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Found 16 results

  1. Hi everyone, This has been on my hard drive for some months, so nice to have finally got round to processing it! Shot over several nights in January in my back garden. NGC 281, also known casually as the Pacman Nebula, is a bright emission nebula and part of an H II region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Milky Way's Perseus Spiral Arm. It lies about 9,500 light years from us and is 48 light years across. As the final version, I've gone for a crop, which I think holds up well, though I'll include the wider fov version in the next post. I used a more natural colour blend for this image: R = 76%*Ha + 24%*SII G = 100%*OIII B = 85%*OIII + 15%*Ha For some reason, I was not expecting much from this image, but the result looks like it will be one of my favourites...the narrowband data was really good! Captured using APT, stacked using APP and processed in Pixinsight. 5.4 hours integration time. Link to full details and higher res version. Thanks for looking!
  2. alan4908

    NGC281

    From the album: Deep Sky III

    This is a narrow band image with Red mapped to Ha and Blue mapped to OIII. After balancing the Ha and OIII data in Pixinsight via Linear Fit, I generated a synthetic green in PS via Carboni's actions. It represents 15 hours integration time and was taken with my Esprit 150.
  3. Hi guys So we had a completely clear night last Thursday and, as luck would have it, i was actually off work all week, so i was able to take full advantage. Well, mostly, as you'll soon find out. As it turned out this was a night that almost went completely awry. The first thing that i messed up was i forgot the external battery that keeps the D5300 powered all night. I only noticed this after driving the 45 min trip back to the family home where i do my imaging. Doh! Luckily though, i dipped into my big bag of astro stuff and found the 2 old camera batteries and charger that i used to use. By my reckoning it was last December when i last used them, so i was amazed to find they still had quite a bit of charge in them! So i was able to charge one while i used the other. Unfortunately though it meant i had to keep going out to the scope every 2-3 hrs to change battery, but tbh i was just relieved that i didn't have to drive home and lose another 90 mins of dark sky time. The next thing to grumble was the guider. For some bizarre reason, i could not see Polaris in the Fov in Sharpcap. I could barely see anything at all tbh so even though Sharpcap told me it was able to platesolve i was very dubious. And then when i came to do the Sharpcap PA routine, the adjustments were jumping around all over the place. It took me about 25 mins to PA instead of the usual 5, and i really thought the guiding was going to be a nightmare, but what do you know, it turned out to be actually really good. It even dipped below 0.5" at times. Go figure! Due to the floodlights of the sports facility (which is rather conveniently only about 100 yards away from the house) i was forced to start with Ha subs, then once they were turned off at 10pm, i switched to Oiii, as i knew the moon was coming up around 00:30 so i needed to take advantage of the darkest part of the night. I figured i'd go for about 3 hrs of Oiii, knowing that with the final filter change back to Ha again, i should end up with about 4-5 hrs of Ha in total. Well, after doing the last filter change and going back in to grab a nap for a couple of hrs, when i woke up and checked Team Viewer i noticed that the sequence had unexpectedly ended. Went out and saw that the 7 Ahr LifePo4 battery i use for the mount had died. I also noticed that the lens of the Finder-Guider had completely dewed up. As it turned out, the dew strip for it had failed so i've had to order a new one. I've also ordered a PSU to power the HEQ5-Pro from the mains, so fingers crossed i shouldn't have to worry about mount power over the winter now. All in all this was a bit of a pain of a night, as i normally only shoot 1 filter per night. Sometimes in the longer winter nights i might do 2, but i've never done 3 before. It's a real hassle too, as i need to shoot flats, change filter, re-frame and re-focus. All of which can take upwards of 30 mins. Hmmphh. So long story short i didn't end up with as much Ha as i wanted for this, which has meant it's been trickier to process than i would have liked. I should probably have just waited and done another night of Ha, but with all the hassle i have to go through to get any imaging done these days (drive, setup, tear down and pack away, drive home, sleep deprivation) i will always just try and use what i've got and move on to the next target. The Mean ADU level was quite low on this one, probably because the target is quite small and only occupies the centre of the frame. I've probably been lucky up to now, by mostly shooting larger targets, so i was disappointed with the low ADU levels, which are scraping the bottom of the barrel for me in terms of getting away from the noise floor. So i upped my exposures a bit, pushing as high as 25 mins, which is the nighest i've ever gone with the HEQ5-Pro. It seemed to still handle it quite well, although it didn't improve the Mean ADU level anywhere near enough. Full capture details: 3 x 1200s, 2 x 1380s, and 4 x 1500s of Ha 9 x 1200s of Oiii. 11 x 480s of RGB (with an IDAS-D1). Used for the stars and sky background only. 7 Hrs 54 Mins in Total. All shot with a Nikon D5300, SW 80ED, and an HEQ5-Pro. The RGB data was shot over a year ago from inner city Belfast (Red Zone) while i was testing out the new Rowan belt mod. It was just a test shot to check the guiding, so the 8 min subs were far, far too long in reality, hence a lot of the medium and bright stars are clipped. But i have to say, the IDAS-D1 together with APP did a nice job of cleaning it right up and making it at least useable (well, by my standards at least!). So on to processing. I've been playing with this for several nights now, and i just can't look at it anymore! i think this is the best i can manage with the limited data i have. It's been enjoyable and yet frustrating at the same time, lol. As usual, this has been stacked in APP and processed in PS. I used the tone-mapping method of processing, and created a synthesised Sii from a 50/50 blend of the Ha and Oiii. I then combined them in the classic Hubble Palette SHO. Obviously, not having any real Sii means i can never get the full range of tonal variations throughout. I'm also not completely happy with the colours if i'm being honest (especially the blue). That was the part i struggled with the most on this one. I've also attached below a quick and dirty HaRGB version, which took me all of about 30 mins to process (in total contrast to the SHO version, which i won't say how long it took!). As always, constructive criticism welcomed with open arms! Ok time for me to stop rambling on now ? Edit - Forgot to say, I resized the sSHO version down to 75% of the original (it's not worthy of 100% viewing).
  4. Thought I would share my first attempt at the Pacman Nebula (NGC281) using some Badder Narrow band filters in my Atik One 6.0 / Esprit 120ED. Over two nights, I first took 12 x 10 minutes guided shots at 1x1 binned with both the Ha and OIII filter (i.e., 4 hours total exposure) and put them together using PI with Ha mapped to red and OIII to both Green and Blue. This gave this image:- On the following night I then took 12 x 10 minutes guided shots at 1x1 binned with the SII filter. I then put all the shots together using PI, this time with SII to red, Ha to green and OIII to blue (6 hours total exposure). This gave this image:- I think for the bicolour one, I have over stretched it a bit, which I do not like, and although I prefer the tricolour, I can not help but think that it should be red rather than green, which is of course what is going to happen if Ha is mapped to green rather than red?? All comments, particuarly critical ones on how I could improve things (I have a very think skin) welcomed. DDS
  5. Dec

