Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
IC 348 Star Forming Region
Reflection - Dark Nebula Complex
IC 348 is an open star cluster with Nebulosity in the constellation of Perseus. The core of the cluster is in the upper left portion of this image. The bright star is Omicron Persei, commonly known as Atik, a 3.85 magnitude white giant star with a surface temperature of 46.700F. IC 348 is a young star forming region whose age is estimated at about 2 million years and is located about 1,000 light years distant from Earth. In this wide field image, the broader dust areas of this region can be see extending to the right and include the dark nebula Barnard 3 & 4. What makes this field so fascinating is not only what is seen, but also the hints of activity hidden amid the darkness. This great molecular cloud harbors the formation of new solar systems.
A difficult target to process, the dust swaths are very faint so the image needs to be stretched strongly, this makes it very difficult keeping the brighter stars controlled, particularly Atik from blowing out completely in size and brightness. Image was captured over a three night period and required nearly 5 hours of exposure time in order to bring out the faint dust swaths. North is up.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors