Taken 25-Aug-12
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Abell 85 and surroundings

The main target in this image was planetary nebula (edit: it's actually a supernova remnant) Abell 85. You can see it as a faint, hollow, spherical shell near the bottom left. Above it is Sh2-170. Sh2-170 is the 'dot' of the 'question mark nebula' (outside the field of view). Finally in the lower right, we have Sh2-165, an unspectacular nebula. An unidentified nebula managed to sneak into the field, it's in the top right corner. I'll have to bug some gurus to figure out what nebula that is. EDIT: It's Sh2-167. Thanks Rick. Apparently the Sh2 catalog in Cartes du Ciel v3 is not complete.

Initially, I wanted to combine this with some OIII data to turn this into a bicolor image. Unfortunately, 9x15min of OIII data is still very weak, and I really should have just focused on collecting more H-alpha data to boost the signal. This is yet another target for which I need more aperture. The urge to pull the trigger on an astrograph is increasing.

Technical details:
Date: Aug. 24-25, 2012
Time: 10:30pm - 1am
Camera: SBIG STF-8300M
CCD Temperature: -5C
Lens: Canon 200mm f/2.8 stopped down to 55mm
Filter: Astrodon 5nm H-alpha
Light frames: 6x15 min
Dark frames: 10
Flat frames: 10
Binning: 2x2
Guiding: Orion SSAG @ 80/400mm Orion Short tube
Mount: Losmandy GM-8
Dithering: Manual
Processing: Stacking in DeepSkyStacker, Curves and Levels PSCS5, gentle Carboni actions.

Other notes: For most of the night a strange animal was stalking me. It made a sound that sounded like a 10 year old kid screaming "Help" at the top of his lungs. After a minute of panic, I came to the conclusion that this had to be an animal. It either had some friends or it moved around all night, but for most of the night I heard this sound from all directions. It certainly kept me awake.

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Abell 85 and surroundings