Jump to content

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Gum 85

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Rick J

Rick J

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6615
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Mantrap Lake, MN

Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:10 PM

The Tower of Babel that is the many catalog names for the same object got me again. Seems I entered this object on my to-do list twice, once under Gum 85 and once under SH2-54. The result is the computer that decides what to take, when, dutifully took SH2-54 back in August of 2010 and then again in August of 2012 took Gum 85. Processing so many images I didn't catch it until I finished the processing. Seeing this version is an improvement over the first I decided to run it. Besides, this was one of the few images taken under rather good skies all of 2012. The text below is mostly from that first posting which can be seen at http://www.spacebant...ntid=3710&stc=1 .

Sh2-54/Gum 85 is a huge star forming region in Serpens Cauda. It is part of the Serpens OB2 Association, a large star forming region. I couldn't find any distance for it but most consider it related to the open star cluster NGC 6604 (a couple degrees out of my frame). That does seem to have a good distance measurement of 5,500 light-years based on Hipparcos and other sources. Though I've found a very wide range on the net these seem to be based on older, less accurate measurements. For more on this area of the sky see:

Sh2-54 is far too large for my system being about 9 square degrees in area. It does have a brighter area that does fit my image scale so that's the part I centered on. Note there are several "elephant trunk" features in the image. They all point back to NGC 6604 confirming its association with this nebula.

You can see the entire nebula at Dean Salman's website:

Normally I display images with north up. I am making an exception here and have oriented it south up. This is because my sick brain sees this nebula looking like a chihuahua making a rather rude gesture with its front legs. Maybe it should be known as the Rude Chihuahua Nebula? Since a chihuahua's leg can't bend in that direction without breaking that may explain why it is mad. I should mention I'm no fan of that breed. My maternal grandmother carried one wherever she went (7 decades before Paris Hilton). I was 4 and told to kiss grandma good night. The dog chomped on my nose so hard I needed quite a few stitches. Next night I was told to do the same. I put up quite a fight but lost. This time the bandages helped, I only needed two stitches replaced. A couple days later my cat killed the blankety blank dog much to my glee. The dog annoyed it one too many times. Cat was 20 pounds of muscle (mostly Maine Coon), chihuahua 3.5 pounds of trembling "Jello" and sharp teeth. So is it getting back at me from the skies? My wife claims it looks like a pig but she had no encounters with that chihuahua.

14" LX200R @ f/10, L=4x10' RG=2x10'B=3X10' STL-11000XM, Paramount ME

Full image


Attached Files

#2 vpcirc



  • ****-
  • Posts: 4662
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2009
  • Loc: Merced CA

Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:12 PM

Nice Rick, where is that catalog available? Do you know if its available for the skyx?

#3 Rick J

Rick J

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6615
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Mantrap Lake, MN

Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:41 AM

This is where I made my error. I had a paper copy of the Gum Catalog of Southern HII objects for many decades, likely acquiring it back in the 50's from an old geezer (about 10 years younger than I am now) who gave me lots of things like that when I was getting started. What I didn't realize is that it is apparently fully incorporated into the Sharpless Catalog so is now considered obsolete. The normal source for catalogs is VizieR Service which is part of SIMBAD. They don't carry it, just the Sharpless catalog any more. They do carry other Gum catalogs, just not this one. Since most are too low for me I think I've only tried for one other on that list which, like this one, I now see I also picked up as a Sharpless object. The first attempt was so poor thanks to it being so low I never did process it so didn't catch this until I redid this one without knowing it. I had a couple others on the To-Do list, also so low they never got taken. I've changed them to Sharpless numbers if conditions ever allow.

A few more will be available from your Arizona latitude.


#4 Mark72


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 682
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Munich, Germany

Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:59 AM

Interesting one, thanks for pointing out.


#5 bill w

bill w

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10826
  • Joined: 26 Mar 2005
  • Loc: southern california

Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:10 AM

nice job on a low object
very photogenic at that scale
and yes, i see the chihuahua

#6 jshalpha


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 614
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2005
  • Loc: SF Bay Area

Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:30 PM

Nice shot Rick.

Jim S.

#7 urbanMark


    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 513
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2006
  • Loc: San Jose, CA

Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:05 PM


Nice shot and great story! Few astro photos have stories as entertaining as the "Rude Chihuahua Nebula". Much better name than Gum 85. Thread should be re-titled :)

#8 Rick J

Rick J

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6615
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Mantrap Lake, MN

Posted 27 April 2013 - 01:59 PM

Thanks for the comments. I'm surprised some see the chihuahua. Normally I fail to see these and when I do see something entirely different than others see. Rorschach wouldn't like me. I only see the inkblot no matter how hard I try. To me there's a monkey face in M42 no one else sees yet I can't shake it.

This one, as bill suggests, is pretty low for my latitude so not sure why I tried it in the first place let alone a second time. I'm not happy with the star colors but both times this is how they came out. Seems related to how I tried to reduce them. They really were dominant and apparently my star reduction technique (rarely used) isn't up to the task. Star colors seemed to map differently to the luminance after the stars in that frame were reduced. Maybe I need to do that after combining with the color data.


#9 Jim Thommes

Jim Thommes


  • ****-
  • Posts: 4143
  • Joined: 20 Sep 2004
  • Loc: San DiegoCA USA

Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:11 PM

Sounds like there are unresolved chihuahua issues....

The image is great. I have a wide field of this region like most people do. I find it interesting when you set your long FL optics on some of the details of larger objects it usually makes for an interesting view. (And sometimes an interesting story.)

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Recent Reviews

Imaging/Sketching Contest

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics