Planetary Nebula in Cassiopeia

RA: 01h 30m 36.0s Dec: +58 22' 00 Mag: 10, Size: 2.5pc, Distance: 850pc

Click image for a larger view

   Sharpless 2-188 is a planetary nebula located in the constellation Cassiopeia. First discovered in 1951 at the Simiez observatory in Russia and cataloged as Simiez 22 and later cataloged by Sharpless as Sh2-188, this object was thought to be a super nova remnant due to its wispy filament structure. It wasn't until the 1990's that this was classified as a planetary nebula. Similar in appearance to Sh2-274 (Medusa Nebula) Sh2-188 is the result of a dying star shedding its outer layers of gas and dust though its age is thought to be only 22,500 years.
   A unique feature of this nebula is the faint but visible leading edge ahead of the brighter filament structure at the left side in this image. This area displays a bow shock effect which is the result of the nebulas fast moving central star speed of approximately 125km/sec interacting with the interstellar medium. The direction of movement is towards the brighter filament on the left while the fainter structure is the trailing side. The larger image has a mouse over to identify these objects. Research done by C.J. Wareing et al, in 2005 using a computer generated "Triple Wind" modeling has produced results that verify the formation of the Sh2-188 structure and its bow shock.
   As with planetary nebulas the ejected stellar material back into space can eventually become future stars, planets and even the foundation elements for life.

Location & Date Backyard, Abbott Observatory - October 2010
Temperature - Mid 40's F
Telescope H-alpha - Deep Sky Instruments RC10C , F/7.3, Losmandy G11 Gemini, Prime Focus, Image scale 0.82 arcsec/pixel
RGB (2007 data)- TMB 130SS Refractor, F/7 on a Losmandy G11, Prime Focus, Image scale 1.68 arcsec/pixel
Camera SBIG ST-2000XM w/CFW8, AO8
Baader HaLRGB AR Filters
CCD temp -15C
Exposure Times (Ha) 40x15m Bin 1x1, RGB 5X10m Bin 2x2
Other Information Image planning - CCD Navigator
Image acquisition/focus/guiding/dither - CCD Autopilot4 w/CCDSoft/TheSky6/PinPoint
Image Processing * CCDStack- Calibration, Normalize, Alignment, Mean Combine
* FITS Liberator 3 - stretching
* Adobe CS4 - Ha used for Lum, Ha+R,GB combine, Levels, Curves, Sharpening, NR, JPEG conversion

© 2010 Michael A. Siniscalchi