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Imaged throughout the glorious early March weather of the last week or so this is a culmination of 17 hours of data captured in LRGB. This 17 hours captured in a week more than doubles what I had managed throughout the whole of January and February!!

This Galaxy has a huge difference in surface brightness between the central core and outer spiral arms posing a challenge for both image capture and processing. It is another object that eats exposure time and laughs in the face of 10 minute LRGB subs, but with my urban skies I just can't push exposure times any further with broadband filters to detect more colour in the spiral arms of the galaxy.

It is also peppered with fuzzies in the background, Pixinsight labels around 10 from the PGC + NGC 4248, but I still see more. Is there a more comprehensive annotation software available?

Imaged with an Altair Astro 6"RC and Atik 314l+. Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop CS5.

As always I really hope you like it :) and thank you for looking.


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wow John you've done it again and produced another brilliant image.I agree way more than 10 fuzzies :D my favorite part is the collection of stars in those outer arms really gives you the feel that its rotating. keep them coming John


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Another winner, yes indeed. 

To be very picky indeed, I wonder if the green is a gnat's crotchet on the high side? You also have some decon or sharpening dark haloes on some small stars. Clone stamp from surrounding sky set to 'lighten' would zap them in a few clicks.

This is a great image. A few years ago Martin B posted a version with long Ha subs added and he pointed out a tantalizing little jet shooting out perpendicular to the plane. This would be right up your street!


Edited by ollypenrice
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Wow, incredible image of M106; I love the fine, sharp detail. It enhances all the fuzzies in the background as they're much easier to pick out compared to the pinpoint stars.

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Thank you chaps!

Olly, I used quite a bit of selective sharpening on the very outer tips of the arms to highlight the crunchy texture that sits right out there, the small stars must have got caught up in that as I masked the whole image and brushed in the areas I wanted sharpened in CS5, getting a little too over excited with the brush!!

John, there is no Ha at all in the image, and perhaps this is the curse of the 3nm Ha filter, the redshift in the galaxy is going to make the Astrodon less effective than usual with its sharp cut off. Has anyone tried for extra galactic Ha with a 3nm?

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I think you should make the bakground a little darker to bring out the galaxy and details in it better, you should also bring out more of the color in the galaxy.

Details are very good and great number of fuzzies in the background :grin:

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Interestingly I still had the original file open on my desktop and found on close inspection that there were none of the the dark halos present which Olly pointed out on the small stars. The original post is linked from Flickr which is renowned for altering uploaded photos by sharpening them for web use. That will teach me for using Flickr for images!

R Jay Gabany's M106 almost made me choke on my mug of tea, stupidly good.

Ole, I'm never one for a dark background I'm afraid, and as for more colour within the galaxy, well there isn't any to more to bring out, that's the lot!! As I said above this thing laughs in the face of 10 minute subs!

Edited by johnrt
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Here's how i think the background should be, it's darker, but not too dark.

I think it gives more life into the image and brings out the galaxy and faint fuzzies better.


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I updated the image on Flickr, which breaks the link, so here it is again. I have applied a little darkening to the background and used Olly's technique on a few stars with the tiny black halos.

This version is also linked from my website, not Flickr and I can see a definite reduction in sharpening that Flickr applies to images.


In the interest of exploration here is the annotated version with the PGC's marked in Pixinsight.


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