Astrophotograph of the Embryo Nebula NGC 1333

This is my astrophotograph of the Embryo Nebula NGC 1333, also sometimes known as the Phantom Tiara. There are several things going on in this image: Partly it shows a reflection nebula, which is where star light is reflected back off nearby clouds with a shift towards the blue part of the spectrum (as the dust grains in these clouds scatter blue light more efficiently). It also shows, however, a star forming region with red emissions from Herbig-Haro objects (that is, jets of glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars) and pervasive dust clouds that block out the light from hundreds of background stars. Overall, the ‘scene’ in this photo is a rather chaotic one.


  • 116× 130-s light frames (4 hr 11 min 20 s total)
  • 107× dark frames
  • 44× flat frames
  • 40× dark flat frames
  • 114× bias frames


  • Explore Scientific ED 102 mm Apo f/7 refractor
  • Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO SynScan GOTO equatorial mount
  • Altair GPCAM3 290C colour camera (with UVIR window fitted) and 0.5× reducer
  • Altair 60mm guide scope
  • Altair GPCAM2 AR0130 mono guide camera


  • Sharpcap
  • PHD2
  • DeepSkyStacker
  • Photoshop

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