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IC 2599 - The Gabriela Mistral Nebula


Gary

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Ah, yes, another one of those ‘named’ nebulae. Although a singular honour, I do wonder, occasionally, if the person has ever looked into the eyepiece and thought “Really? I look like that?” IC 2599 is also known as the Gabriela Mistral Nebula, in honour of one of Chile’s most famous poets and Nobel Prize recipients. It’s good to see some southern hemisphere folks getting some celestial recognition. The nebula is in the Carina constellation, approximately 7500 ly from us and spans about 40 ly across. IC 2599 is associated with the open cluster NGC 3324 – a very luminous group of hot, young stars – that provides the radiative energy heating and sculpting the nebula. Because IC 2599 is a strong HII region, and because the only clear nights I had to capture the data were lit by the moon, I decided to image in H-alpha light. This is what gives it its vivid, monochromatic red hue. 

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