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Another go at M42 - this time I caught the running man!


David_Pickles
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A couple of weeks ago I posted my very first image taken with my QHY8L - http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/199897-m42-orion-nebula-first-light-with-the-qhy8l/#entry2108024

Having taken note of some of the comments I received last time (thanks Olly) I took advantage of the clear skies last night and decided to have another go at this most majestic of night sky wonders.

11155251905_69cd40039b_c.jpg
The Great Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula by Judge.pickles123, on Flickr

I have to say that I am really pleased with this one - my favourite image to date. But what changed from last week:

  • Framing - I took more time to frame the image so that I could capture the Running Man, as this gem has always alluded me.
  • Exposure length - I added 10 x 300s exposures, with the 200s and 45s exposures I used last time.
  • Equipment - I have changed the nose piece of the QHY8L to one that has clear glass with an anti-reflective coating, rather than the standard IR cut filter. My LPS filter already has an IR cut which I think is a lot better than the QHY filter.
  • Processing - Used Olly's suggestion of layer masking to combine 3 different exposure lengths in Photoshop in order to keep the detail in the Trapezium whilst bringing out the faint nebulosity of the Running Man. The 45s exposures were not stretched too much, to avoid overexposure - I should have taken 10s exposures but I forgot that bit of Olly's advice.
  • Weather - Last time experienced some dew forming on the lens of the scope towards the end of the session, but this time I made sure my dew prevention techniques were in place throughout the session. Some lagging on the OTA and a Kendrick dew band.

It is amazing what a difference a few weeks and a couple of tweaks can make - and of course, many thanks to those that commented last time and helped me improve to this level.

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Very nice....The QHY8L seems very capable (jn the right hands) over the modded dSLR. I must start saving!

I'd be interested to know the differences in exposure times (sky background ADU as reference) between the two cameras.  I assume no darks needed from the QHY8L?

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Well done David - What a super image!!

Are the histograms balanced? I ask as I think there's a tinge of green in the outer nebulosity - Something as simple as HLVG in CS or SCNR in PI will sort that I'm sure.

Hope that helps.

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Well done David - What a super image!!

Are the histograms balanced? I ask as I think there's a tinge of green in the outer nebulosity - Something as simple as HLVG in CS or SCNR in PI will sort that I'm sure.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for the tip Sara - I have balanced the colours and the green tinge in the nebulosity has now gone.

11175231165_6becc96851_c.jpg

The Great Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula by Judge.pickles123, on Flickr

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