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My very 1st image of M51 (whirlpool galaxy) {130-pds}


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Hey guys i had an amazing night imaging my 1st ever galaxy!! needless to say i was buzzing when i saw it appear on my dslr screen! lol

M51 is about 23 million light years away so quite far! i got an hour of data from 1 min subs as with the light pollution and the half moon anything over 1min and the image was getting washed out, so i cant wait to try from my dark spot in the forest with no moon on show. 

this was taken with my SW 130-pds on an EQ5 with dual motors and polar aligned only with no tracking so quite happy to tick another goal off my 2014 check list! ive only got 2 goals left which is to image the ISS and a comet so not doing bad.

 i need to learn how to process this type of image also as i have only adjusted the RGB channels in DSS with this image at the moment so hopefully there is a LOT more detail to be teased out of this image, i did try adjusting the levels and curves in PS but they dont seem to do much for me lol if any one has got any tips on processing/editing M51 in PS id love to hear lol

here is my attempt any hoo, so many things need improving but none the less im really happy! you should have seen my face :)

13040805844_3de6c3eee1_b.jpg
as you can see ive not even cropped the rough edges away lol as i want to do a comparison for when ive got as much detail out of it as possible then give a nice crop with the finished image
Edited by tingting44
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I remember the first time I imaged this target and it was such a thrill seeing it for the first time, you just cant beat that time you see things like this and its brand new. Its been a couple of years now since I last did M51 and nothing will beat that first day I saw it fresh and new so well done and enjoy the rest of your astrophotography adventures.

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Great. I know the feeling. What you have here is a monochrome image so the colour data you captured has not been released, but it will be in there somewhere. I don't use DSS but there are controls for releasing the colour and a DSS user will advise.

Olly

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Looks amazing mate! I have just had a look with Google sky maps and can't make out m51 with the naked eye, will have to try my binos. Right up there though isn't it, got a bad neck looking for it lol. Keep them coming bro, can't wait to hit the darkness of the forest with u

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great start :D

Thanks Dave :D

I remember the first time I imaged this target and it was such a thrill seeing it for the first time, you just cant beat that time you see things like this and its brand new. Its been a couple of years now since I last did M51 and nothing will beat that first day I saw it fresh and new so well done and enjoy the rest of your astrophotography adventures.

thats for sure, defo another wow moment of my astro journey :D

Great. I know the feeling. What you have here is a monochrome image so the colour data you captured has not been released, but it will be in there somewhere. I don't use DSS but there are controls for releasing the colour and a DSS user will advise.

Olly

Thanks Olly, , just got in from work now so going to search hard for some youtube video's on how to actually process the image properly lol

Thats a great feeling seeing the image you captured. Makes all the faf n kaffufle worth it. You have the same set up as me, its a cracking little scope aint it.

Thanks Andre, for sure makes it all worth it, i was like a kid at xmas when it came out :) really hoping to get a lot more detail out of it tho, and defo going to take flats next time :)

Looks amazing mate! I have just had a look with Google sky maps and can't make out m51 with the naked eye, will have to try my binos. Right up there though isn't it, got a bad neck looking for it lol. Keep them coming bro, can't wait to hit the darkness of the forest with u

Heyyy Dan!!! :D ah thanks bro :) yeah its all ways at the bottom of the big dipper (i think lol) so its a nice easy deep space object to find :) did you get ya bino's out in the end last night to try to see M51?

Congratulations!  It just keeps on getting after this!  Mind you, lacking the equipment, I have yet to capture an image like this myself!

Isabelle

ohhh i cant wait! getting me a GPUSB this thursday, well paying for it this thursday, so then all i need is a SW 9x50 finder to be able to guide! muchly excited lol

Well done!! Great result! Very chuffed for you!

Thanks buddy! nothing compared to your M51 tho lol but im happy.....for now lol

Edited by tingting44
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Image processing - what I've done is - I bought Lodriguss' guide to AP.

He takes you through photoshop basics on daytime pics first and then moves onto AP. Great start - I processed about 100 holiday pics first in PS CS5 - and then moved on.

Then I watched all of Doug German's AP videos, and actually wrote down what he said.

Neither of these will be enough, but with this basis you can move on to doing the right thing, instead of just eyeballing the pic.

Edited by Russe
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Well done, the first of many.

Thanks mate, cant wait to try on other objects, i think i will be fixated on M51 for a while tho lol

Well done a great image. Keep them coming as we all like to see these.  :smiley:

Thanks Langy :)

Image processing - what I've done is - I bought Lodriguss' guide to AP.

He takes you through photoshop basics on daytime pics first and then moves onto AP. Great start - I processed about 100 holiday pics first in PS CS5 - and then moved on.

Then I watched all of Doug German's AP videos, and actually wrote down what he said.

Neither of these will be enough, but with this basis you can move on to doing the right thing, instead of just eyeballing the pic.

ah, thanks for them video links mate!!! just what the doctor ordered! just about to go to bed so will watch a couple in bed on my ipod :D thanks kindly, and that book looks real good! thanks Russe

Nice work, that's an unmistakable whirlpool.

