Getting back to my roots and trying black and white for the first time in my (short) astro career (I had a dark room for years). It's hard to judge - I need more experience with mono astro pics, but I like how much nebula structure it shows. I struggled with how far to take the star reduction, and maybe could take it further - most similar images do. But, the stars are there, so why not let them be so. Criticism welcome. Anyway, enjoy!
Interestingly, this mixed emission/reflection nebula has ties to Orion despite being half a sky away. IC405 is only about 1500 light years away. It is illuminated by AE Auriga, a very bright variable star that is not visible in this image, but is located behind the brightest part of the nebula. It's about 30,000 times the luminosity of the sun. This star was born in Orion and had a close encounter with another star within the stellar nursery. This interaction caused both stars to be ejected out of the nursery and into interstellar space. As the star moves further away from Orion (at a velocity of 90km/s from our perspective), it just happens to be currently passing behind an area of heavy interstellar gas and dust, illuminating the nebula and changing the shape and structure as it passes through.
32x900s Ha/Nii (5nm Ha filter)
Edited by drmikevt, 21 November 2017 - 11:00 PM.