High clouds Barnard 174

This is Barnard 174 (lower right) and Barnard 173 (top and little right from the center) dark nebulae. Small dark blob in the upper right corner next to two brighter (10mag) stars has not found its place in Barnard catalogue, so it is nameless dark cloud. And the largest blue ball in the frame is lambda Cephei blue supergiant of spectral type O6.5. It is one of the most luminous stars that can be seen with naked eye, its apparent magnidute is 5.04. This star is about 15 times larger than Sun, about 45 times more massive and radiates almost 500 000 times more energy than our morning star. Pretty impressive!

Unfortunately conditions those nights I made this picture were less impressive 🙁 I gathered 6 hours of luminance one night (November, 21st) and 120 minutes of RGB next night. But there were some high clouds present, so the stars have significant halos around 🙁 Well, that’s life. Picture was made from my backyard using 130mm refractor and QHY163M camera on EQ6 mount. Processing LRGB data collected under suburban light pollutes sky is not any fun, but more like a real challenge. Despite these high clouds and gradients I am quite happy with the outcome below.

Barnard 173 and 174 dark nebulae
Barnard 173 and 174 dark nebulae

Clear skies!

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