NGC 3576 was just that — an unnamed nebula in the southern skies (within the constellation Carina) that was occasionally imaged by amateurs. In 2009 after imaging the area with a short focal length refractor in Hubble palette narrowband (from Chile), I noted the uncanny resemblance of a portion of the nebula to that famous lady who greets visitors in New York Harbor….the Statue of Liberty. The following year I reimaged just the “statue” in hydrogen alpha with a 16″ RC scope and used this higher resolution data as a luminance layer over the older data. At that point I googled and googled but found no other reference to indicate someone else had seen what I saw; thus, I posted my image on the SSRO website, and took the opportunity to formally bestow upon NGC 3576 the title of “Statue of Liberty Nebula”. I am thrilled to report that over the past decade the worldwide amateur astronomy community has embraced the title!
Here is my most recent imaging attempt of Miss Liberty, and I modestly report she has never looked better.
All data was obtained from CTIO in Chile during the winter of 2019 using a 16″ RCOS @ f/11.3 with an FLI 16803 Proline camera, mounted on a Planewave 200 HR mount. Image scale is 0.41″/pixel.
Total exposure was about 30 hours using 30 min unbinned subs thru SII, Ha, and OIII filters.
Processing was via Maxim (dark subtraction and flat fielding), PixInsight (image alignment and integration), and Photoshop (everything else).