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About ramdom

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  1. There are two things I can recommend, one I learnt early one and one recently. The first is about size. I prefer to size up a large image in PixInsight using drizzle if I am going to print it on a poster or blow it up somewhere. Based on Ken's test, you may not need to do this but it is something to keep in mind for now and future. Drizzle in PI basically sizes up my image to x times as I want it but I have to start early in your processing to get this going. I believe with drizzle I can blow up a image to any size and not lose any resolution (and in fact, gain resolution if I'm undersampled). The second is about the stars. There is a way to minimise artifacts including the ringing and that's something I've just started to do and had some success with. That is by doing most of your processing on a starless version of the image. You can create a starless version in PinInsight (there's a tutorial posted in the forum there) or via the starnet++ program... Hope that helps... but TBH I think your last version looks pretty good as is. --Ram
  2. Also includes: PK107-00.1. Total integration: 27 hours/1620 minutes = 110x5m for S2 + 112x5m for Ha + 102x5m for O3. Camera: QHY163M (16mp mono) CMOS cooled to -15 degrees C. Telescope: Takahashi FC100DF Steinheil fluorite doublet apochromat refractor @ f/7.4. Reducer: None. Mount: Paramount MyT. Filters: Astrodon 5nm Ha, 3nm O3, 3nm S2. Software: Sharpcap, PixInsight. Inline image with reduced quality uploaded to forum. Full sized higher resolution image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ I've been meaning to do this target for a long while but I removed the reducer on my FC100DF so I could get it to fill the frame a bit better (you can see the consequence of not having a flattener with the corner stars and focus is difficult since my FC100DF doesn't have a microfocusser which I've just finally ordered so I can tighten this part up a bit, which should show up in my next image of the NGC281/Pac Man Nebula). This is the first target I've imaged with the FC100DF at its native focal length and it's also the first target I've managed to finish processing since last fall. The Wizard emission nebula is a relatively bright and popular target for astrophotographers. The star forming region was discovered as an open cluster (Cr452/NGC7380) in the constellation Cepheus by Caroline Herschel, whose husband included it in his catalogue. The large active region has a radius of 100 light years and is 7200 light years away from us. The ionised atomic hydrogen from the young stars intermix with space dust in a manner resembling frothy waves and blue flames. The nebula is expected to a last a few million years, though some of the stars will outlive our sun. In addition, there's a smaller nebula (Sh2-143) that is often overlooked when talking about the magical wizard as well as a supernova remnant (PK107-00.1). Given that it had been several months since I had done anything, I was a bit rusty and I had a tough time deciding which version to go with so I decided to showcase a few of them so people can decide for themselves (though my favourite choice is the first one and it has the least amount of processing). Most have to do variations in colours of the "blue flames" and "waves" regions as well as the background but the last one was done by creating a starless version of the nebula coloured using the Photometric Color Calibration process in PixInsight (first time doing both!) and then stars from a simpler version were put back in (thanks to Stephen King et al. for introducing me to the star removal technique). The process worked as far as mixing and matching goes, but starting with the PCC (which may have been a mistake or I didn't do it properly) and working my way to the final image via the starless process caused a some loss of detail that is present when using the more conventional approaches. Still, I've included it here to show what I did using the star removal approach. https://www.astrobin.com/4j0pwf/C/ - different colour choices https://www.astrobin.com/4j0pwf/D/ - different colour choices https://www.astrobin.com/4j0pwf/E/ - different colour choices https://www.astrobin.com/4j0pwf/F/ - Ha only B actually is the same as the main image but without the sharpened stars using Multiscale Linear Transform. What I did was put up the two images next to each other in two browser windows and swapped between them using my keyboard and couldn't decide but there's a difference with benefits and loss of the "natural/pure" look (if there's such a thing, I mean that the main colour image is minimally processed once I got the master lights for each filter, mostly just SCNR and stretching and slight curves aside from the MLT-based sharpening; the others are varying attempts at it). Let me know if you spot the difference and what you is better: http://ram.org/images/space/downloads/ngc7380_sho.v1.61_sharpen_test1.jpg http://ram.org/images/space/downloads/ngc7380_sho.v1.62_sharpen_test2.jpg As always, thanks for looking! --Ram
  3. http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ http://ram.org/images/space/scope/1.4+7.4.5+6/ic405_c_shorgb_42x300+24x300+42x300+109x420.jpg http://ram.org/images/space/scope/1.6+7.4.5+6/m33_c_lrgbhos_77x120s+139x60s+10x120s+13x300s+8x300s+8x300s_458m.jpg --Ram
