SAS Astronomy Picture(s) of the Month [February, 2024]

Barnard 29 (LDN1523 - Dark Nebula in Auriga)

I really enjoy imaging dark nebulae… they seem so ominous and lifeless, yet ironically contain the building blocks of life itself, many of which are active regions where stars are eventually born. The large cloud in the image is Barnard 29, also known as DOBASHI 4393 or LDN1523. Its little brother, down (north) and to the right (east) is DOBASHI 4390, just above LDN1522. Not surprisingly, there was an extensive atlas and catalog for Dark Clouds that was first presented in 2005 by Japanese astronomer (Dobashi) in 2005. It used automated image analysis to implement a traditional star counting method to comprehensively detect Dark Clouds throughout the sky. Since then, Dobashi (2011) has complemented his results using a method that uses photometrically measured brightnesses.

This an exposure of almost 17h using my 12 inch Meade and ASI2600mc. I stacked 334 3min unguided exposures in DeepSkyStacker and processed the image in Pixinsight.

Photo by Terry Riopka

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