar concentration of NGC 1333 lights the dark amid mysterious 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.