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LBN552, LDN1228, and Cohen 129

LBN552, LDN1228, and Cohen 129 in Cepheus LBN552, LDN1228, and Cohen 129 in Cepheus ©2016 Frederick Steiling

Featured in The Reflector Magazine: September 2016, Pg. 26

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Target Information
Main Target Designations LBN552, LDN1228, Cohen 129
RA Center 20h 58m 6.532s
DEC Center +78° 18' 9.24"
Rotation 90.784°
LRGB 420’/75'/75'/82.5'
L subframes 1200" @ 1x1
R/G/B subframes 450" @ 1x1
Total Integration 10hrs 52.5min
Date(s) of acquisition 05Jun2016, 07Jun2016, 08Jun2016, 10Jun2016
Locations Whiteside, MO
Imager SBIG STF-8300M
Telescope/Lens Orion 8" f/3.9 Astrograph
Mount Celestron CGEM (DIY Hypertuned)
Guiding Apparatus OAG-8300
Guiding Camera QHY5L-II
Filter Wheel FW5-8300
Wide Filters Astronomik LRGB
Narrow Filters Astronomik 12nm Hα
Coma Corrector Baader MPCC Mark III
Collimator Howie Glatter 650nm laser
Focusing Moonlite CR with V2 High-res Stepper
Acquisition Sequence Generator Pro
Guiding PHD2
Processing PixInsight 1.8

The clouds of spring have given way to the clouds of the Milky Way.  You know it's summer time when the Milky Way rises at night to show all of its incredible star-forming storms!

In this frame sits a collection of nebulae only about 11° from the north celestial pole / Polaris.  On the left side is the dark nebula LDN1228, and on the right is the bright(er) nebula LBN552, cataloged by Beverly Lynds in 1965.  This dim, diffuse galactic smog is much larger than what is shown here, with each nebula stretching several more fields-of-view in each direction.

Near the center of the image sits a unique orange reflection nebula, cataloged both as GN 21.00.4 and Cohen 129, which appears as a hill popping from the dimmer diffuse nebula region.  As orange nebulae are quite a rarity and this region overall seems to be under-photographed, it made for a very enticing target as the weather warms up.

Short nights and some optical tweaking made gathering the 11 hours of data in this photo a bit of a challenge, but I've emerged from the experience with a much better aligned telescope that I hope will pay dividends in my next post.  Fortunately, the shortest of nights are almost over, and we can start adding to our dark sky time once again!

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