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IC1396 - Elephants Trunk Nebula in HST palette


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I managed to get 5 hours of SII data in 30 minute sub frames last night. Sky conditions weren't brilliant and even with the moon not rising till early morning the sky never got very dark (a problem this time of year) which makes narrow band imaging the only choice for me. This was taken with the following

Takahashi FSQ106ED at f5

Starlight Xpress SXVF H9

Paramount ME

Lodestar and OAG for guiding

5nm narrow band filters

Exposures are 8x30 minutes for Ha and 10x30 minutes for OIII and SII

Colour combined with a 7:1:5 ratio for SII:Ha:OIII. No sharpening, smoothing or noise reduction has been used. Multiple iterations of levels followed by multiple iterations of contrast curves were used with some colour adjustments and de-saturation of the magenta stars

I have put the three stages from the last couple of weeks on the home page of my website

Imaging The Heavens - Home Page

and a full size high resolution image can be seen at the following link

IC1396 - Elephants Trunk Nebula in HST palette photo - Gordon Haynes photos at pbase.com

Thanks for looking

Best wishes and clear skies



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I can only repeat Sara's comment - This is stunning...! I find it absolutely amazing that people can produce images like this - It could have been taken by the HST itself...

Thanks for sharing...!

Edited by AndyUK
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That's a work of art right there! Looks like you found a really good ratio for the combination of channels. The level of detail is simply jawdropping, I really enjoy photos that are combined as pure s2/ha/o3 without using a seperate Ha pun channel. But it takes a lot of data to pull it off, good job!

If you find the starcolors distracting, try some slight starcolor neutralizing by following these steps (photoshop):

1. Duplicate image to seperate layer, & set top layer blend mode to 'color'

2. Apply filter noise - median to top layer, using a value around 4 (depending on star-sizes)

3. If you want the effect more subtle, just decrease the top layer transparency a bit before flattening the image.

I find the median filter way better than using a gaussian blur, since median better preserves color contrast in the nebulas

Once again, A-class image

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