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Uranium235

The big one.... Virgo Supercluster Completed & Annoted (Star 71)

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Now theres a novelty.... two nights of back to back moonless clear sky! Just the job for finishing this project off... and I'll be glad to see the back of it to be honest! It wasnt too bad when it was six panes, but getting nine panes to WCS solve has been a royal pain. I managed to get it solved eventually by mounting the 1000d on the dual bar and shooting some (very) widefield shots using the 50mm f1.8 - stopped down to f5 to keep the field as flat as possible. This project has also been a severe lesson in how to deal with multiple gradients, but a bit of pixel math soon sorted that out.

From there I could register each pane to the widefield, and get it solved - which then in turn allowed me to link it to SIMBAD for adding the additional object labels. There are perhaps one or two errant labels kicking about, and some of the fuzzies were not in the SIMBAD database (despite showing up on the SDSS images) - but after 5 hours I'd had enough of scouring such a large image so I've saved it off.

In the end I didnt get the 1000 galaxies I wanted (such is the limit of my time, equipment and location), but I guess 529 will do! :)  not bad for a light polluted back garden. I will include a list of what is in the FITS header and present it as a table so it doesnt take up too much space. I'll post links to the full size images too, but be aware that the unannoted version is 28mb (and thats just the mono JPEG!).

The only (very minor) slip up is that I missed a strip off the bottom right corner, but Im not going to beat myself up over that! :D

 

Virgo Supercluster

9 pane mosaic (ranging from 2 - 2.5 hours per pane), total exposure = 20 hours

Star 71, Atik 383L+, NEQ6

 

Thanks for looking! :)

 

Unannoted:

26145897946_422176cdb4_k.jpg

Fullsize:

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1673/26145897946_a5893bb34a_o.jpg

 

Annoted:

26146078666_621e273198_k.jpg

Fullsize:

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1528/26146078666_1eb57f04cc_o.jpg

 

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Now that's a LOVELY piece of work and very polished on all counts. Most impressive. :headbang:

Olly

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4 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Now that's a LOVELY piece of work and very polished on all counts. Most impressive. :headbang:

Olly

Cheers Olly :)

I've been after this image for a couple of years now, glad I've finally gotten round to it! It might even serve as a useful "map" should anybody else want to tackle the same area, and need something to register to.

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Well done Rob, looks like a labour of love :)

Dave

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Worth the hassle rob great image mate and an excellent  to refer to.

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Agreed, very nice. I was playing with the chain last night too.

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Great image. What do you estimate the total man-hours to be?

Coincidentally we were shooting Markarian's chain over the same two clear moonless nights as you. Still got a bit to go mind. It is interesting what you said about gradients. We have quite bad ones in our Lum and Red channels (all we have shot so far). Can you tell us a bit more about this 'Pixel Math' method of dealing with them? We have PI, but Pixel Math sounds awfully scary!

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39 minutes ago, MrsGnomus said:

Great image. What do you estimate the total man-hours to be?

Coincidentally we were shooting Markarian's chain over the same two clear moonless nights as you. Still got a bit to go mind. It is interesting what you said about gradients. We have quite bad ones in our Lum and Red channels (all we have shot so far). Can you tell us a bit more about this 'Pixel Math' method of dealing with them? We have PI, but Pixel Math sounds awfully scary!

I'd say the total time with capture, calibration, pre-processing and main processing is about 28 hours.

The pixel math bit is variation of the PI routine ive developed to deal with excessive gradients in galaxy images - if I didnt get rid of them the mosaic would be impossible.

1) Part stretch the image in Ps (to reveal the gradient), save it off.

2) Run a star removal action to remove all the stars

3) Clone brush out all the galaxies

4) Apply a very heavy dose of the dust & scratches filter in Ps (max setting - 250), that wipes out any star remnants and leaves just the gradient.

5 (optional) Model a model of the gradient using DBE in PI LE (or the full size version if you have it), this smooths it out further and avoids the "lumpy background" you sometimes get with just using PI and takes the hit and miss out of it.

6) Apply this gradient model to the image you saved off in step 1 using Maxim DL pixel math (I find it easier to work with), not forgetting to set a constant so the histogram isnt hard left (the constant function is also available in PI).

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Whats next? A good nights sleep thats what! :D

I might have a go at the Leo triplet next or the Coma cluster (though one pane would be enough to cover that). The MW will be making a comeback by the end of April, so I'll probably (as always!) start off in Cygnus.

