NGC1333 reflection nebula in Perseus molecular cloud

Although NGC 1333 is catalogued as a reflection nebula located in constellation Perseus, it is in fact a more complex object that it is part of the Perseus molecular cloud. It lies approximately 1000 light years away from us and is about 15 light years across.

It is one of the closest star forming regions to us and is especially rich in Young Stellar Objects. Many Herbig-Haro objects have also been identified in NGC 1333, confirming its condition as a young and active star forming region. Some of them are visible in the image.

This image dates from 2010. After a long cloudy period, without being able to acquire new exposures, I have started to re-process previous images, to try to improve them based on the tools incorporated in Pixinsight and, also, on what I have learned over the years. 

Above right, you can see my image from 2010, as it is still posted on my website. It is an LRGB composition with 20 hours of accumulated exposure. 

The main processing differences in the new image shown in the centre right are: 

1. Using Local Normalization (within WBPP) to obtain linear images with lower FWHM & Eccentricity and also lower noise.

2. Greatly improve these linear images with BlurXTerminator from Russell Croman.

3. Better (or, at least, more pleasing to me) colour rendering by using SpectrophotometricColorCalibration. 

4. Use of MultiscaleMedianTransform as main noise reduction tool.

5. Separation into large-scale and small-scale components to process them separately to increase contrast detail in the main object and highlight background nebulosity.

The last image is a full resolution crop of the previous one, centered on NGC1333.  

Image processing: Pixinsight.

Click on the images for a higher or full resolution version, or go to the Gallery section for complete exposure details.

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