  4. Hi, I'm wondering about the rules for this contest. I posted a collage of images I had taken from Aug - Oct 2019. If I can have only one entry then this is what I'd like to be counted but I'm wondering about creating images that had some data from the period and additional data from another period. In other words, does every single frame for this contest have to be captured in the period of Aug through Oct 2019? Secondly, I posted a collage but I don't know if the individual images could be entered into the contest by themselves (i.e., it isn't excluded due to it being considered a multiple submission. --Ram
  5. Hi all, I created a collage using Photoshop CC consisting of images with data captured during August - October, 2019 only. I created another collage that consists of overlapping data (i.e., some data captured in July or added data outside of the two month period) but I don't know i it would qualify or not. I also wasn't sure if I could submit the individual images as entries after submitting the full collage (i.e., if it would count as a multiple submission). Very detailed capture info and writeups for almsot all these objects individually is available via my astrobin page (https://www.astrobin.com/users/ramdom/) except for two images that are still a WIP and I've posted the individual images on the imaging forum here as well. But the collage is a new creation just for this contest. I also created collages of all my images in 2019 which I will post separately on the imaging forums. These are very big images when they are generated so the uploaded image is only about 5% of the original size. The full resolution image for this collage can be gotten here: http://www.ram.org/images/space/collages/collage_aug-oct_2019.jpg --Ram
  6. It's a beautiful image. If you did an HOO image, the white bits are due to the strong signal in all three channels = RGB = white. You see it in the SHO images also. --Ram
  7. Total integration: 1303 minutes/21.7 hours (*42 x 300s for Ha + 24 x 300s for O3 + 42 x 300s for S2 + **109 x 420s for OSC). Inline image uploaded to the forum. Full sized image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/1.4+7.4.5+6/ic405_c_shorgb_42x300+24x300+42x300+109x420.jpg Cameras: *QHY163M (16mp mono) and **QHY247C (24mp OSC) CMOS cooled to -20 and -15 degrees C. Telescopes: *Takahashi FC100DF Steinheil fluorite doublet and **Stellarvue SV70T triplet apochromat refractors @ f/4.9 and @ f/4.8. Reducers: *Takahashi FC-35 (0.66x) and SFFR70-APO (0.8x). Mount: Paramount MyT. Filters: 1.25" Astrodon 5nm Ha, 3nm O3, 3nm S2 and **2" Baader UV-IR-Cut Software: TheSkyX Pro, Sharpcap, PixInsight. The Flaming Star nebula (IC405) is fairly unique nebula in the constellation Auriga with obvious emission and reflection components. Specifically, there's this smoky wisp that is present in the centre of the nebula (see E, which is processed to highlight it). However, both components are due, either directly or indirectly (via dust), to the illumination of the bluish runaway star AE Aurigae. It lies ~1500 light years away from Earth and is about five light years across. https://www.astrobin.com/hrbn9j/A/ through https://www.astrobin.com/hrbn9j/D/ are combination images of the Flaming Star nebula consisting of both SHO data as well as RGB/OSC data (https://www.astrobin.com/hrbn9j/E/) and is still overall a work in progress with the goal of best highlighting that reflection smoky wisp against a background of emission signals as well as the creation of a largely widefield panorama. I initially wanted to create a two panel narrowband image of the IC405 and IC410 (Tadpoles) and then get more data for the OSC image that covers both in one panel in my SV70T and QHY247C but I attach what I have so far since I'm not sure if I'll be able finish it this year (I am also not happy with my framing of both these nebulae in my OSC and so will reshoot with a new framing and see if I can't merge the two datasets which will improve the OSC image). The combined image is best appreciated in the context of my earlier narrowband images of IC405 which is available at: https://www.astrobin.com/318364/ with (A) Ha as well as (B,D) SHO and (D) HOS data along with the capture details (a total of 9 hours). These images were created with Photoshop CC which is not used here. There's little O3 data for this target, so I used the blue channel to combine the G and B data from the OSC image, with my final combination looking like this: R: S2 + R-OSC G: Ha + R-OSC B: O3 + G-OSC + B-OSC I tried many different weighting schemes until I found a few that were okay and selected the best two (https://www.astrobin.com/hrbn9j/A/ and https://www.astrobin.com/hrbn9j/B/). For these, I did the combinations using PixelMath and rather than rescaling, I let it clip in blue so it looks saturated at the parts where the smoky bits overlaps with narrowband data. The narrowband image itself had some clipping since this was one of my first AP images and I wasn't sure what I was doing then. In addition, based on feedback provided online, I tried another strategy using LRGB combination where I set the L channel to be the entire SHO data with the separated RGB images from the OSC data (https://www.astrobin.com/hrbn9j/C/ and https://www.astrobin.com/hrbn9j/D/) which produced my personal favourite (D). So there are many ways to skin the cat and I believe I will be coming back to this once I collect even more data and eventually do the two panel. It seems like a lot of work but all I really want to is transpose that smoky bit from the OSC image onto the na<rrowband image I previously generated. It's not straight forward since I think perhaps there's some emission signal that can just be amplified (the smoky bit is where the S2, Ha, and O3 data most converge - so it's even arguable this image was necessary). But worst case, this also illustrates the difference between using Photoshop CC (which is what was done to generate the images on astrobin) vs. using PixInsight to do the Hubble palette tweaks. As always, thanks for looking! --Ram
