Inside of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)
N44 - N51 - N57


At about 163000 light-years, in the austral constellations Dorado and Mensa, lays the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).
Inside this galaxy (one of the closest to ours) are the huge N44, N51 and N57 emission zones.

With a total integration time of 8 hours (96 x 5 minutes individual subframes) this image was taken in 3 sessions: one in San Antonio de Areco, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the other two in La Banderita Observatory, La Pampa, Argentina during October 2018.

The used equipment setup: Newton GSO 200 F4 with GPU Comma Corrector, Canon 600D/T3i modified and refrigerated (sensor measured and regulated temperature 0°C), Astronomik CLS CCD filter, SkyWatcher NEQ6 mount, and homemade electronic focuser and anti-dew systems.

The following images (crops of the main image) show some of the interesting features of this zone.

This is the N57 zone, where the most prominent objects are NGC2014, NGC2020, NGC 2040 and NGC 2030/2032/2035 (Dragon's Head Nebula).

N57 Here appear NGC2014 (the reddish bubble at right) and NGC2020 (light blue/greenish at left).

NGC2014 Next image shows NGC 2030/2032/2035 (the brighter zone at right) and NGC 2040 (the reddish-blueish bubble at left).
While NGC 2030/2032/2035 are due to ionization and reflexion generated by young energetic stars, NGC 2040 is a Super Nova Remnant (SNR), consequence of the explosion of a star at the end of its life.
NGC 2030/2032/2035 is also known as Dragon's Head Nebula.

NGC2032 Following image is the detail of the N51 zone, showing the NGC 1955, NGC 1968 and NGC 1974 objects.

N51 Next, the N44 zone, with the IC2128, NGC 1929, NGC 1935, NGC 1936, NGC 1937 objects.
The "hole" appearing among the last ones is 250 light-years across.

N44 Finally, an annotated image of the whole zone, showing the mentioned objects:


Technical data

Acquisition site San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires, Argentina
La Banderita Observatory, La Pampa, Argentina
Acquisition dates 10-6-2018 (San Antonio de Areco - 1 hour)
10-12-2018 and 10-13-2018 (La Banderita Observatory - 7 hours)
Instrument Newton GSO F4 200 with GPU coma corrector.
Mount Sky-Watcher NEQ6, managed by EQmod
Guide Off-Axis, with Lodestar camera
Camera Modified Canon 600D/T3i
No IR Filter (Full Spectrum mod, using Astronomik MC Clear)
Refrigerated (regulated temperature)
Camera sensor temperature 0°C (on-sensor measured and regulated)
Filter Astronomik Clip CLS CCD
Integration 96 subframes @ ISO 800, 5 minutes each (total integration time: 8 hours
Calibration 49 flats, 400 bias, 84 darks.
Resolution 1.1 arcsec/pixel
787 mm actual focal, 4.2 um x 4.2 um pixels
Native size (each tile) 5202 x 3465 pixels
Cropped size 5169 x 3363 pixels
FOV 1°35’ x 1° 2'
Image center coordinates RA: 5 h 29 min
Dec: -67° 41'
Rotation: 5°
Acquisition Maxim DL
Process PixInsight 1.8