GK Persei – A Stellar Showcase by the Deep Sky Collective

Nestled within the constellation of Perseus, lies the captivating GK Persei, a nova discovered in 1901. Known for its dramatic increase in luminosity, GK Persei has been a subject of fascination and study, offering a splendid display about 1400 light years away from us.

The Deep Sky Collective, a team of passionate astrophotographers from which I’m part of, embarked on a challenging three-month journey to capture the elusive beauty of GK Persei. Despite the challenges posed by the season’s weather, our dedicated team of 14 members managed to accumulate an impressive 265 hours of integration time, marking our longest observation of this celestial object to date.

Our endeavour wasn’t just about capturing images; it was a rigorous scientific pursuit. The nova, a white dwarf in a binary system, showcased a stunning thermonuclear explosion that we captured in various wavelengths such as Ha and Oiii, revealing intricate structures and the faint glow of surrounding nebulae. Interestingly, the broadband imaging unveiled additional structures that enriched our understanding of this astronomical marvel.

As the editor of this project, I brought the celestial details to vivid life, enhancing our collective work. Special thanks to Tim Schaeffer, our project coordinator, whose leadership and organisation were instrumental in the success of this project.

The commitment of our team members was unparalleled. Thanks also to Justin P., who meticulously stacked all our files, and Carl Björk, who facilitated data sharing and contributed significantly to our Ha stacking efforts. Additionally, each of our photographers played a critical role in capturing this rare celestial event:

  • Tim Schaeffer
  • Justin P.
  • Steeve Body (myself)
  • Carl Björk
  • Brentenriegel (BTB Astroteam)
  • Bogdan Borz
  • Nicola Beltraminelli
  • Sebastian Donoso
  • Antoine and Dalia Grelin
  • Mike Hamende
  • Jason Jacks
  • Paul Kent
  • Nicolas Puig
  • David Wood

This project was not only about capturing a distant nova but also about the unity and collaboration of our team. We are thrilled to present the first clear amateur image of the planetary nebula associated with GK Persei, a testament to our collective effort and dedication.

We invite you to explore the detailed imagery and insights from this project on our website Deep Sky Collective, where you can zoom into every intricate detail captured by our team (same image can be viewed here as well). For an even more detailed view, check out our post on AstroBin.

Chroma Blue 36 mm: 189×300″(15h 45′)
Chroma Green 36 mm: 195×300″(16h 15′)
Chroma H-alpha 5nm Bandpass 36 mm: 458×900.655″(114h 34′ 59″ .99)
Chroma Lum 36 mm: 156×300″(13h)
Chroma OIII 5nm Bandpass 36 mm: 368×899.185″(91h 55′ .08)
Chroma Red 36 mm: 172×300″(14h 20′)

265h 50′ .07

RA center: 03h31m11s.0

DEC center: +43°54′07″

Pixel scale: 0.319 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 1.682 degrees

Field radius: 0.493 degrees

Resolution: 6184 × 9240

Locations: Multiple Locations, Worldwide

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