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Image of the Week

Image of the Week, May 6, 2019

Witch Head Nebula, by Utkarsh Mishra

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Data acquisition and copyright – DSS POSS II, ESO, STScI
Processing – Utkarsh Mishra, FITS Liberator, Photoshop Creative Cloud

FITS images downloaded from DSS POSS II survey and processed.


Histogram stretching using levels of red and blue tiff, applied gaussian blur many times, combined both images into RGB document, made synthetic green channel, screen mask invert, HDR toning, camera raw, LAB color adjustments for better colors, color balance, Gradient Exterminator, star reduction, curve balancing.

All done in Photoshop.

Details about the object

IC 2118 (also known as Witch Head Nebula due to its shape) is an extremely faint reflection nebula believed to be an ancient supernova remnant or gas cloud illuminated by nearby supergiant star Rigel in Orion. It lies in the Eridanus constellation, about 900 light-years from Earth. The nature of the dust particles, reflecting blue light better than red, is a factor in giving the Witch Head its blue color. Radio observations show substantial carbon monoxide emission throughout parts of IC 2118, an indicator of the presence of molecular clouds and star formation in the nebula. In fact candidates for pre-main sequence stars and some classic T-Tauri stars have been found deep within the nebula. (Source: Wikipedia)

About the processor

Utkarsh Mishra
Location: India

Facebook, Flickr

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