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VDB 9 (Gallery).jpg

      ​                                   VDB 9, VDB 7, LDN 1357, 1355, 1358 - Dark and Bright Nebula

     A "Giving Hand" – one of the popular nicknames for this object. But it is also known as "Helping Hand",  "Bowler Hand" and "Cosmic Hand" among the Astrophotographers.  A truly faint, clumped dust in northern Cassiopeia constellation brings us this interesting view of this area. This area includes two different kinds of nebula. One of which is the reflection nebula, a dust clouds that lightened up by reflected light of nearby star and second is totally the opposite, the dark nebula, were dust clouds so cold and compressed that they absorb all of the light coming from background stars, which is also makes these objects very challenging to image.

     That whole area is a rich complex of dark nebula, but most obvious and largest of them on the left, going under their cataloged name (Lynd's Dark Nebula) LDN 1357 (Fingers), LDN 1355 (Palm) and above the center LDN 1358 (Shoulder).  You can also check the annotated version on my website for easy reference.

     On the right side, somewhat bright golden reflection nebula is VDB 7 (Van Den Bergh Catalog), which lies in proximity of a bright variable star RZ Cass.  RZ Cass is a white eclipse star of 6th magnitude, which makes it harder to do observations of VDB 7 nebula, being at 4.6 magnitude. Interestingly, RZ Cass is not the star that illuminating VDB 7 nebula, but a much weaker star of 11th magnitude in the area. 

     On the left side, just below the "hand", is another reflection nebula – VDB 9. This reflection nebula does get illuminated by embedded bright variable star SU Cass. Dust of VDB 9 reflecting the light from SU Cass and makes visible it's lined up structures, with bluish tint which often associates with reflection nebulas. SU Cass is about 1400 light years away, while RZ Cass is "only" about 200 light years away. 


Technical Info:

Optics :          Takahashi FSQ106-EDX4 @ F5 @ 530 mm

Camera :        QSI 660 WSG-8 

Filters :          Astrodon Gen 2 E-Series - LRGB Filter Set - 1.25"

Mount :          NEQ-6 Pro (Self Hypertuned/Belt Mod)​

Guiding:         QSI OAG + SX Lodestar X2  

Acquisition :    Sequence Generator Pro (3.0.3) 

Exposure :      Lum (1x1) -  164 x 180     8 Hours 12 Minutes

                      R     (1x1) -   27 x 540     4 Hours 03 Minutes

                      G     (1x1) -   22 x 540     3 Hours 18 Minutes

                      B     (1x1) -   26 x 540     3 Hours 54 Minutes

                      Total Exposure: 19 Hours 27 Minutes

​Processing :    PixInsight 01.08.06

Date:             (14.09.2018) (28-29.09.2019)

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