IC443 - Supernova Remnant in Gemini


Copyright 2005 Hap Griffin

This is a photo of one of the most important processes in the universe...the remnants of a star which has ended its life in a colossal explosion and is scattering the heavier chemical elements it has synthesized during its lifetime back into space, to be incorporated into future stars and planetary systems.  Elements heavier than hydrogen are only synthesized in the interiors of stars by nuclear fusion, with the heaviest elements created only in the enormous energies of a supernova explosion.   The iron in your blood and the calcium in your bones was created in the interior of a past generation of stars.  Joanie Mitchell sang in her song "Woodstock", "we are stardust"...we truly are.

IC443 is sometimes called the "Jellyfish Nebula" because of its shape.  The bright star to the right of IC443 is Propus, a 3rd magnitude red giant that shines with the power output of 2400 suns.  Propus lies in the foreground at 350 light-years distant while IC443 lies at a distance of 5000 light-years.  The blue reflection nebula at the upper left and the faint red emission nebula at the left are part of the large IC444 complex which extends beyond this photo.

Registar reports 15,200 stars in this photograph.

Date/Location:    February 4, 2005     Griffin/Hunter Observatory    Bethune, SC
Instrument:    Canon 300D Digital SLR (modified) through Orion ED80 w/ Meade .63 Focal Reducer piggybacked on LX-200 
Focal Ratio:   Approx. f4.5
Guiding:    Auto through LX-200 w/ SBIG ST-237
Conditions:    Visually clear
Weather:    37 deg. F 
Exposure: 80 minutes total @ ISO 800 (16 x 5 min exposures) calibrated with flat frame and Master Dark frame (median combine of 9 darks)
Filters:    Baader UV/IR Block
Processing:    Focused and captured with DSLRFocus.  RAW to TIFF conversion, frame calibrations, Digital Development, Adaptive Richardson_Lucy deconvolution, scaling and JPEG conversion with ImagesPlus.  Frame alignment in Registar.  Noise reduction with NeatImage.