The Heart and Soul Nebulae are a well known and famous pairing of Nebulae in the late summer/autumn sky of the Northern Hemisphere. These nebulae are located far away – 7500 light years – in the Perseus arm of the galaxy, further out from the core of the galaxy than the Sun and are vast star forming regions rich in Hydrogen Alpha that gives the images the intense red glow.
All image data collected with a Samyang 135mm lens at F2.8 with a Moravian G2-8300 CCD camera. Below is the RGB image gathered with Astrodon RGB filters. All binned 1×1: Red 14 x 300s; Green 13 x 300s; Blue 14 x 300s. This gives an RGB integration time of 210 minutes or three and a half hours.
The picture looks nice but it does lack punch and vibrancy as it stands. It needs the addition of the Hydrogen Alpha data that will enhance the details.
Below is the Hydrogen Alpha channel that consists of 36 x 300s exposure with an Astrodon 3nm Ha filter with Samyang 135mm and G2-8300 CCD camera, collected with an Astrodon 31mm 3nm Ha filter. The amount of detail in this image is very evident. Below this is a starless version of the Ha image used to blend into the RGB image.
I finally created the blended HaRGB images by using layers of the Ha channel blended at different opacities as overlay and lighting layers in Photoshop. This gives the best of both worlds; the colour present in the RGB and the detail in the Ha image. The total integration time of the image is about six and a half hours.
Finally an annotated version of the image showing many Sharpless Catalog (Sh2) objects present.