Most of the astrophotography you see has a common theme, beautifully colored and highly detailed images of some nebula or galaxy somewhere, unlike Clark 549. People don’t shoot the stuff without tons of detail and/or colors. Shame really. Here is an image of a dark nebula, or a nebula that is dark (duh!). The only way you see it is because you can see where it blocks the stars behind it.
This example of dark nebula is Barnard 143, or Clark 549, or as I refer to it, the Lyre Nebula (I hope you can see why). I have shot this image before in October of last year but it really did not do it justice. I am not sure this image does either but it certainly conveys more of the feeling I wanted to with this target so here it is. Sometimes it isn’t what you see, but what you don’t see that is interesting.
I am sure this will continue to be a favorite target of mine as I try to get the dark dust lanes to stand out more. You can see some wonderful dust lanes in my images of the Orion Nebula for example. If I stretch the image far too much I can see the start of the dust lanes jumping out. Maybe when I get a CCD and get really good with it I can make this a priority target. I have a feeling that a mono CCD will really bring those details to life. Unfortunately the mono may increase detail, but it will lose those wonderful blue and yellow stars surrounding the dust lanes.
I plan on checking out many more of these nebulae in the future. Stay tuned to hopefully see many more images of these kinds of targets.
You can find out more about a dark nebula such as Clark 549 at Wikipedia.
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