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A big undertaking carried out impressively - well done, Rob, I really like the whole thing.

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Thanks Steve, though I may have a little tinker with it later on - becuase when I registered the panes I lost about 3mb per pane (got downsampled). Not a bad thing really, but I'd like to see what it looks like if restored close to full resolution.

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Great dedication and perseverance - a wonderful image which shows the immensity of the universe, all the more remarkable knowing it's taken from a back garden in Blighty!

Congratulations :hello2:.

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Thank you... just spent twenty enjoyable and interesting minutes looking at your work and thinking about God,  the universe and the meaning of life and other trivia! 

Wonderful and awe inspiring...

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34 minutes ago, Barry-Wilson said:

Great dedication and perseverance - a wonderful image which shows the immensity of the universe, all the more remarkable knowing it's taken from a back garden in Blighty!

Congratulations :hello2:.

Thanks Barry, and do you know what the mad part is? Within this Supercluster are smaller clusters of galaxies, all very close together... actually, a little too close for my software to annote so I ended up picking just a couple when there was perhaps 5-6 separate galaxies in those little clusters.

Going through the SIMBAD database is a learning experience! (stuff like.... "cor blimey, never knew that classification existed!"). The only thing missing from my info is the Z shift, or some sort of approximate distance - not unless I take the average distance of the whole supercluster, which is ~65MLY.

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Great image and presentation. All your hard work has been justly rewarded.

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Quite something - very special indeed.

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16 hours ago, Uranium235 said:

I'd say the total time with capture, calibration, pre-processing and main processing is about 28 hours.

The pixel math bit is variation of the PI routine ive developed to deal with excessive gradients in galaxy images - if I didnt get rid of them the mosaic would be impossible.

1) Part stretch the image in Ps (to reveal the gradient), save it off.

2) Run a star removal action to remove all the stars

3) Clone brush out all the galaxies

4) Apply a very heavy dose of the dust & scratches filter in Ps (max setting - 250), that wipes out any star remnants and leaves just the gradient.

5 (optional) Model a model of the gradient using DBE in PI LE (or the full size version if you have it), this smooths it out further and avoids the "lumpy background" you sometimes get with just using PI and takes the hit and miss out of it.

6) Apply this gradient model to the image you saved off in step 1 using Maxim DL pixel math (I find it easier to work with), not forgetting to set a constant so the histogram isnt hard left (the constant function is also available in PI).

Thanks for sharing this workflow.  It is extremely helpful.  Would you mind elaborating on a couple of things?

By 'star removal action' do you mean something like Straton?

We do have the full version of PI.  I assume you do the DBE in this way because you find it easier to deal with the gradient in a star-free, object-free image?  

(I don't have Maxim, but Pixel Math is available in PI).  In any event, when using Pixel Math, how does one ensure that one adds the 'flattened' version to only the background and not the stars and galaxies in the Step 1 image? 

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1 hour ago, gnomus said:

Thanks for sharing this workflow.  It is extremely helpful.  Would you mind elaborating on a couple of things?

By 'star removal action' do you mean something like Straton?

We do have the full version of PI.  I assume you do the DBE in this way because you find it easier to deal with the gradient in a star-free, object-free image?  

(I don't have Maxim, but Pixel Math is available in PI).  In any event, when using Pixel Math, how does one ensure that one adds the 'flattened' version to only the background and not the stars and galaxies in the Step 1 image? 

The star removal action is here (free):

http://astroanarchy.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/star-removal-ps-action.html

Yes thats about the gist of it, its easier to deal with if there are no objects or stars there to deal with. When using pixel math for gradients, your are only concetrating on the background - the stars and galaxies are unaffected, and you have the option of applying it in various strengths and by adding a constant. Its much the same method when you are trying to model in PI DBE because you are trying to avoid stars and glaxies to produce the smoothest model possible. Its best to tinker with it and see what works best for you. For a mono image I would imagine the PI setting would be a K of 0.800000 and a constant of about 50(ish) - that should ensure the histogram isnt hard left.

However, it does have its limitations - if you are looking to bring out flux or background dust then you would need to be very careful in how you go about it (all to easy to accidentally zap em). In which case its probably better to stick with standard DBE by selecting sampling points across the image.

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