M17 Omega Nebula

The Omega Nebula is between 5,000 and 6,000 light-years from Earth and it spans some 15 light-years in diameter. The cloud of interstellar matter of which this nebula is a part is roughly 40 light-years in diameter and has a mass of 30,000 solar masses. The total mass of the Omega Nebula is an estimated 800 solar masses.

It is considered one of the brightest and most massive star-forming regions of our galaxy. Its local geometry is similar to the Orion Nebula except that it is viewed edge-on rather than face-on.

An open cluster of 35 stars lies embedded in the nebulosity and causes the gases of the nebula to shine due to radiation from these hot, young stars; however the actual number of stars in the nebula is much higher – up to 800, 100 of spectral type earlier than B9, and 9 of spectral type O, plus >1000 stars in formation on its outer regions. It’s also one of the youngest clusters known, with an age of just 1 million years.

Omega Nebula (M17)

Object:

M17 Omega Nebula

Date:

July 18 and 19, 2013 (Ha)

Equipment:

Telescope: Takahashi Sky 90II with F/4.5 reducer/flattener

Camera: SBIG ST-2000XM w/ CFW9v2 (Astronomik HaLRGB)

Autoguider: Orion Starshoot

Guidescope: Orion 80mm Shorty

Mount: Celestron CG-5 Mount

Exposure Info:

Ha: 17 x 5 minDark and Flat Frame Calibrated

Total Exposure Time: 85 minutes

Processing:

Maxim DL 5.23, Photoshop CS6

Notes:

M17 was one of the first DSO’s I shot when I first started taking images of space with my DSLR so it was great to update the image with one taken with a CCD. The Moon was half full during this night so I will need to add RGB data at a later date

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