Butterfly…placeholder #2

IC1318 Gamma Cygni Nebula (a.k.a. (one of several) Butterfly Nebula) was captured with the Southern Cross from the front patio during the run-up to our solar eclipse trip, mostly as a validation of the framing for imaging in the dark skies of Los Alamos, NM while we were there for the annular solar eclipse. (Spoiler alert: There wasn't enough imaging time (that's a long story) to capture it there, so this is the Colorado Springs front patio view...maybe in November!)

IC1318 Gamma Cygni Nebula (a.k.a. Butterfly Nebula)

IC1318 Gamma Cygni Nebula; captured at HCH Colorado Springs, Colorado on 24 Sep and 5 Oct 2023; with the Southern Cross (ASI2400MC, Askar FRA600, RC-135E mount)

IC1318 Gamma Cygni Nebula (a.k.a. Butterfly Nebula)

Target Fun Facts: The Gamma Cygni Nebula, also known as the Sadr Region or IC 1318, is a diffuse emission nebula that can be seen around Sadr (γ Cygni), the star at the center of the Northern Cross, which marks the heart of Cygnus, the Swan. Despite the name, the star and the nebula are unrelated. Even though it looks embedded in the nebulosity, Sadr (which is not captured in my image) is approximately 1,800 light years distant, while the nebula is much further away, at 4,900 light years. 

The Gamma Cygni Nebula has three distinct parts, designated as IC 1318 A, B and C. The dark cloud about 20 light years thick that divides IC 1318 B and C is a dark nebula known as LDN 889. It is physically related to the emission nebula and the surrounding molecular cloud complex. The dark dust lane is responsible for the nebula’s distinctive shape, resembling that of a butterfly, which is why IC 1318 is sometimes also known as the Butterfly Nebula.  IC 1318 is not to be confused with several other DSO’s with the same name: the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302), a bipolar planetary nebula located in the constellation Scorpius; the bright planetary Butterfly Nebula (NGC 2346) in Monoceros constellation; or the planetary nebula known as Minkowski’s Butterfly (M2-9) or the Twin Jet Nebula located in Ophiuchus.

Capture Notes: This image is composed of two night’s capture from the front patio with the Southern Cross (ASI2400MC camera, Askar FRA600 telescope, Rainbow Astro RC-135E mount) on 24 September and 5 October 2023.  Beginning on Sunday, 24 September 2023 we had a week of clear skies at home (with the moon building to the full Harvest Supermoon on Friday, 29Sep2023).  I had finally convinced Orion that I REALLY did need the extension tube for Big Bertha and they relented to sell it to me.  I ordered on it Friday, 22 September and it was to be shipped on Monday.  So, I decided to use the Southern Cross while I waited for the missing piece to make ASI2400-BB whole.  On 5 October, I was still waiting for closure on the discussion with Teleskop Service regarding their field flattener back focus distance before I spent any more time capturing images with Big Bertha, I chose to image with the Southern Cross.  I convinced myself, that although the list of targets I wanted to capture with Big Bertha was growing, it was good for me to spend the time  validating the framing and exposure settings on the images I hoped to capture in the dark skies during our trip to Los Alamos for the annular solar eclipse.  

Processing:  As (roughly the same) usual, I captured the data with SGP, stacked with APP, removed stars with Starnet++, and processed with LR/PS.  

The gallery entry, for the “rest of the story” (with Butterfly placeholder #1 (captured with Big Bertha) has been relegated to “other images of IC1318 at the bottom of the gallery page) is here: https://beersastrophotography.com/gallery/ic1318-gamma-cygni-nebula-butterfly-nebula/