Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

vdB 149 and vdB 150

vdB 149 and vdB 150
This is an interesting complex of gas and dust in the constellation Cepheus. While the title of this image is vdB 149 and vdb150, as you can see in the annotations they  are only a couple of small bright reflection nebulae in the overall picture.

The "vdB" objects are entries in a catalog created by Sidney van den Bergh in 1966 of bright nebulae with embedded stars. LDN 1235 is a dark nebula included in the Lynds' Catalog of Dark Nebulae, published in 1962. While the dark portion of the nebula is obvious, the large reddish-brown nebula trailing off to its right in this image may actually be a part of this object. The entire cloud is likely to be an Extended Red Emission nebula, or ERE. ERE's are defined as galactic dark nebulae at high latitudes that are illuminated by the radiation of the stars of the Milky Way.

The object annotated as PGC 67671 is a galaxy far off in the distance beyond our Milky Way. There is not much information that I can find on this galaxy other than its color is affected by its light shining through the dust of the intervening ERE, giving it a distinct yellowish tint, and that a supernova was detected in that galaxy in 2011.

There are many other dust clouds or possible ERE's in this field of view. Many of them (especially the smaller ones) may yet be uncataloged! These clouds are actually very dim, but were brightened during image processing to show how crowded this field of view actually is.

Giving in to the human tendency to recognize shapes in otherwise random patterns, I see in the central cloud a somewhat shark-like shape. The dark portion labeled LDN 1235 is the shark's nose, the region below it looks like a gaping. albeit toothless maw, and the bright star immediately to LDN 1235's right its eye. Given that, I'm calling this the Dogfish Nebula after the small, harmless (to humans) shark specie.
Constellation: Cepheus
When Visible: August - January
Distance: Approximately 1000 light-years
Date: Two nights In October 2013
Location: Rancho Hidalgo, New Mexico/td>
Exposure Details:
L: 24 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1
R: 12 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1
G: 12 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1
B: 12 x 10 Minutes binned 1x1

10 Hours total exposure time
Equipment Used:  Takahashi FSQ-106N on an Astro-Physics AP1200GTO mount. SBIG STL-11000 camera with 5-position filter wheel and Astrodon filters. Robofocus focuser. Externally guided with an SBIG Remote Guide Head on a Borg 50Ach refractor.
Acquisition Software:  MaximDL, TheSky6, CCDAutopilot
Processing Software: MaximDL, Photoshop CS5, IrFanView, HLVG Plugin, Carboni Actions