Russell Croman Astrophotography  



van den Bergh 152/Cederblad 201

About This Photograph

This enigmatic cloud of dust in the constellation of Cepheus has some interesting things going on in it. The blue patch at one end is caused by the dust reflecting the light of the bright bluish star entering the cloud, apparently as a chance encounter. The very dark area immediately to the left of this is a thick knot in the cloud which is dense enough to prevent any light from beyond from being seen. Further to the left the dust grows less dense, and we begin to see stars shining through, and the dust itself takes on a reddish, rusty color. This color is due to the fact that the the dust preferentially allows light of longer (i.e., redder) wavelengths through, while blocking light of shorter wavelengths. The source of this backlighting for the cloud is the overall light from our Milky Way galaxy.

For an interesting technical article on this field, click here.


Technical Details

Optics:20" f/8 RCOS Ritchey-Chr├ętien Cassegrain
Camera:SBIG STL-11000M, FLI CFW-7
Mount:Software Bisque Paramount ME
Filters:SBIG Standard CRGB
Dates/Times:25 Sep - 22 Oct 2005
Location:Dimension Point Observatory, Mayhill, New Mexico
Exposure Details:CRGB = 690:210:90:180 minutes
Acquisition:MaxIm DL/CCD 4, TheSky6, CCDAutoPilot2
Processing:MaxIm DL/CCD 4, Photoshop CS2, GradientXTerminator
Processing:Many thanks to Steve Mandel for suggesting this target, and to Dr. Adolf Witt of the Dusty Astrophysical Research Group at the University of Toledo for his description of the object (paraphrased above).