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Uranium235

Sword of Orion: 22.5 hours with a DSLR and CCD

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Well, its is the end of the line for this one (until next year). I managed to grab the missing Ha panel last night, though the sky was a bit soupy so that particular corner picked up a bit of noise, so to really make it noise free it would require another 2 hours in Ha per panel. Its difficult to say when the next clear night may be, so I think it might be time to stop chasing this one until im better equipped. But its colour I wouldnt otherwise have if I was just using the CCD alone, and its come from a DSLR that only a few months ago had been sitting idle for nearly two years!

Most of the donkey work has been done by the Canon 1000d, which I have to say is brilliant if you get a high sub count and the data properly calibrated. In fact, there was so little noise and so much Ha from the 1000d that I didnt need to blend the Ha data with the red channel. All that needed to be done was to make a luminance master where the 314L+ Ha plays the bit-part and takes over just outside M42 and the Running man - so its a blend of roughly 60% DSLR, 40% CCD, 0% horsemeat.

Processing was a bit of a mare.... how to keep the running man while blending Ha was a tough one, it seemed counter intuitive but i found stretching the layer mask (to encompass the running man) before clipping it enabled more of the DSLR layer to come through. Also did some tidying up on the layer mask with the eraser tool (very handy) and pushed the local contrast as far as i dare. Anyway, enough jibba jabba.....

The Sword of Orion: M42, M43

1000d: 54x600 (L) = 9 hours

Atik 314L+: 6x600 + 5x900 x 6 panels = 13.5 hours

Total exposure: 22.5 hours

Real time taken: 11.25 hours

Processed as: L_Ha, RGB

Calibration: 1000d 34x600 + 10x60 dark, 35 flats - 314L+ bias and flats

ED80 (0.85x) x2, NEQ6

Thanks for looking :)

First the DSLR/CCD combo:

index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=85601

Next, just the Ha only:

index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=85603

post-5513-0-23834500-1361226885_thumb.jp

post-5513-0-76057600-1361227095_thumb.jp

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Thanks Jamie and Gina, its not too red is it? Its just other versions are a lot more heavy in purple/magenta - but my camera didnt produce any such colour, even when balanced in PS.

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A serious piece of work. Hearty congratulations. Is it too red? For me, yes. Modded DSLRs are very red-heavy indeed, though that needn't be a bad thing on some targets. This is slightly more than a matter of taste, too, I think. Look at the Running Man in Ha. He isn't there! He never is, because the human figure is a reflection nebula and, therefore, most certainly blue and not red. However, in your colour version he is visible in red, which can't be true to nature (though, again, this may or may not be a concern.) However, I think I'd prefer the versions you mention in which there is more blue playing.

But, boy, you deserve a pat on the back for this one.

Olly

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I second the pat on the back, this is truly awe inspiring. My jaw nearly hit the floor lol, great image

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Absolutely stunning.Best i,ve seen in a long while.

My only negative,is a little too Red,but oh boy.

Mick.

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Rob, It's a superb achievement, and you are to be congratulated. As others have mentioned above, the "bluer" version perhaps needs to be looked at alongside the current "redder" version, and you may want to post them side-by-side, but as we know a lot of this is personal preference (and rightly so) - if you prefer the redder end result then stick with it - whatever final colour comes out it's a fanatastic image that any of us would be very proud of.

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Nice one! Prehaps a tad on the red side? who knows! I think the dust around the bottom of the neb is brown-ish but hard to capture with just Ha for Lum. But a brave job none the less.

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Thanks guys :)

I will take another look at it tonight, and its in danger of being properly clear so there might be a bit of a noise reduction job to be done by grabbing some replacement subs for that bottom corner.

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Cracking image, well done. My modded dslr is producing a very red M42, but well worth it in my opinion with the mod capturing all the extra signal.

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Quick update:

Its still clear at the moment, not perfect but better than it was last night. Im just working on replacing a few of the 900s subs for the bottom corner. If there is time I will top up the running man too becuse that space in between M42 and the running man needs a little more time to iron out the noise.

Im also working on the colour balance to bring out a bit more blue and am reducing the red channel by 20%. Fortunately I have all the various stages saved so I wont have to start from scratch.

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If your experience in imaging is the age of the universe I am about 1 picosecond after the Big Bang in mine but I have to say that's the best image I've seen since my interest in astronomy began last year! Sensational stuff!

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Thanks Fordos :)

However, Ive been working on a little update which has pushed it more towards the classical colour most would expect. The trouble with pushing the blue channed on the DSLR is that I seem to have picked up those blue halos again. Now I have the full set of data I can poke about with it at my leisure. But until then, I have this slightly more sedate (and less red) version.

DSLR + CCD:

index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=85730

DSLR with Ha blended to Red channel at 40% (none with luminance)

index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=85731

post-5513-0-58084600-1361320561_thumb.jp

post-5513-0-85168800-1361320626_thumb.jp

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Hi Rob,

A supreme effort and marvelous finished result! I love all the faint stuff that you've picked up surrounding the nebula, I always think it looks better with a bit of context around it like this. The colours look great to me on your second version.

I don't know where you've found all the clear skies to do this! I've only had the 'scope out ONCE this year so far. (Got a meagre image of ISON). Even then, it clouded over half way through the night! Perhaps you've been luckier with the weather over in your part of the country (which would be promising for SGL ;) )

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Thanks Lewis :) I can assure you i havent been hogging any clear sky! Since the start of the year ive only had two or three sessions where i can say i got clean(ish) data. The past couple of days, although clear - have given quite poor results in terms of noise created by high cloud.

Now it looks like we are all in for another round of cloud sandwiches over the next couple of weeks. Lets hope it bogs off in time for SGL8!

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Hi Rob,

Glad you got the missing piece of your jigsaw, like i said before this is the best finish i have seen on here i feel, it's just all there i like all three versions i aint fussy as they are all amazing shots, i know you have put a lot of sweat & tears maybe ? in to this one, that pat on the back from Olly is well desrved mate, well done it's a stunner.

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Finally had a chance to look at this on a PC earler... Absolutley exquisite imaging and processing - Congrats Rob..

Peter...

Sent from my GT-P7300 using Tapatalk HD

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Thanks Ewan, not quite a case of blood - but definitely sweat from lugging the gear out and tears when i wasted an hour trying to get DSS to stack it all (always remember to use a reference frame!).

Peter, thanks for taking the time to inspect this on a monitor. To have praise from Mr DSLR means i must have done something right! :)

The biggest hassle in getting it calibrared properly was getting an accurate measurement of ADU because none of the software i normally use would load the .cr2 files in an un-debayered format. Managed to fix it eventually by using the old pc in the basement, which for some odd reason still loads raw files with no debayering.

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