  8. In my view, the problem is going to be due to the fact that a lot of the NB targets (in my case, half) don't have O3 data at all or it's (sometimes much) lower than S2. So for those targets, even though bicolour could work, it'd have to be Ha and S2. But there are enough targets so you certainly can plan it so that you do the HOO ones first, then do the SHS ones every season/year or so (which is what I do in terms of cameras/scope combinations). It's going to be very target dependent whether RGBHO works or not for any particular target. I too use a five position EFW but I've decided to not do RGB imaging and instead do a OSC for my RGB images but I just started that this year. The first two years, I stuck with only doing SHO (and L) images. There are so many NB targets out there that I could probably spend the rest of my life doing only SHO images but again I think switching filters once a year isn't a big deal. Another option is to go with LRGBHa as a first pass for targets and then once you've done a few dozen, you can come back to the ones that are most interesting and redo them with SHO if needed. --Ram
  9. Also includes: Galaxies IC2005 and IC2027. Total integration: 12.8 hours/770 minutes = 31x7m for S2 + 49x7m for Ha + 30x7m for O3. Camera: QHY163M (16mp mono) CMOS cooled to -15 degrees C. Telescope: Stellarvue SV70T triplet apochromat refractor @ f/4.8. Reducer: SFFR70-APO Mount: Paramount MyT. Filters: Astrodon 5nm Ha, 3nm O3, 3nm S2. Software: Sharpcap, PixInsight. Inline image with reduced quality uploaded to forum. Full sized higher resolution image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ The nebula, so named due to its shape resembling the current borders of the state of California, lies at about a distance of ~1300 light years from Earth located in the constellation Perseus. Coincidentally, it transits with its zenith in central California, since the latitude matches its declination. Its width is just a bit under that of the diametre of the moon when viewed from Earth (~ half a degree), but its length however is 2.4 degrees, roughly five times that of the moon's apparent diametre. The bright star close to the centre is Xi Persei aka Menkib which is primarily responsible for exciting the gases in the nebula and its resulting fluorescence, apparently due to ionising hydrogen beta radiation (which isn't one of the emission lines being measured by my filters, cf. the Balmer series). The image as you see it consists mostly of Ha and S2 data. There is some O3 signal that is very faint but I did manage to pull it out. These images are minimally processed. I spent some time doing sophisticated processing but it went nowhere, whereas this is a simple linear combination of the three filters' light frames, followed by stretching and colour manipulation of the combined image in PixInsight to roughly match its namesake's colours (again, no Photoshop CC this time), and that's it! Lurking in the background of the image are galaxies IC2005 and IC2027, which are magnitude 16 galaxies. The latter is visible at the top left if you look very closely. The former is in the top left quadrant, apparently behind the nebula. Ha only image: https://www.astrobin.com/m4znjp/B/ Alternate version with more yellow instead of golden tones: https://www.astrobin.com/m4znjp/C/ As always, thanks for looking! --Ram
  10. Wow, thank you so much - that is a much better tip than using ACDNR. It doesn't change the image from a global perspective but does get rid of the colour noise when zoomed in. You can take a look at the result here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ You know, every time I'm near completion of an image, I say to myself "patience" and not to rush things but then either due to excitement or being tired, I just rush to push it out. Thanks for your tip - I've saved the process now and should be able to apply it to other images easily. --Ram
  11. Thanks Carole, there are other colour palette choices on my astrobin page for this target. My wife and my 11 year old daughter are my image choice consultants and they said that while the typical palette I prefer actually looks better, there's also a "sameness" to all the images (not to us APers but to laypeople) so I decided to change it up a bit! And you're right about the noise too. I did try to reduce the noise using ACDNR which works but it changes the colour and as you note, it's only apparent when zoom in. I do it typically on most of my images but I didn't for this one - I think I'm just tired of looking at it! There apparently is another way to do denoising with Pixinsight I've not fully learnt yet (TGVdenoise) but it's on my list of things to do. Finally there's the issue of the pixel scale - with the 70mm scope and the sensor size, there is a slight amount of undersampling. It's good enough for wide field but for detailed imaging a higher resolution combination would be needed. My goal was to produce a nice wide field image... --Ram
