A Swirl in Cygnus (part of IC 1318)

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About this Image

Around the mag 2 star Gamma-Cygni in the center of the Swan constellation, there is an extended emission nebula, designated IC 1318.
This image shows a small part of this nebula east of Gamma-Cygni. The swirl in reality consists of light absorbing dust and gas, twisted and blown away by the radiation of young, hot stars and by gravitational interaction.
The bisected nebula region east (right) of Gamma Cygni which is named the Butterfly Nebula because of its two-winged appearance. The distance to this area is estimated at approx. 1600 light years.

Image is centered on RA 20:25:52, DEC 40:20:00; North is up.

Technical Details


16" cassegrain at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -15C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik H-alpha 15 nm
Date July 17, 2006.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5 sky, temperature 20 C
Exposure Ha = 150 minutes (30 minute sub-exposures), binned 2x2.
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.11;
Processing: CCDstack, Photoshop CS2;