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NAN - worst pic ever?

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With a programming background, i thought this was the Not A Number nebula, but now of course I know it is the North America Nebula. I have hunted for it and never seen it, from both dark sites and not so dark sites.

I tried imaging it on Friday - I tried hard, taking 120 exposures at 30 seconds, which is pushing my little SE mount. I used a UHC filter to boost contrast. I messed up the flats as usual. I understand that this is primarily a Ha region, so my unmodded camera is not really suited to the task, and my UHC blocked all the Ha anyway.

I was very dissappointed when I processed the image and found a whole lot of nothing.

I tried to process it again tonight, and saw some hints of nebulosity. Comparing my image to online images, the hints were even in the right place. So this is my result, after some ferocious stretching and histogram clipping.

Surprisingly, all my data is in the green channel - I would have expected a bit of Hb signal in the blue channel, but there is nothing.

Obviously I'm pleased to have finally hunted down this DSO. It is my first pic of a nebula too, as well as my first 'narrowband' image.


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I would'nt say this was the worst image ever. I find this imaging lark to be quite a personal thing and the quality of other peoples images matters not when you yourself bring something out of the void. You will have no doubt learned something from this effort too which makes its all the more worthwhile.

You might want to try taking longer exposures just for the hell if it to see how much you can reveal. My first North america nebula had terrible vignetting, noise and really stretched stars at the edges but I still look at it in amazment completely disregarding all the errors.

Good luck with all future attempts.

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By far this is not the worst image ever. You said all your data was from the green channel, so its going to be green. We all start somewhere and my first images were awful. You got the nebula and you got stars, that is more than most people can say. As mentioned, you just have to take more images and practice. If we were all experts there would be no forum. Worst thing you could do is get discouraged, Im sure soon enough we will see greatness in your images. Good luck:)

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Tommy and the Monster are right (Hey that sounds like the title of a Roald Dahl book! :rolleyes: )

Seriously this is a good effort. You've found it after a search and you managed to image it from your SE alt-az. It has discernible detail and form. I think that's very impressive. ;)

Looks nothing like my granny though...
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If you don't like that it is green, just remove the chroma component and process it like a B/W image ! I sure don't see any color in our current POW, and yet, it is a fantastic image. I've done that with a few exposures that I just couldn't get the color right on, and they make fine monochrome images !

Good luck, Jim S.

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I wonder whether I would have more luck with the veil nebula - I think it is stronger in OIII.

In the individual subs I had random star trailing (different directions on each sub) but in the stacked image my stars are points - is that normal?

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The worst images are those which contain a likeness of... (insert least favourite politician) so you are way ahead of that!!

I had a guest who tired this in an unmodded 350D. We got nothing at all, zilch. The following year he came back with the camera modded and it showed as plain as day.

I really don't know why it's green unless it was debayered with the wrong offset? But how would that happen?


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