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RGB Over Several Nights - Best Method?

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I was hoping to experiment with this, but as usable clear nights this winter have been in single figures, I've opted to ask the experts. To keep it simple, let's say we have 3 (identical) clear nights with 3 hours of imaging available each night and I want to capture a single target.

1. Is it best to do one night of R, one night of G and one of B, or

2. One hour if R, one of G and one B each night?

If we go for option 2, should I:

a. Stack all the Rs Gs and Bs individually and then combine, or

b. Stack each night's RGBs and then combine the 3 composites?



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I tend to do full sets every session.

With our weather, I want to make sure I get somehting at the end rather than nothing.

I started M42 earlier this year with the intention of getting 'loads' of data, only to find it is now too low. As I did LRGB each night, at least I got something.

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I work differently, 1 filter per night as I know I will need 15/16 of each set minimum to combine to an image, I would rather end up with nothing due to the weather than an image I was unhappy with.

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For option 2, I would stack only when you had the full set for the filter. This would allow you to use a sigma clip routine effectively and this is a powerful noise reducer.

Personally I shoot sets on each night. I would have thought that averaging out the vagaries of a particular night (since even where I live no nights are perfect) would beat having all the problems in one channel.


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