Thank you knight :) yes i was gobsmacked when i see it appear on the dslr screen lol i love unlocking hidden treasure's in the night sky :D

i forgot to add these were taking without a coma corrector, but right now im not thinking perfection, just happy to be able to identify the whirlpool, but im sure ill soon to be getting picky over my pics, right night all and catch you tomorrow :)

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excellent start, M51 is a pretty tough target. it is a great feeling when you get your scope to the right position, cannot see the object, but when you take your first image as if by magic there it is !!!!!!!!

Thanks :) tell me about it i was searching for it for ages! i ended up putting a laser through the finder scope to make sure i was in the right place in the end, it was one hell of a feeling when i saw it appear on the screen i can tell you lol

Very nice, thanks. I'm hoping to image M51 at some point (when my equipment is up to the job).

Thanks Eddy, what gear do you have at the moment then?

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Great start. Tracking looks good and focus spot on too. Nice job for first time out.

Thanks mate :D

next thing, i need a bit of help from PS user's, im trying to add color to my image as its mono at the moment, i have been searching all over youtube with no luck, does anyone have a good link or a bit of advice of how to bring out the color? i cant figure out for the life of me, also not sure how i can adjust the RGB like i do in DSS, in DSS it seems so easy but cant figure it out in PS CS5

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greyscale ?  you do hue&saturation and click colourise, but you know that already  ;-)

levels has a drop-down for each channel so you can adjust the histos independently, I dare say curves does too, but not in my cheapskate elements version.  For saturation, hue&saturation/saturation slider - you get better results doing small amounts of saturation increase several times rather than one big increase

and all your colour work in PS,do it in a separate colour layer - ie duplicate layer, changing blending mode to colour and make your changes there, then you won't get artifacts on your luminance.  worthwhile running colour noise redcuction on your colour layer (i forget the menu shortcut), and possibly a small gaussian blur too.

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Well done geat first image, I have just tried to find some colour without success. Analysing your image there are "allegedly" 818 individual colours somewhere in there but I couldn't find them. Of course they could all be very close together or more likely I am not knowledgeable enough. The ISS is visible over Southampton early A.M. at the moment so you will have to set your alarm bright and early to catch it.

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Just looked up M51 in my Sky Atlas and if the photo in there is to be believed then there is not much colour in the galaxy, much of it looks blue grey with red-white splashes in the star forming areas on the spiral arms. I did think I teased out some faint red but that could have been wishful thinking. I could be well off the mark here but I would have thought that you would need to separate your image into RGB layers, then try to increase colour content of each layer and then bring back together.

PS my atlas says M51 is 37m light years away so if that's the case you did even better than you thought. :smiley:

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There is channel mixer in PS. Find it under  Image - Adjustments - Channel Mixer

Not sure if thats the right thing. Was it a DSLR image? 

no i was playing about with that, not of much use...

yes it is a canon 7d dslr

greyscale ?  you do hue&saturation and click colourise, but you know that already  ;-)

levels has a drop-down for each channel so you can adjust the histos independently, I dare say curves does too, but not in my cheapskate elements version.  For saturation, hue&saturation/saturation slider - you get better results doing small amounts of saturation increase several times rather than one big increase

and all your colour work in PS,do it in a separate colour layer - ie duplicate layer, changing blending mode to colour and make your changes there, then you won't get artifacts on your luminance.  worthwhile running colour noise redcuction on your colour layer (i forget the menu shortcut), and possibly a small gaussian blur too.

ahhh thanks mate, the same as the white light solar images you told me how to do then lol, i dont seem to get much color out of this image tho... got it looking loads better with gradient X Terminator! lovely program that is, will have to treat myself when my free 30 day trial is over, will post up another image of the same data this evening and see what you think, thanks for all your tips and help tho buddy :)

Well done geat first image, I have just tried to find some colour without success. Analysing your image there are "allegedly" 818 individual colours somewhere in there but I couldn't find them. Of course they could all be very close together or more likely I am not knowledgeable enough. The ISS is visible over Southampton early A.M. at the moment so you will have to set your alarm bright and early to catch it.

Hey dave, thanks mate :)  wow! 818 colors in there!!! dam i have to have more of a play to try to tease them out :D ohhhh dont tease me Dave about the ISS!!! i get up for work at 2am and go to bed about 7pm so no chance for me during the week for astro togging  :tongue:

Just looked up M51 in my Sky Atlas and if the photo in there is to be believed then there is not much colour in the galaxy, much of it looks blue grey with red-white splashes in the star forming areas on the spiral arms. I did think I teased out some faint red but that could have been wishful thinking. I could be well off the mark here but I would have thought that you would need to separate your image into RGB layers, then try to increase colour content of each layer and then bring back together.

PS my atlas says M51 is 37m light years away so if that's the case you did even better than you thought. :smiley:

yes i think the color is proving to be one of the hardest challenges for me.....got a lot to learn, interesting what you say about seperating the RGB then increase each then bring them back together...

ohhh 37m light years away! woo hoo lol :D

right back to the drawing board in PS for me lol hopefully ill have a re-process to post in a little bit

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here is the 2nd attempt at a Re-process..... this time i had a play about with level's, curves, used the plugin Gradient X Terminator for PS CS5, its getting better i think....or it might just be my eyes blurring where i have been looking at it soo long lol let me know what you think any way....oh ive given up with the color, no matter what i do when i try to colorize it, the image turns horrible!

Re-process #2

13087767174_156a4b08dd_c.jpg
Plate solved
Edited by tingting44
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