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Flame & Horsehead nebulae


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This is a image I took on Sunday after finally removing the smears I had stupidly gotten onto the objective lens. I accidentally dropped acetone onto it & when I was trying to soak it up, it caused a smear across the lens. I initially thought I had ruined the coating on the lens until a few people on here pointed out that it was probably from the acetone & using isopropyl alcohol should clean it up which it I'm delighted to say, it did!

I've been wanting to image the Flame/Horsehead again since I upgraded to a CCD camera so I'm glad to have finally got it & I'm pretty happy with it. One thing that is annoying me however is that if you zoom in, there is a weird effect round a fair few of the blue stars. Not sure what is causing this as I checked the original subs & they are fine so it must be from stacking in DSS, does anyone have any ideas what could be causing that?

It is 13 x 600s fully calibrated subs & was taken using the kit in my signature, stacked in DSS, processed with PixInsight & tweaked in Photoshop.

Any constructive criticism or advice on how to improve it is welcome.

Thanks for looking,



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Great image.

I particularly like the colour you have manage to capture in the small nebula at the centre far left of the image; mine is just a smudge of blue :(

What is the effect you don't like around the blue stars?  I'm not sure I can see it.  Although it does look like you might have reasonably high levels of compression artefacts across the image - not clear if this is due to the size/compression of the original you posted or the auto-compression that the site does :(.

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Thanks Mike,

I think it might compression SGL does but not sure. Here is the same image from Astrobin, it looks a bit cleaner to me but I'll let you have a look & decide for yourself.


The artifacts I'm talking about are on some of the mid sized blue stars, if you look at them they have a slight turquoise colouring on the left side. It could just be that I've been staring it at it for so long while processing that I'm seeing things but I'm pretty sure they are there. :smiley:


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