NGC2174 The Monkey Face Nebula

NGC2174 is a nebula some 7200 light years distant. It is also known as Sharpless 2-252.


Presented here are three versions of the nebula taken through narrow band filters. The first is through a 3nm Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) filter. It consists of 16 x 900s subs through a Megrez 90 telescope with an Atik 460EX CCD camera and 0.8x focal reducer.

The second coloured image is obtained by combining the Ha data with 5 x 1200s subs taken through an 8nm Oxygen III filter with the same scope etc.

The final image is in addition using data taken through a Sulphur II 8nm filter (8 x 1200s). The SII signal was extremely weak but enabled the following tri-colour image in the hubble palette to be produced.

With narrow band imaging the colours are false colours but enable different features in the structure of the nebula to be seen. People’s opinion as to which of the above two colour images is better is very divided. Personally I like them both but have a small preference for the hubble palette version.

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