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Found 4 results

  1. 70 x 300s H-alpha, 16 x RG&B, 300s each, no darks (hot pixel removal in Astroart instead). Subframes were stacked in Astroart, the outputs converted to TIF files and then colour-composited in PaintShop Pro. The colour data was a bit of a pig to process with the software I have. First of all it became apparent that 300 second subs probably weren't long enough. I had to stretch the resultant stacks quite a way to get any decent detail, which introduced more noise than I really wanted. Then the blue colour stack turned out to be a slightly different size to the others, despite all being full frame without any need to resize. I always refocus between filter changes as the colour correction on my old Vixen 114 ED refractor is not brilliant, so I guess this was the cause, particularly on the blue channel. This made it difficult to stack the images for colour composition. I did my best to manually rotate and resize in PaintShop, but the stars still show some odd haloes where the channels didn't quite line up. I made two colour images, one created by the addition of green and blue channels (20 x 300s subframes for each) to the H-alpha image above, which was used as the red channel for an RGB composite. This was a rather violent red, as anticipated, so I blended it with an HaRGB stack, which was the usual washed-out pink. The blend gave a reasonable depth of colour. The blue brilliance of the brighter stars in the cluster has led to some reflection flaring around them. I find the effect quite pleasing, however. The “Fox Fur Nebula” (Sharpless 273) can be seen below S Monocerotis in the above image. Its resemblance to road-kill is quite remarkable, even in this modest image. The bluish area arises from the reflection of starlight from dust in the region. Some images show this reflection nebulosity to be much more extensive than seen here, probably because I did not compensate for the poorer blue sensitivity of the CCD with longer blue subs. The Christmas Tree Cluster is visible to the naked eye in good conditions and appears quite striking in binoculars. The stars forming the Christmas tree shape, along with dozens of other tiny bright stars within the cluster, are a magical sight as seen in my VC200L with a 25mm eyepiece. None of the associated nebulosity is visible however, at least, not to me.
  2. This winter, there had been many nights when I wanted to step outside and be immersed by the wonders of the night sky but obstacles had been in my way, the greatest being the cold. You can imagine my delight yesterday when the mercury finally showed more favourable temperatures. Anything warmer than -30's and 40's is fine by me. I had a triple take when I saw our digital thermometer declare that we were finally in the single digits! -8! I couldn't believe it but out I went! The air was crisp with a hint of humidity but the skies were perfect for viewing. I started with a romp around the area where Jupiter shone brightly and ended up looking at something my Stellarium identified as the "Satellite Cluster" or NGC 2245 in the constellation Monoceros. Upon researching further on the Internet, I discovered little about this cluster which I found particularly fascinating. I tried once again to find the Cone Nebula which many have stated was quite a sight but came out empty handed. It was an especially dark night and was really hoping I would detect it before summer hit my latitude and inky black nights become rare. I decided to go back to my original destination which was Jupiter which was extremely sharp (always good to opt for an easy target when another proved in being elusive), as was the Orion Nebula. I couldn't remember the last time I had such a rewarding night as this one. To top it all off, my next door neighbour's porch light had miraculously been turned off! Since he leaves it on all the time (24/7), I can only hope that it has finally burned out. Knowing his work habits, in this case his LACK of work ethics, I can rest easy that it won't be replaced for months! Good nights lie ahead! Isabelle
  3. We had a clear night a few nights ago so I had a go at the Cone. The sky was a bit "mucky" so the resulting image is not as clear as I would have liked. The image also includes Hubble's Variable Nebula (NGC2261) on the top right. It was taken with my ED80 and modded Canon 1200d and consists of 11 subs at 600secs ISO1600. I found the processing quite difficult as I wanted to bring out the nebulosity but might have overcooked it. Any comments and suggestions are welcomed as usual. Peter
  4. NGC 2264, also known as the Cone nebula or Christmas tree nebula. For one reason or another, though I have images this repeatedly over the years, I have never had a decent final image. Quite pleased with this one, although doing HaRGB blends properly is going to take some learning... I don't have the capture details to hand but the scope is the Skywatcher Esprit 150ED, and the camera an Atik 11000. Data gathered over clear nights in Nov and Dec 2013. I actually prefer the mono (Ha only) version, but the Blue and Green filters help to bring out the reflection nebulosity in the centre of the image. Thanks for looking!
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