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M17: Swan Nebula in Sagittarius

Imaged on 06/19/09
Scope: Takahashi Sky 90 Refractor
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME

CFW9 with Astrodon e-series filters
Exposures: 90 minutes of Ha,20 min each of RGB
Site: Palomar Mountain
Conditions: 60 degrees, no wind, very good seeing

M17 is 5000 light years away

The reddish with some graduation to pink color comes from the hot hydrogen gas which is excited by the young hot stars forming within the nebula.