Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

Sharpless 183

Channeling the Superfans here, I say this picture sums up Chicago teams as having sports written in the heavens. Not only are "Da Bears!" immortalized in not one, but TWO constellations (Ursa Major, the "Great Bear!" and Ursa Minor), now "DA BULLS!" are immortalized in this portrait.

Ok, whew! Now that I've gotten that off of my system (and I'm not a sports superfan anyway - apologies to sports fans everywhere, but I had to bring that up), here is a somewhat uncanny resemblance to The Bulls' logo. At least as of 2013.

Sharpless 183 (the face of the Bull) is incredibly faint. Dean Salman of fame describes it as faint. That doesn't begin to describe this object. Ninety minutes each of RGB data shows no features in this part of the sky. The redemption of this image is the amount of H-alpha captured (23 hours!).

Sharpless 183 and the accompanying Sharpless 181 (the bull's single horn) is a dim diffuse nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. There is little information about this object, but according to, it is mostly obscured by foreground dust, it contains about of 44 thousand solar masses of gas and is at least 3.9 million years old. It is unknown which stars are ionising the gas (making it glow), and are probably obscured by the foreground dust. The obscuring dust could explain at least part of its faintness.
Constellation: Cassiopeia
When Visible: October - March
Distance: Unknown
Date Imaged:  October 2012
Location: Rancho Hidalgo, Animas, NM
Exposure Details:
Ha: 46 x 30 Minutes Binned 1x1
R: 9 x 10 Minutes Binned 1x1
G: 9 x 10 Minutes Binned 1x1
B: 9 x 10 Minutes Binned 1x1

Twenty-seven hours and 30 minutes total exposure time
Equipment Used:  Takahashi FSQ-106N on an Astro-Physics AP1200GTO mount. SBIG STL-6303E camera with FW8-STL filter wheel and Astrodon filters. Robofocus focuser.
Acquisition Software : MaximDL 5, TheSky6, CCDAutopilot 5, FocusMax
Processing Software: MaximDL, Photoshop CS/CS5, Carboni Actions, Croman GradientXterminator, Noise Ninja, IrFanView