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This image represents 18.5 hours of integration including 8 hours of Ha. It's quite an unusual image in the sense that the nebula and stars play an equally dominate role, particularly given the presence of some very bright stars. As a consequence I decided not to push the stars into the background. The Ha was mainly used to enhance the Luminance although I did add a little to the red channel. In an attempt to get accurate star colours I also attempted to blend RGB stars with the LblendRblendGB image. Colouring the nebula was the major challenge since some parts are quite bright (the "head") whilst other parts (eg the "legs") are quite faint.
I am processing more of the data from the Deep Sky West Tak 106. This was collected in January 2017. Filters are 5nm Astrodons. Camera is a QSI 683. The Tak 106 is un-reduced. Data as follows: SII: 16 x 1800s Ha: 21 x 1800s OIII: 17 x 1800s For a total of 27 hours. It was put together using the SHO-AIP script in PixInsight. Then it was back and forth (several times) between PixInsight and Photoshop, trying to get something that looked OK. I also went back and forth on how much 'processing' I should do on this - I had more garish versions, but eventually settled on this one.
Having recently purchased Registar for mosaic image construction, I decided to try it out on my latest image acquisition: IC417, the spider nebula. The result: I was very impressed by the accurately of the alignment which I presume is mainly due to the fact that it is (somehow) compensating for optical defects (eg curvature) in my scope, the end result is more consistent star colours. So, it now looks that I will be using a total of four software packages for my image post processing: Registar (image registration), CCDstack (deconvolution, statistical error rejection and stacking), Pixinsight (DBE, colour calibration, BN) and PS for everything else. Anyway, back to the image - I decided to go for a Ha blend on both the L and red channels. The image below represents 18.5 hours, 8 of which is Ha. In my opinion, the stars in this particular image, given their variety, are of equal importance to the nebula, so I decided not to push them into the background. Alan LIGHTS: L:15, R:9; G:20; B:19 x 600s; Ha: 16 x 1800s; FLATS:40; DARKS:30: BIAS:100 all at -20C.
Saturday nigh was the first clear night for what feels like eons and I fired up my triple rig (a Samyang 135 f/2, a Canon 300 f/4 and an ES127ED refractor, all connected to Canon 60D DSLRs) to collect as much entertainment as possible. I just "finished" processing the 300 mm data, which became an accidental mosaic since the framing on this lens shifted about 50% after the meridian flip at midnight (I only bothered to frame the refractor). The central 50% of the image contains data from both before and after the flip. No idea why it shifted but my rig is far prom perfected yet. The subs were stacked with Pixinsight and further processing was done in PS. SQM was only 20.5 (I usually get above 21) mainly due to a complete snow coverage lighting up the sky. Noise was low though due to natural cooling: the temperature fell from -7 to -14°C during the night and all my stuff were covered with frost. 134 x 3 min subs so 6.7 hours (Canon 300mm f/4 connected to a Canon 60D at ISO 1600) Comments most welcome! (Pixel peepers may be upset. I think I have some tilt in the Canon 300 / camera set up but I have no idea how to fix it so I have been fighting a bit with star shapes in this image - I will try stopping the lens down next time)
Friends, here are the preliminary results from my third go at using my triple rig, when it finally cleared on Saturday night (sadly my second go was a month ago since the clouds and moon has been conspiring as usual). I have already posted the image from the Canon 300mm f/4 but include it here again. I am thinking of adding the long FL data to the short ones, but that will be a processing exercise for future cloudy nights. Temperature was down to -14° so I was freezing my a.. off but the DSLRs loved it so no noise reduction used. Acquisition details (all at ISO 1600 and on an EQ8): Samyang 135mm f/2 (@f/2) with a Canon 60D, 181 x 1 min = 3 hours (I have another 3 hours from after the flip that I have not looked at yet - took PI a whole morning to stack the first 181 subs) Canon 300mm f/4 (@f/4) with a Canon 60D, 134 x 3 min subs = 6.7 hours (this is a two panel mosaic) ES 127ED apo with a TS 0.79x reducer, so FL 752 mm (f/5.9) with a Canon 60Da, 40 x 10 min = 6.7 hours Stacking in PI and processing in PS. So, about 20 hours of data in one night to play with.... Comments and suggestions most welcome! Cheers Göran
Imaged on many different nights over the last two months or so. Processing has been really tough and ended up dumping about 6hrs of Lum data that was giving me strange results, I used only 10hrs of 16 collected (I will return to this, one day), Star colour is a little bit strange on some of the smaller stars if you look closely (might not be apparent in the scaled down image). I keep getting pink and purple stars no matter what way I combine them (RGB) or process them. One other thing I noticed was that some of the blue stars were already clipped even before I began processing the RGB, not sure why, the sub lenght was 10mins, which seems to be a pretty normal sub exposure for RGB. I am quite pleased with the final result even though the lum is not as obvious as I hoped it would be (that is probably my processing) One thing is for sure, I need to get a reducer for the scope. Details: total 28hrs 10mins Ha - 38 x 1200s L - 40 x 900s R - 12 x 600s B - 12 x 600s G - 9 x 600s (discarded 3 due to clouds) Thanks for looking and any advice or comments are always welcome. Johnny