Cloak and Wizard

NGC 7380 The Wizard Nebula and Dark Nebula

NGC 7380 The Wizard Nebula and Dark Nebula

“Cloak and Wizard”

LRGB was captured from my imaging site in the Siskyou volcanic wilderness under dark Bortle 2 skies. This is a few hours of LRGB with 12 minute subexposures with 3 hours (also 12 min subs) of Hydrogen-Alpha added from Frazier Park, California.  The luminance has more stars and shows more white-light features, especially that dark nebula that seems to interact in some way with the bright NGC 7380 Wizard Nebula.  So I really made an effort to blend the low-contrast but very rich luminance against the high contrast and darker H-Alpha.  Because the Wizard is in such a dense star field and compared to some emission nebulas it does not have a ton of contrast, it’s rarely photographed in white light only.  This is an attempt to preserve a natural white-light look and color while still benefitting from the extra contrast for the Wizard Nebula.

The dark nebula (towards upper right) is a rather low contrast feature but unique for this composition.  It has a trailing, tadpole-like dark lane extending from the dark nebula, with a star in the foreground having no effect or reflection scatter – otherwise it ought to have made the nebula appear blue.

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