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Hubble's Variable Nebula Animation - 22 Frames in 24 Weeks

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36 replies to this topic

#1 Tom Polakis

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:01 PM

The fan-shaped cloud that extends northward from the bright, illuminating star in this frame is called Hubble's Variable Nebula. As dust swirls in the immediate vicinity of the star, it casts shadows on the walls of the large shell, resulting in an ever-changing appearance.

 

This time-lapse GIF uses images that I have taken about weekly for the past six months.

 

It will be too close to the sun to observe for the next three months, but will return in the pre-dawn sky in August.

 

Images were taken with a 12 1/2" f/6.7 Dall-Kirkham telescope from my backyard in Tempe. They are typically averaged 5-minute exposures with an SBIG STXL-6300 camera that produces an image scale of 0.88 arcseconds per pixel. I  doubled the image scale in post-processing so viewers don't have to lean into the display so much.

 

Tom

 

163069532.N1hWgJJX.ngc2261_200_crop.gif


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#2 mikewayne3

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:07 PM

THAT'S WAY COOL!!!!!



#3 17.5Dob

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:19 PM

Very Nice !! :waytogo:



#4 Astrola72

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:26 PM

Thanks Tom. That's amazing!

 

- Joe



#5 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:35 PM

That is the most amazing thing I have seen in a long time.  WOW.  I had no idea it varied that much.  That's some serious dedication!



#6 Rick J

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:43 PM

Very nice.  I've been hoping someone would do this.  My weather has made it impossible the last three years.  I've suspected orbiting clouds casting shadows on the nebula cause most of the change.  Your image seems to support this with clouds moving west to east and the shadow moving further from the star at the same time.

 

Rick


Edited by Rick J, 30 April 2016 - 05:49 PM.


#7 freestar8n

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:49 PM

Nice job.

Frank

#8 Tom Polakis

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:52 PM

Thanks for looking.  There is some pretty good background on what causes the variations at this site.

 

http://www.umanitoba...troduction.html

 

Tom



#9 chrisg

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:54 PM

Extremely cool....wow...



#10 DesertRat

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 06:23 PM

Impressive work Tom! Very well done and thanks for posting.

 

Glenn



#11 City Kid

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 06:31 PM

That is very cool. I've looked at Hubble's Variable Nebula but I've not looked at it a lot. Do you look at it visually every week or just take a photo? I'm asking because I'm wondering if you notice those kinds of changes visually from one week to another. I guess I didn't realize it changed that much on such a short time scale.



#12 Tom Polakis

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 06:48 PM

That is very cool. I've looked at Hubble's Variable Nebula but I've not looked at it a lot. Do you look at it visually every week or just take a photo? I'm asking because I'm wondering if you notice those kinds of changes visually from one week to another. I guess I didn't realize it changed that much on such a short time scale.

 

Sadly, all of those images were taken from my backyard site, in which only the brightest regions of the Cygnus Milky Way are visible when it's straight overhead, so visual deep-sky observing is futile.  When I was doing a similar project (with far fewer images) back in 1999, I also viewed it several times with my 20-inch at a dark site.  Some changes were detectable visually, but only the grossest variations were visible.  Note that the shape of the envelope doesn't change, even over long time scales.  The variations are confined to the innermost area, and are pretty subtle.

 

Tom


Edited by Tom Polakis, 30 April 2016 - 06:48 PM.

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#13 Jon Rista

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 12:31 AM

This is pretty awesome. Amazing amount of activity there, for such a short timescale. 



#14 Cyclop_si

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 02:09 AM

Crazy good and illustrative animation! It deserves APOD.



#15 lambermo

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 02:07 PM

This is awesome !  :bow:



#16 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 02:23 PM

Tom,

That is incredible!  What a cool project and I love the result.  You get my vote of IOTD.  This is definitely worth submitting to the APOD guys.

John



#17 JJK

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 03:42 PM

Excellent!


Edited by JJK, 02 May 2016 - 03:42 PM.


#18 rigel123

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 04:22 PM

That's just amazing!



#19 josh smith

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 04:28 PM

Seriously cool!

#20 hytham

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 09:26 PM

Now THAT's an APOD worthy image!

Fantastic work.


Edited by hytham, 02 May 2016 - 09:26 PM.


#21 Synon

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 01:08 AM

Whoa!!! Thanks for sharing! Great work!



#22 Hawkdl2

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 11:12 PM

Incredible!  



#23 Matt Mofidi

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:09 AM

The effort and the commitment to get this animation completed is just incredible. I also did not know that it changes this much over months of time.

Could not find anything of the same quality on the web. Caltech had an animation for another variable nebula created by HBC 340 and HBC 341, but noisy and low res.


Edited by Matt Mofidi, 05 May 2016 - 02:12 AM.


#24 raf1

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:53 AM

Pass the APOD please.

 

CS, Ron



#25 adamland

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:17 PM

Awesome! So cool to see a deep sky object with visible change over such a short timeframe




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