  12. Total integration: ~76 hours/4556 minutes = (153x7m + 52x6m for S2) + (155x7m + 72x6m for Ha) + (168x7m + 80x6m for O3) Camera: QHY163M (16mp mono) CMOS cooled to -15 degrees C. Telescope: Stellarvue SV70T triplet apochromat refractor @ f/4.8. Reducer: SFFR70-APO Mount: Paramount MyT. Filters: Astrodon 5nm Ha, 3nm O3, 3nm S2. Software: Sharpcap, PixInsight. Inline image with reduced quality uploaded to forum. Full sized higher resolution image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ NGC7822 is the designation given to young star forming complex (Berkeley 59) in the constellation Cepheus, whose surrounding environment has a distinctive skull-like appearance. The emission nebula (core region) is Sharpless 171 aka Cederalbad 214 and the wider field object with the loop/ear-like structure consists of both NGC7822 and the cluster of stars to the upper right that look like little white flecks of paint is NGC7762 (the ear within the ear). There is more to this nebula that goes down below and fleshes out the skeleton shape, but obviously doesn't fit within my FOV. The emission nebula contains examples of objects known a "pillars of creation", active star forming regions that use the material in the nebula to shape the overall structures until there is no more raw material left creating a cavity in the middle (which is why some of these nebulae may start to look the same). The region is 3000 light years away, so it probably is still active. The field of view spans over 40 light years. The region also contains a supernova remnant somewhere (G118.3+0.48). As of now, this is the target I've spent the most time on, taking 17 nights to do it all over a month (largely automated of course, but still) to end up with ~76 hours of useful data. It was a tough target for a variety of reasons but because the surrounding loop region is fainter than the central core, extra time was necessary to obtain some contrast and detail. Unlike with relatively brighter nebulae, where a few hours with each is enough and diminishing return sets in fast, I found that the longer the total exposure, the greater the contrast and detail I was able to obtain. I am confident that what you see (particularly in the nominally processed versions D and E) is what you get if you go deeper with this target---there are a lot of dark regions that are real. Ha only image: https://www.astrobin.com/0n8mh1/C/ Aggressive processing, palette choice 1: https://www.astrobin.com/0n8mh1/0/ Aggressive processing, palette choice 2: https://www.astrobin.com/0n8mh1/B/ Nominal processing, palette choice 1: https://www.astrobin.com/0n8mh1/D/ Nominal processing, palette choice 2: https://www.astrobin.com/0n8mh1/E/ An additional frustrating thorn in my side was clouds. Multiple forecasts would state "clear", I would set up, go inside and then the clouds would come and go. There were few days of data collection where this issue didn't exist but fortunately PixInsight's image integration worked its magic and was able to register all but a few frames (though a few hours worth were weighted very low and this is after manually discarding over 50 frames that were completely cloudy). I did some integrations ignoring the worst frames but the difference was so tiny (and it was arguable as to which version was better) that I decided to use all the data I collected as long as the software didn't mind. Finally, another milestone with these images is that this is the first time I didn't rely on Photoshop to do the Hubble palette tweaking, relying only on PixInsight to do it. My eventual goal is to do what I did with IC1396/Elephant's Trunk, which is to image in detail the Sh2-171 area in the middle to complement this widefield of the entire region. In that case, I did things the other way (core first, widefield later), but here I may be able to use this data to augment any detailed imaging of the core region. As always, thanks for looking! --Ram
  13. Total integration: 510m/8.5h (102 x 300s). Camera: QH247C (24mp OSC) CMOS cooled to -15 degrees C. Telescope: Takahashi FC100DF Steinheil fluorite doublet apochromat refractor @ f/4.9. Reducer: Takahashi FC-35 2". Mount: Paramount MyT. Filters: 2" Baader UV-IR-Cut. Software: TheSkyX Pro, Sharpcap, PixInsight. Inline image is uploaded to the forum. Full sized image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ The Omicron Perseus Cloud is an open cluster that is associated with some nebulosity, including dark oily patches of dust that are illuminated by a tight cluster of stars. IC348 is the designation given to 2-million-year-old star forming region (seen in the middle) with roughly 400 members that is ~1000 light years away from us. I'm fascinated by dark nebulae/regions of space and I've been wanting to image one that had more of a three dimensional oily quality to it, unlike my previous ones with the Cocoon, Iris, and Pleiades. From my observations, dark regions/nebulae can either look like they are embedded/embossed within the sky background (see Cocoon image: https://www.astrobin.com/414567/) or sometimes they can appear as swirls or clouds of dust around reflection nebulae (see Iris and Pleiades images: https://www.astrobin.com/413899/ and https://www.astrobin.com/421142/) and sometimes they can appear like an patch of oil. This nebula has all these