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Omega Nebula from Grand Mesa Observatory

Over 4 nights back in June, July, and August we captured a nice RGB color dataset of the Omega Nebula from Grand Mesa Observatory. Listed as M17 in the Messier object catalog this nebula has quite a few nicknames, Swan Nebula, Checkmark Nebula, Lobster Nebula, and the Horseshoe Nebula although most call it by its more common Omega Nebula name.

This image was captured and processed by Kim Quick, Terry Hancock, and Tom Masterson using Grand Mesa Observatory's System 2a William Optics FLT156mm APO now available with our subscription:

At about 5,000 – 6,000 light-years distant this area is listed as a bright H II region of space which is composed of interstellar atomic hydrogen that is ionized and contains a molecular cloud of other partially ionized gas and dust in an area where star formation has recently taken place. It is believed that the Omega Nebula’s geometry is like the Orion Nebula however our view of it is edge on rather than face on giving it a much different shape in our night sky. The Omega Nebula is considered one of the brightest and most massive star-forming regions of the Milky Way, our home galaxy. There are somewhere around 800 stars in the Omega Nebula which are responsible for much of the resulting illumination with 9 type O stars that are between 15 to 90 times the mass of the Sun and about 40,000 to 1,000,000 times as luminous. This area contains the open star cluster NGC 6618 which is thought to be one of the youngest clusters known with an age of around 1 million years.

Technical Info:

Location: Purdy Mesa, Colorado

Captured over 4 nights in June, July and August 2023 for Total acquisition time of 14.3 hours.

RGB 858 min 143 x 360 sec

Camera: QHY294C one shot color CMOS

Filter Wheel: QHYCFW3 Medium

Gain 2850, Offset 76

Calibrated with dark, and dark Flat Frames

Optics: William Optics FLT 156mm F7.8 1228mm

Image Scale: 0.76 arcsec/pix

Field of View: 0.90 0.61

EQ Mount: Paramount ME

Image Acquisition software NINA Pre-Processing in PixInsight Post Processed in Photoshop CC

1 comment

1 Comment

Aug 28, 2023

Fabulous! Great job!

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