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A Cosmic Muddle: In the Tarantulum Nebula Region within the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) one finds numerous Emission- and Reflection Nebulae, only rarely photographed. But especially one region, west of the Tarantulum Nebula, shows in very deep exposures, as in this picture (left is north), an unsurpassed richness of nebulae, a real cosmic muddle.
The row-shaped arrangement of stars left of center is the Open Cluster NGC 2001. It is only one of many clusters contained in the image. The green-bluish nebula close to center is NGC 1966 with several other NGC objects within its boundaries.

The exact nature of many of these objects is still unknown. But they are all the result of a huge starbirth region, where stars are continuously born and dying, creating complex nebular structures in this process.

The image was taken at the IAS astronomical site at the Hakos farm in Namibia.


Object A Cosmic Muddle
Category IAS Hakos, Namibia
Designation NGC 2001
Constellation Dorado
Optics Keller 20 inch Cassegrain f/3 in corrected primary focus
Mount Liebscher GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M with internal CFW 5
Exposure 3 x 20min H-alpha, 3 x 20min [OIII], 3 x 10min each RGB. Baader filterset. Maxim DL for image acquisition
Calibration Dark + Flat Frame
Guiding StarlightXpress Lodestar on Schneider OAG, Maxim DL as Guiding Software
Processing MaxIm DL5,Photoshop. Color Code L:H-alpha,R:H-alpha/R,GB:[OIII]/GB
Location-Date IAS-Hakos, Namibia - 20+21 Oct 2014
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