types of dark regions (Barnard 3, 4, and 5) in the context of other reflection/emission nebulae, but the oily patch in centre-right (B3) is what attracted me to this target. As the name suggests, this nebula/cluster is part of the constellation Perseus. Specifically the triple star system illuminating the dust is Omicron Persei, a binary pair of which are known officially as Atik (the top brightest blue one) and Ab. This nebula is part of the giant Perseus molecular cloud that is largely invisible (unlike the Orion molecular cloud) except for two star forming regions, this one and NGC1333 (also known as Embryo nebula). While not associated with this region, there are over a dozen small galaxies in the background some of which you can make out if you look closely. The final images represent an integration of data collected over two nights. For the very first time, I had to use flat frames to remove some dust tracks/motes from somewhere in my imaging train for reasons that are not entirely clear. Normally I don't need them, but it could be due to the nature of target, since I had to bring up the background to highlight the dark regions or it could be due to my new settings. Either way, after some trial and error I made it work. Aside from working on doing the calibration properly, there is minimal processing in the above image. An alternate version with a bit more aggressive processing to highlight the dark nebulae is here: https://www.astrobin.com/i32wrg/B/ I'm always curious to know which version people prefer. As always, thanks for looking! --Ram
  14. Thanks! Not in these final compositions. When I first did the 240 x 15s stack, I tried it with and without flats and didn't make much of a difference (either that or I still don't know how to do flats properly - I can get rid of the smudges, etc. if they are present but I've never been able to cure gradients with flats). There is some vignetting but it is at the very tip of the corners. The fall off is due to me being very aggressive with the curves... --Ram
  15. Total integration: 240m/4h (90 x 120s + 240 x 15s). Camera: QH247C (24mp OSC) CMOS cooled to -15 degrees C. Telescope: Takahashi FC100DF Steinheil fluorite doublet apochromat refractor @ f/4.9. Reducer: Takahashi FC-35 2". Mount: Paramount MyT. Filters: 2" Baader UV-IR-Cut. Software: TheSkyX Pro, Sharpcap, PixInsight. Inline image is uploaded to the forum. Full sized image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/ The Pleiades (M45) is an open star cluster and corresponding reflection nebulae in the constellation Taurus. It is the first astronomical object I recall in my memory: I remember looking at it through a small courtyard from our first floor home when I was a child---it sparked my fascination with science and astronomy and getting to know the night sky, as well as the associated mythologies different human cultures have created around these objects. The Pleiades was the easiest object to remember, not only due to its brightness but also its distinctive twinkle and the challenge of distinguishing the stars within it. The nine brightest stars in the Pleiades cluster are named after the Seven Sisters in Greek mythology, along with their parents: Alcyone, Atlas (father), Electra, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, Pleione (mother), Celaeno, and Sterope/Asterope. The cluster however contains more than one thousand confirmed members, fourteen of which can apparently be distinguished by the naked eye. Unlike the typical emission nebula I image, all the light is due to reflection of blue light from the hot young stars on the dust in the interstellar medium - there is no ionising radiation and therefore it is not a narrowband composition but reflects largely what the sensor has captured. The Merope and Maia nebulae are the major ones in this star cluster. The dust responsible for the nebulosity is not uniformly distributed, and is concentrated in two layers. These layers may have been formed by deceleration due to radiation pressure as the dust has moved towards the stars, making them appear as though waves of hair are flowing the stars and giving us a sight to behold through powerful telescopes or ordinary imaging equipment. If you look closely you can see the waviness of the dust lanes observable to the very edges of the blue nebulae. The 110 million year old cluster is about eight light years across and about 136 parsecs away, making it one of the nearest star clusters to us. It is expected to disperse within the next 250 million years. Here are a couple of other processing attempts, so you can see that no matter what I do, the overall result looks very similar. The second used a very different processing pathway, which brings out the blues more and the last one is a version with less data but also sharper/smaller stars. But I like my final version above since it brings out some of the dust lanes (which the first image below does as well) and also shows how much further out the reflection nebulae extend. https://www.astrobin.com/421142/B/ https://www.astrobin.com/421142/C/ I was going to keep collecting data on this but for now decided to focus on other targets if the sky clears up since it's full moon out and I think this camera works best when it is fully dark out and I want to swap the cameras between my two scopes to do something different. As always, thanks for looking! --Ram
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