Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

NGC 1333 - Reflection Nebula

Complex of Dark - Reflection Nebula - Star Forming Region



NGC 1333 is a very faint reflection nebula, dominated by bluish hues characteristic of starlight reflected by dust. It is located 1,000 light-years distant in the heroic constellation of Perseus.  NGC 1333 lies at the edge of a large, star-forming molecular cloud which is a member of a larger complex of faint emission and dark nebulosity that are all part of the much larger Perseus OB2 molecular cloud. 

 This image shows details of the dusty region along with hints of contrasting red emission from Herbig-Haro objects, jets and shocked glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars. In fact, NGC 1333 contains hundreds of stars less than a million years old, most still hidden from optical telescopes by the pervasive stardust. The chaotic environment may be similar to one in which our own Sun formed over 4.5 billion years ago.

North is to the left of this image.


  • Date & Location:  November  18/19-20/21-21/22 - 2014  - StarEffects Observatory, Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Breezy all three nights,  Average temperature all three nights 21F

  • Sky Conditions:  Average transparency all three nights.

  • SQM-L:  20:38 average, with peak 20:45.

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor  with 1.5 Extender -810mm @ f8.1

  • Filter:  CLS-CCD Astronomic DSLR clip in  (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  Orion SSAG @ 5 second exposures w/TeleVue TV60is

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  360 min (36 x 10 minute subs = 6 hours total) @ ISO 800 RAW using Custom White Balance

  • Calibration Frames:  No Darks-Bias Frames, 12 Field Flats & Darks w/Alnitak Flat Man - All Custom White Balance

  • Processing:  Images Plus 5.75a, PS CS6, RC Astro & NIK filters

  • Comments:  This was another new target for me and I wanted to capture as much exposure time as possible in order to bring out the finer details and colors of this beautiful nebula complex.  Probably about as good as I will get using a DSLR from my home location. 


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors