Surprisingly, this object does not have a common name. Well, N49 is what it is most commonly referred to, but that’s kind of ambiguous. If you type N49 into SIMBAD it interprets it as NGC49. Anyway, it’s a pretty cool thing and Hubble does a wonderful job revealing its details.
In natural color, the whole thing is rather uniform, but narrowband imagery reveals its complex composition. For this image, I combined both narrowband and wideband data in a way I have never done before. Narrowband images tend to leave the stars looking odd or nearly invisible while the wideband data makes them feel more realistic. Why not have the best of both worlds?
In order to do this using Photoshop, first I arranged all the narrowband data in its usual order: long wavelength to short (R=f673n, G=f656n, B=f502n). I then placed the wideband data in its corresponding order (R=f547m, G=f380w, B=f300w) with it on Lighten blending mode. Because the stars are much brighter than the nebula in the wideband data, that meant it almost exclusively affected the stars. I looks nice like this, if I do say so myself. Note that this is definitely not a natural color view, even for the stars. There isn’t enough data available in the archive to even attempt that.
If you want to venture out of the optical realm, here is a version with x-ray data from the Chandra archive: geckzilla.com/astro/LHA120-N49_Chandra.png
Of course, the Chandra website also has a very informative article explaining what the x-ray data means: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2010/n49/
Red: hst_08110_01_wfpc2_f673n_wf_sci + (Lighten) hst_06827_02_wfpc2_f547m_pc_sci
Green: hst_08110_01_wfpc2_f656n_wf_sci + (Lighten) hst_06827_02_wfpc2_f380w_wf_sci
Blue: hst_08110_01_wfpc2_f502n_wf_sci + (Lighten) hst_06827_02_wfpc2_f300w_pc_sci
North is NOT up, but it almost is. It’s only 5.3° counter-clockwise from 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.