I spent a long time on this. I still don’t think it’s perfect but I think it’s time to move on. It’s easy to get lost in pixel-sized details zoomed up 300% staring at noise and wondering how or if to remove it, especially with a high resolution image.
Anyway, I have been wondering if sometimes Hubble does get to take a picture just because something is so striking it deserves a beauty shot. I got the answer, which is yes, when I read the proposal for this one. (Hi, Zolt.) Aesthetic majesty took priority over science for a few observations. The other two were the venerable Horsehead and more obscure but no less wonderful Arp 142, which resembles a penguin. NGC 5189 has been said to resemble an eastern dragon. Together, they form a trio of creatures. A horse, a penguin, and a dragon; an unlikely gathering except in space where imagination reigns supreme.
Colors are as follows but with F502N occupying the green channel a little for that extra brightness since blue is such a dark color.
Red: F814W + F673N
Green: F606W + F657N
North is NOT up.
Hubble data is public domain, but I put a lot of work into combining it into beautiful color images. The minimal credit line should read: NASA / ESA / J. Schmidt
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.