The November cloudy season seems to have made an early arrival here in 2020. With the nights being cloudy and no foreseeable imaging to be had, I thought I’d revisit some narrowband data I collected with a remote telescope in Australia… return to the fighting dragons!

A gorgeous nebula complex, NGC 6188, the fighting dragons of Ara, is a southern hemisphere deep sky jewel. 

Fighting dragons NGC 6188
NGC 6188 The Fighting Dragons of Ara

The open cluster (NGC 6193) just off center top in this image is fueling the reflection nebulosity within NGC 6188 next to it. The open cluster consists of 27 stars and they sculpt the dark shapes and create stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation that powers the nebula’s glow.

This narrowband image was taken using three different filters also known as the Hubble palette. The red channel is ionized Sulfur (SII), the green channel is ionized Hydrogen (H-alpha) and the blue channel is ionized Oxygen (OIII).

I re-processed this data in PixInsight using new skills and techniques I have acquired since I first processed in 2016. Most notably is the improved colours and increased depth to the image. I more successfully blended the Ha, OIII and SII channels along with improved star halo reduction and noise reduction. 

My original process of the fighting dragons can be viewed here. The 2016 version was featured in Sky and Telescope magazine, October edition.


  • Takahashi FSQ ED 106mm refractor at F5.0 (530mm)
  • SBIG STL-11000M CCD (10.7 mega pixels)
  • Paramount ME EQ mount
  • Maxim DL Pro 5 for camera control, acquistion and guiding. Focusmax for autofocusing.
  • 12 x 5min Ha / 12 x5min O3 / 12 x 5min S2  – 3 hours total data.
  • Imaged remotely using the iTelescope T12 and T8 at the Siding Springs Observatory in Australia.
  • Processed in Pixinsight

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