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Extraterrestrial Butterfly

It's been quite cloudy lately so I've had to dig deeper into the Bent Nail Observatory archives to find new images to post. Last summer while doing calibration and setup of the Midfield Rig, I explored an area in Cygnus. This area is known to have a lot of hydrogen gas and I netted this specimen.

These nebulae are charmingly referred to as The Butterfly or more officially as LBN245 and LBN249 (for Lynds' Bright Nebulae, as cataloged by astronomer Beverly Lynds in the 1960s.) These are not the showiest objects in the night sky, but their subtle beauty tells a story of the quiet vastness of space.

I used an Optolong LPro filter for 30 x 5-minute frames and a Hydrogen Alpha filter for 28 x 10-minute frames to capture the nebulosity. I then took 20 x 5-minute frames with a Red filter, a Green filter, and then a Blue filter to get the stars. The images were combined in Pixinsight and Photoshop.

Here is a tighter crop on LBN249 that shows how a dark cloud of dust is obscuring the glowing hydrogen behind it.

The Butterfly is located near Sadr in the constellation of Cygnus.


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