Gamma Cassiopeia Region with IC59 and IC63

Camera: Starlight Xpress SXVF-H16 with FLI CFW-2-7 Filter Wheel

Mount: Losmandy G-11/Gemini

Scope: Astro-Physics Starfire AP130 EDF

Colors: L:R:G:B

Exposure Time: 120:60:60:60 minutes

Post-Production: MaxIm DL, CCDStack, PixInsight, and Photoshop CS3

IC59 and IC63 are a combination of emission and reflection nebulae located near the bright star Gamma in the constellation of Cassiopeia. The blue reflection portion of the nebulosity is illuminated by the light of Gamma which varies in brightness from magnitude 1.6 to 3.0, and is located the the middle of the Cassiopeia asterism that looks like the letter "M" or "W" depending on its orientation. Although Gamma is a very bright star, it has no Arabic or Latin name. It does, however, have the nickname of "Navi". Gus Grissom, the second astronaut in space for the United States, named this star after his own middle name (Ivan) spelled backwards. Gamma, or Navi, was used historically for celestial navigation because it was very easy to find and identify in the night sky. This area is difficult to photograph because the light from the star can overwhelm the image. When captured and processed carefully, the results can be mystifying.

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