This celestial flower is dedicated to Mia my daughter, my lovely purple butterfly...
Total Exposure Time: 4:00 hours Ha(bin1); RGB(bin2),
LRGB 60:60:60:60 / 24 frames of 10 minutes each
This image is 3454x2566 pixels
Officina Stellare Riccardi-Honders Veloce RH 200 OTA
Officina Stellare - http://www.officinastellare.com/products_scheda.php?idProd=15
On my site - http://www.pbase.com/boren/officina_stellare_riccardihonders_veloce_rh_200
Deeper technical informaiton on the Riccardi-Honders design - http://www.telescope-optics.net/honders_camera.htm
SBIG STL11000M, AP GTO1200 mount, guided w/PHD
A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's largest star forming (HII) regions. Like the smaller, more northerly famous Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. Although it is some four times as large and even brighter than the Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is much less well known, due to its location in the southern sky. It was discovered by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751–52 from the Cape of Good Hope (ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eta_Carinae_Nebula)
This telescopic portrait reveals remarkable details of the region's glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds. Wider than the Full Moon in angular size, the field of view has a visual magnitude of 1.0, and stretches more than 100 light-years across the nebula and its surroundings. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the still enigmatic variable Eta Carinae, a star with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. Eta Carinae is the brightest star right "under" the dusty Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324). While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory (ref. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071027.html and http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110609.html).
NGC 3324 is the emission/reflection nebula, whose shape and color resemble a red hood at the very top left of the image. I have named it "The Red Hood" nebula, though a name I have found for it is the "Gabriela Mistral" nebula - because of the striking resemblance with the Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet, who was born and raised in the Elqui region, home to the Cerro Tololo, Cerro Pachon and Cerro Morado professional observatories (ref. http://www.astrosurf.com/antilhue/NGC%203324.htm).