Pacman in color
Mr. Pacman, AKA NGC 281, now has on his varicolored coat. Ain’t he pretty? Technically, this is a conventional LRGB image with the luminance (L) component replaced by the black and white hydrogen-alpha image shown in the previous post. I made 69 separate exposures totaling 7.5 hours of exposure time. Click on the image to get a better view of the many-colored stars.
This nebula was a challenge to photograph because it has very low surface brightness and requires long exposures. For my next target I think I will return to the super-bright Orion nebula and see what I can do with that. Orion and the Pacman nebulae must be the most photographed of all deep space nebulae by amateurs. There are literally hundreds of photos online of these two objects. I guess there is space for one more.
Jan 3, 2015 – I updated the photo to reflect some polite forum suggestions that I should tone down the blue halos around the brighter stars and dim some of the smaller red stars and here’s how to do it. (If you want to compare it with the earlier photo, you are out of luck. It’s now buried in the archives).
Springtime is galaxy time, so as the days finally start getting longer I will look for a suitable target. Stella should have awakened from her long winter nap by that time.