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​"The Heart Nebula (IC 1805) in Ha/RGB" - by Ken Walker ( February 25, 2022)

​"The Heart Nebula (IC 1805) in Ha/RGB" - by Ken Walker ( February 25, 2022)

Posted by Stellarvue StellarShot on 25th Feb 2022

Stellar Shot of the Week: February 25, 2022
"The Heart Nebula (IC 1805) in Ha/RGB" - by Ken Walker

Congratulations to this week's StellarShot of the week, which goes to a fantastic shot of the Heart Nebula (IC1805) taken by Ken Walker and his SVX102T. This is a pretty common target, especially during February with Valentine's Day, but we think Ken really knocked it out of the park with his combination of narrowband and broadband data. Ken used a blend of H-alpha and RGB data that came from a couple weeks of "hit or miss imaging". He used the Ha filter as the Luminance data, and then combined the RGB data like normal except for adding Ha to the red channel. It was this broadband coloration that gives the images such a deep, reddish hue rather than some of the wilder color schemes you can get from purely narrowband renditions. The stars too have the characteristic mix of colors we expect from RGB data, and all of this comes together with the tack-sharp detail from a purely Hydrogen-alpha luminance channel.

The Heart Nebula is located in the constellation of Cassiopeia, and it sits about 7500 light years from earth. The reason Ken's hybrid processing style looks so good here is because it is a very heavy HII region, and many young, super-hot stars can be found throughout the nebula. The central cluster of stars found in the Heart Nebula has the designation of Melotte 15, and it is thanks to the extreme amount of energy these stars put out that the nebula glows in the characteristic deep-red of ionized hydrogen.

Great work by Ken, and be sure to check out the rest of his work on Flickr, under the username "kwalker501"(

Please submit your own shots any time by email (using or by tagging them with #stellarvue and #stellarshot.

Image details:

  • Imaging Telescope: Stellarvue SVX102T-R w/ SFFX-1
  • Imaging Camera: SBIG STL11000M
  • Imaging Filters: Astrodon RGB 18x600 (per ch), Baader 7.5Nm Ha filter 24x600
  • Imaging Mount: Losmandy G11T
  • Guiding Camera: Lodestar
  • Software: SG-Pro, PixInsight