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steve2310

M31 Andromeda Galaxy - First LRGB with Mono Atik 383L+

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Hi all

Well, after what seems an age I finally have an image to post. I have had my mono Atik 383L+ for just over a year now and I feel that I am now finally starting to get to grips with it. I lost a few months fo imaging due to a problem with a previous 383L and then of course the weather has a habit of interfering with the completion of objects etc etc!!

This is my first completed LRGB and after many hours of experimentation with MaximDL, Pixinsight, Images Plus, and Photoshop (so much to learn), I am now starting to develop a workflow that I am happy with. This M31 was stacked and aligned etc with MaximDL, but as I become more familiar with Pixinsight I will stack and align the image with it's pre-processing tools. I have spent soooo many hours playing with all the software tools available to me and although the image is far from perfect I am reasonably happy with it. I know I need to develop the skills to protect the stars better during the image processsing and I as I say, I will attempt a reprocess when time allows. The biggest nightmare I had with this M31 was the huge gradient and light pollution problem that seemed to swamp an entire side of the image but I have done the best I can with it. It literally took me a week playing with gradiant exterminator and Pixinsights DBE to finally 'kill it'!!! Bah!

Anyway, the image details are:

L= 52 x 600s

R= 15 x 600s

G= 15 x 600s

B= 15 x 600s

Equinox 80

NEQ6 Pro

Atik 383L+

Taken on the nights of 11th,14th,15th,17th,18th and 19th August 2012

Captured with Artemis.

PHD Guiding

Stacked, aligned with Maxim DL

Flats, Bias and Darks applied.

Processed with Pixinsight, MaximDL, Images Plus and Photoshop CS3.

Thanks for looking and any tips/help would be really appreciated.

Steve

PS I tried to upload a 18mb tiff but SGL wouldn't let me so here's a 2mb jpg version.

M31 LRGB

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Very nice. Well worth the time spend capturing the data.

James

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Thanks all for the kind words - appreciated. Yeah, it was worth the imaging time trying to capture the galaxy but I'm sure I spent more time trying to process it. I was basically learning Pixinsight and Images Plus as I was going along. It does need re-doing but I'm happy with this as a first process.

Initially I tried to process the luminance and RGB seperately but the words 'pigs' and 'ear' spring to mind! Very difficult to do!

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Wonderful image - all that hard work shows :)

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Steve...

That is a really fantastic image...and clearly a lot of work has gone in to this...

Terrific amount of detail and very good colour...you can be rightly proud of this one..

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That's very nice - you've nailed it! I really like your processing, nice and sharp in the bright bits but nice and smooth in the faint bits. You haven't gone over the top with the contrast enhancement, thus leaving the fine detail still present. I think the stars have come out somewhat blueish but you could probably fix that with a tweak to the colour balance...

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Gina, SteveA, Velvet, Starfox: Many thanks all for taking the time to look and comment - I'm really pleased everyone seems to like it. I have spent so much time on this M31 that it is a worry to upload it only to find it's pulled apart. Mind you, i'm still new to this so I'm happy to learn from those guys who really know their stuff.

Shibby: Many thanks and yes agree about the the blue stars. I used the 'Adam Block saturation' method to enhance colour but may have gone a step too far with it. I will reprocess this though at some and attempt to protect the stars a little better than I have. It's all such a steep learning curve eh?

If anyone is interested I have the higher resolution images of the galaxy here http://www.flickr.com/photos/59642545@N04/8052955140/in/photostream/ at Flickr.

Thanks again.

Steve

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That I like with good detail - my only concern is that there's a lot of blue stars.

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A wealth of detail there in spiral arms, lots of dark dust & Ha clouds. Worth the wait- maybe you could link to larger file? We all go to a lot of trouble to take great images and then have to reduce them to small, 8 bit jpegs for the web!!!

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laser_jock: You can find larger versions of the image here: M31 Andromeda Galaxy - LRGB : and thanks for the comment.

NickK: I'm not sure why there are so many blue stars? I didn't stretch any one of the colour channels over another but when I get time I will go back and have a look at the processing work flow and try and correct it. As an aside, I used Pixinsight for colour calibration which does tend to do good job in balancing the colours correctly. I must have made a 'fluff' somewhere though.

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Superb detail in the dust lanes and very well controlled all the way to the core, well worth all the effort. The only criticsm would be that it has a magenta cast, but for a first LRGB foray I would be more than pleased. :)

Regards

Kevin

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Cheers guys and thanks for looking/commenting. Not sure where the magenta cast has come from but it is my intention to have another process as and when I get the time. When I do I'll attempt to try and overcome some of the colour issues. On the whole though I am really pleased with it.

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but is it correct that Andromeda appears 4 and a half times the size of a full moon in our skies (i.e, arc seconds)? Is that right? Wow....

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but is it correct that Andromeda appears 4 and a half times the size of a full moon in our skies (i.e, arc seconds)? Is that right? Wow....

More like six times, I believe.

James

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That's a really nice looking pic :) I've been looking at M31 visually recently and really like this detailed view of what I've been looking at. Especially like the detail in M110.

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