    Pacman HaRGB

    From the album: Dec

  6. Hi all, It's been a while since my last image, but finally clear skies have coincided with availability and I managed to capture some data. For some reason I didn't seem to have an awful lot of signal; I had to work quite hard processing this and struggled to bring out the detail with any dynamic range. Even so, if I get another chance I think I'll try and get some O-III for this. 21 x 600s Ha SW 150PDS Atik 428ex Thanks for looking!
  7. WARNING!!! The following post contains an entirely under-whelming image! With nothing but clouds here for what has seemed like forever, and no sign of any new data in sight, i decided to turn my attention to some test data i shot back in August of last year. The reason for choosing this, is that i wanted to see how far my processing skills had come along, and i knew this one would be a serious challenge, as i had basically everything working against me. I shot this near the end of August while testing out the new imaging laptop and rowan belt mod for the HEQ5 Pro (which i had installed the previous winter, but hadn't had a chance to properly test). At the time, we were living very near the City Centre, and only had a tiny back yard, so the only target available was the Pac-Man nebula. This is also before i had the D5300 modified for better Ha response. I did however use my IDAS-D1 filter, which enabled me to shoot 8 min subs. So here's a full rundown: 9 x 8 min subs (only 72 mins in Total) ISO 200 50 Bias and 30 Flats Stock Nikon D5300 with an IDAS-D1 filter Skies were SQM 18.7 (Bortle 6) AstroPixel Processor was used to stack (with x2 Drizzle), do an initial stretch, and then perform gradient reduction. Everything else was done in Photoshop. I've shown my previous (hideous!) attempt below as well, which was stacked in DSS and also processed in Photoshop. I should say, i don't think APP played too much of a factor in the improvements, it was mostly just down to better Photoshop skills. I know i didn't really need to drizzle, i just wanted the nebula to look a bit bigger, so went with the drizzle and then just trimmed the fat off the edges. Overall i was pleasantly surprised what came out at the end, given this was not much data, done with an unmodified camera in heavy LP. Anyways, just thought i'd share, to kill the boredom!
  8. alan4908

    NGC281 (crop)

    From the album: Deep Sky III

    A crop of the narrow band NGC281 image illustrating the detail of the central region.
  9. alan4908

