EbolaBooze’s Fortnightly Astro Corner – The Cat’s Paw Nebula

This time, we’re scooting over to the constellation of Scorpius, where there are some very large, very complex, but quite dim emission nebulae. These nebulae will need a telescope of 254mm aperture in a dark-sky site, at minimum, to observe visually. Best results are definitely through photography.

The subject in question this fortnight has the designation NGC 6334, more commonly known as the Cat’s Paw nebula, or the Bear Claw nebula. I personally prefer Cat’s paw, as it’s closer in the requisite number of pads.

It primarily is composed of ionised hydrogen with a smattering of other elements, with stronger emission in the sulphur rather than oxygen lines.

Cat's paw 9000s Hubble

This particular picture is a false-colour composite of hydrogen-alpha, oxygen-III and sulphur-II emissions colourised according to the Hubble palette.

It was a fun one for me as well, since the combined integration time across all of the exposures and filters was exactly 9001 seconds.


Clear skies!

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