DSLR astrophotography by Sergi Verdugo

The Heart Nebula

Exposure: 4×600″ @ ISO 800 (RGB) + 20×1800″ @ ISO 800 (Ha)
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 88FD with Borg DG-L
Filter: Baader UV/IR cut 2″ and Baader H-alpha 7nm 2″
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6 Pro
Camera: Modded Canon 350D in cooler box
Date: October and November 2009
Location: Rasos de Peguera (RGB) and Cabrera de Mar (Ha) (Barcelona, Spain)
Comments: I hadn’t shoot before exposures that long… 30′. The guiding and alignment with the pole were very good.

The Heart Nebula, also known as IC 1805, is about 7500 light years away from the Earth and is located in the Perseus arm of the Galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia. It’s an emission nebula showing glowing gas and darker dust lanes.
The brightest part of this nebula, at the upper right corner, is separately classified as NGC896, because it was the first part of this nebula to be discovered.
The nebula’s intense red output and its configuration are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula’s center. This open cluster of stars known as Melotte 15 contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun’s mass. The cluster used to contain a microquasar that was expelled millions of years ago.