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Captured by
Byron Davies

NGC 2264 Cone Nebula

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vdB 152 image

vdB 152

Contains: Deep sky object
Acquisition Details
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Van den Bergh 152 is a blue reflection nebula at the tip of a large dark nebula -- Barnard 175. This complex, also called Wolf's Cave, is located about 1,400 light years away in the direction of the constellation Cepheus. This area is part of a large molecular cloud named the Cepheus Flare by Edwin Hubble. The opaque dust blocks most of the starlight behind it, but blue light from a young star is scattered and reflected off some of the particles to illuminate the reflection part of the nebula. The red filamentary structure is a supernova remnant. It is not yet clear whether the supernova remnant will collide with vdB 152. To tease out all of these features was an incredible challenge. It required about 15 hours of wideband exposure time to adequately capture the details of the blue reflection and dark nebulae, and another 20 hours using a narrowband hyrdrogen-alpha filter to adequately capture the faint, red emission nebula. For those keeping score at home, that's over 35 hours of exposure time captured in over 750 individual images just to collect sufficient data for this one, final image. Processing was...challenging. There are many techniques for properly blending red hydrogen-alpha into natural color images, and...many of them worked well, but not "right." Finally, I came up with something that gave me what I wanted and magic happened