    NGC281

    From the album: Deep Sky

    Mainly due to the UK weather and the fact that I value my sleep, I find that I'm moving increasingly towards automated image capture. The Pacman nebula (NGC281) was my first automated image and represents various observations in Oct/Nov 2015 during mainly cloudy/moon lit nights. The automation software (ACP Expert) was instructed to wait for a clear sky, with a moon down and a target that was above my local horizon. Automated focusing was via FocusMax. Captured with a SW ED80 and a Trius SX26C. LIGHTS: 30 x 600s; DARKS: 40, FLATS: 40; BIAS: 50. Post processing in Photoshop CC 2015 and CCDstack2+.
  10. This is the Pacman Nebula - 5 hours of Ha and 5 hours of OIII captured over 5 nights with my Esprit 120, QSI 690 and Astrodon filters. Some of the OIII nights were a little indifferent and a couple of OIII frames were discarded but most were kept. Combination was: Red - Ha; Green - 40% Ha plus 60% OIII; Blue - OIII. Processing in Pi and PS.
  11. Caught a clear spell Thursday night, full Moon of course but gave it a go anyway. Both images 16x600secs Atik 383L+ Samyang 135mm @ f2 Astrodon 5nm Ha filter. Thanks for looking. Pacman and Gamma Cassiopeiae California Nebula
  12. Wakka wakka wakka... 22x 600s Ha, 11x 420s L, 10x 300s R, G and B, darks flats and bias, equipment as per sig, pixinsight. If I'm honest, I wasn't really feeling the love for this one very much and it's been languishing on my processing shelf for a while - a little too much of it being an amorphous pink blob, coupled with oddly triangular stars (I had issues with coma and collimation when I took it, now resolved, but it meant I was getting tri-lobed guide stars in my OAG and I think that fed through from the guiding to giving me triangular stars in the images. You can't really see them since Flickr doesn't zoom in enough). Still, it turned out alright, and I quite like the detail version. The Pacman Nebula (NGC 281) is a bright emission nebula and part of an H II region in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia and is part of the Milky Way's Perseus Spiral Arm. The nebulosity is associated with an open star cluster, several Bok globules and a bright quintuple star system. It lies approximately 9200 light years away. Pac-Man was designed to have no ending – as long as at least one life was left, the game should be able to go on indefinitely. However, a bug keeps this from happening - an 8-bit arithmetic overflow error on level 256 would mean that the game would try to draw 256 fruits on the screen rather than the maximum of 8 that it would normally draw. This corrupts the bottom of the screen and the entire right half of the maze with seemingly random symbols and tiles, overwriting the values of edible dots which makes it impossible to eat enough dots to beat the level. Because this effectively ends the game, this "split-screen" level is often referred to as the "kill screen". A perfect Pac-Man game occurs when the player achieves the maximum possible score on the first 255 levels (by eating every possible dot, power pellet, fruit, and enemy) without losing a single life, and using all extra lives to score as many points as possible on Level 256. This was actually my second attempt at this target - this was my first one, with a modded DSLR - actually not too bad: Hope you enjoy ! Comments and cc welcome. Stuart
  13. Last night I was able to get an unbroken run and get hold of 5 hours of SII to go with the 5 hours of Ha and OIII I had already got for my bicolour Pacman - https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/278251-ngc-281-pacman-nebula-bicolour/ The SII signal was pretty faint in comparison to the Ha and OIII. I also have no real idea how to go about processing these things so a great deal of trial and error was required. Bob Franke's method was sort of what I followed - http://www.bf-astro.com/hubbleP.htm I don't know how 'wild' I should go with the colours in these things. I tried for a colourful but 'semi-realistic' effect. I don't know if I achieved that. The background is a bit darker than is usually recommended. I tried it with a 'lighter' background but, for some reason, I kept coming back to the version I've posted. I am open to any suggestions - well clean ones anyway.....
  14. After much experimenting and learning over the last 12 month i have managed to bring it all together from set up and drift align, getting PHD 2 to keep the mount on track and stay on the graph to the processing. Only issue was as allways heavy LP in the mids, graradientXterminator used to remove. 32 x 2min subs with 16 darks and 20 each bias and flats. Imager: Full spectrum modded EOS 1100D with Badder Neodynum and coma corrector on SW150P Guider: ZWO ASI120MM on ST-80 Mounted on a Bresser EXOS 2 Stacked in DSS Processed in PS5 Evrything just worked for me from start to finish for the first time. i think the drift alignment was the key as it would appear my polarscope isnt very reliable. Well Pleased
  15. So here's the last of my summer's crop of data. I need to get out there again now and take some new stuff ! 28x 300s lights at ISO1600, darks flats and bias, equipment as per sig, modded DSLR at prime focus, Pixinsight. My wife surprised me by saying that it looks like a pacman, without her knowing the name of the nebula. Personally I think it looks more like an angler fish. The Pacman Nebula (NGC 281) is an H II region in the constellation of Cassiopeia and part of the Perseus Spiral Arm. It includes the open cluster IC 1590, the multiple star HD 5005, and several Bok globules. The multiple star consists of an 8th-magnitude primary with four companions at distances between 1.4 and 15.7 seconds of arc. Hope you enjoy, comments and cc welcome. Stuart
  16. Following on from Gnomus' postings of his processing of the Pacman nebula in bicolour and the Hubble palette it was my turn to have a go at processing the same data. Steve had read about the CFHT (HOS) palette in Warren Keller's new book so persuaded me that I should give it a try. I wasn't sure quite what to expect and was completely unprepared for the wildly coloured image that popped up on the screen when I combined the three colour channels. Unfortunately we discovered that referring to this as Ms Pacman wasn't an original idea but it still seems very apt. I worked mainly in PixInsight before transferring to Photoshop for LCE and some minor and targeted sharpening at the end. Not sure what to make of the image but it is certainly different.
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