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M42 - variable exposure combination

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As the Moon was around last night, I decided to have another go at M42, and try and improve on last weeks result.

This time I experimented with various exposure lengths. 30secs 45 secs 120secsand 180secs each of 10 subs, with the exception of the 180secs, which only 5 subs.

The subs finally selected for the composite image, were the 45sec, 120sec and 180sec. The idea being to use the 45sec's for the 'core', the 120 sec's for the 'mid range', and the 180 sec's for the very outer edges of the gas cloud.

Each group of subs was separately calibrated. Then all subs were colour converted, and aligned with each other.

Each group (45, 150 & 180 secs) were combined to produce a 45, 120 and 180 sec 'master'.

The three 'masters' were then taken into P/shop, and 'layer' combined, prior to final processing.

The resulting image, has retained the 'Trapezium core', without doing so at the expense of the outer regions.

Still room for further improvement/experimentation, but and interesting exercise, and a reasonable result.



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Battling against the moonlight would have been bad enough Dave, and you also carried out what seems to be a tricky procedure.

I can't pretend to understand all you have done to get this result, but it looks damned good to me.

The central portions are intact, which is a good bit of work in itself, the Tapezium is very alive in there.

All in all, a great piece of skill, and a more than reasonable result.


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