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Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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Melotte 15  Color Mapped

      Click the full screen zoom button           ^
Click the image to Zoom and Pan              

Click here to view the image without Zoomify (1500 x 2000)  


      Click the full screen zoom button           ^
Click the image to Zoom and Pan              

Click here to view the image without Zoomify (1500 x 2000)    


12.5" RCOS @  ~f/9 (2880 mm fl) 0.643 arcsec / pixel.  Zoomify image scale is 0.86 to 2.14 arcsec / pixel.


Paramount ME


SBIG STL-11000 w/ internal filter wheel, AstroDon 6nm Filters

Acquisition Data

09/29/2009 to 10/23/2009 Chino Valley, AZ... with CCDAutoPilot3 & CCDSoft.


SII   480 min (16 x 30 min. bin 1x1)

Ha    540 min (18 x 30 min. bin 1x1)
OIII  720 min (24 x 30 min. bin 1x1)
Lum  240 min ( 8 x 30 min, bin 1x1)

RGB  450 min ( 5 x 30 min each, bin 1x1)

SII, Ha & OIII are mapped to RGB respectivly. 
The lower image has 30% LRGB data added.

Click here for an LRGB natural color version.

Click here for an Ha filtered b/w version.


CCDSoft, CCDStack, Photoshop CS w/ the Fits Liberator plugin and Noel Carboni's actions.

Noel Carboni's StarSpikes Pro was used to restore and sharpen the normal spider defraction spikes.

PixFix32 (pre-beta) to repair hot/cold pixels and column defects.

CCDStack to calibrate, register, normalize, data reject, combine the sub exposures & LRGB color combine.

PhotoShop for on-linear stretching and LRGB color combine


North is to the top.
Located at the center of its parent emission nebula, IC 1805 (The Heart nebula), is the star cluster Melotte 15. Stellar winds and radiation, from the young hot massive stars in the cluster, form the nebula gasses into this beautiful tree like sculpture. IC 1805 is about 7,500 light years away, toward the constellation Cassiopeia. It is illuminated by Melotte 15, which is located about 50 light years closer.

These false color images were acquired with Ha, SII and OIII filters mapped to the RGB channels respectively. The colors of top image more closely follow the Hubble Palette, with the color channels pretty much stretched to equal levels.  The presence of sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen are clearly shown. Red indicates the presence sulfur, green hydrogen and blue oxygen. With no color manipulation, the image would be basically green, due to the dominance of hydrogen.

The lower image was processed with 30% added LRGB data to produce a different color motif.