California Nebula by Dan Meek
Long-exposure astrophotography can reveal certain types of deep-sky objects that are often very difficult to detect visually, even with large amateur telescopes. The California Nebula (NGC1499) in Perseus is a prime example. Its great size (spanning nearly three degrees) and low surface brightness make it a challenging sight. Yet with the right narrow-band filter (H-beta) and low magnification, the California Nebula can be viewed under dark skies. Even so, the human eye simply isn’t sensitive enough to perceive anything close to the level of detail displayed in the above photo by Calgary, Alberta, imager Dan Meek.
Dan made this 5-hour, narrow-band exposure using a QSI 583wsg CCD camera attached to a Tele Vue NP127is 127mm, f/5.2 apochromatic refractor telescope.
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