Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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Sh2-86 & 6823

Color Mapped Narrowband

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

Click here to view the image without Zoomify (1800 x 1200)



12.5" RCOS @  ~f/9 (2880 mm fl) 0.64 arcsec / pixel.  The Zoomify image scale is 1.28 to 3.07 arcsec / pixel.


Paramount ME


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

Acquisition Data

8/30/2010 to 10/11/2010 Chino Valley, AZ... with CCDAutoPilot3 & CCDSoft.  AOL guided


SII   510 min (17 x 30 min, bin 1x1)
Ha   540 min (18 x 30 min, bin 1x1)
OIII  630 min (21 x 30 min, bin 1x1)

Click here for the RGB natural color image.
Click here for the B & W Ha filtered image)


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

  • PixFix32 (pre-beta) to repair column defects & pixels.

  • CCDStack to calibrate, register, normalize, data reject and combining the sub exposures.

  • PhotoShop for non-linear stretching, RGB combine.


North is to the left.

The emission nebula, Sh2-86, and the open star cluster, NGC 6823, are located in the constellation Vulpecula, at a distance of about 6000 light-years. The Sh2-86 nebula surrounds and is illuminated by the cluster. The remarkable pillar like features, below and left of NGC 6823, are probably formed by radiation from the brightest nearby cluster stars.  The shape of the dark elongated nebula structures noticeably point back to the star cluster.


This false color image was acquired with SII, Ha and OIII filters mapped to the RGB channels respectively.  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 image was further processed to produce the orange and blue colors, made popular by the Hubble Imaging Team.