IC 405 (also known as the Flaming Star Nebula, SH 2-229, or Caldwell 31) is an emission/reflection nebula in the constellation Auriga, surrounding the bluish star AE Aurigae. It shines at magnitude +6.0. Its celestial coordinates are RA 05h 16.2m dec +34° 28′. It surrounds the irregular variable star AE Aurigae and is located near the emission nebula IC 410, the open clusters M38 and M36, and the naked-eye K-class star Hassaleh. The nebula measures approximately 37.0′ x 19.0′, and lies about 1,500 light-years away. It is believed that the proper motion of the central star can be traced back to the Orion’s Belt area. The nebula is about 5 light-years across.
Mediocre conditions at my dark site in terms of haze / fog early on turning to all fog later so only 2.5 hours of exposure on this one. Combined with the new light pollution from the gas companies this isn’t a great image but it was a good test for the A694 camera and the Atlas mount throwing the longish AP130EDT f/8 refractor around.
The A694 finally saw first light after an extended bought of bad weather and other personal issues. This is a single 20 minute frame without any bias, dark, or flat calibration taken through an AP130EDT f/8 reduced to f/6.35 with the AP 0.75X reducer all riding on an Atlas mount.
I recently took delivery on a long awaited Apogee A694 CCD Camera. This camera uses the Sony ICX694AGL Chip which sports 4.54 x 4.54 micron sized pixels with a high peak QE of 77% and low read noise / dark current. The small size and light weight of the camera head (1.4 lbs) and integrated filterwheel (1.85 lbs) is a pleasant change from the U8300 and U16 with massive filterwheels requiring very robust focusers. The short backfocus allows allows 1.25″ filters to be used without vignetting on 4/3’s size chips like the A8050 camera which I also have on hand. The short backfocus also allows standard camera lens use in front of the FW and I am working on testing adapters for Pentax M42 screw mount lenses as well as eventually making an adapter for Canon Eos lenses. The 694 is a somewhat smaller chip than the KAI-8050 used int he A8050 but it boasts better sensitivity and improved noise characteristics particularly when looking at Hydrogen Alpha emission line imaging. (Interline chips typically drop off in sensitivity in the red but the Sony chip seems to far better than most in this regard.)