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Unlikely luck and Messier 57, the Ring Nebula


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Imaging the Ring Nebula was an old dream, so finally being able to do it was a small but significant pleasure! I am glad I even captured a reddish outer rim. This was the last DSO I imaged on 2016-05-04, and for me also the last DSO in this season, as the sky does not get dark anymore until mid-August here (see even the bright background in the picture).

I did many experiments trying to find the right combination of sensitivity and exposure. I ended up using all images I took, with a total of  21 lights and 5 darks. Exposure mixture: 13 at 1600 ISO, 8 at 800 ISO; 11 exposures at 10 seconds, 5 at 8 seconds, 3 at 15 seconds and 2 at 5 seconds. RAW files processed in UFRaw and GIMP, stacked in Registax and final touches in GIMP. No flats, no bias. Still learning those steps!

System as usual: Nikon D40X with Baader MKIII coma corrector at the primary focus of a Skywatcher 200 PDS (200 mm f/5) Newtonian, mounted on an EQ5 dual axis equatorial mount.

Clear skies!

 

M057_20160504_20160505_rp1.png

Edited by Cinco Sauces
typo
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That's a good start. The image has a significant blue cast that could quickly be removed with a bit of TLC- you could if you have Photoshop use GradientXterminator to remove the cast or a bit of post processing in many of the image processing packages. It is hard to see how good the image is until the blue  cast is removed.

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11 minutes ago, pyrasanth said:

That's a good start. The image has a significant blue cast that could quickly be removed with a bit of TLC- you could if you have Photoshop use GradientXterminator to remove the cast or a bit of post processing in many of the image processing packages. It is hard to see how good the image is until the blue  cast is removed.

Thanks for your comment. As you say, there is plenty of room for improvement. The blue tone is a bit reluctant to go, though, as the sky wasn't dark. Focus isn't perfect either. Lot's of tinkering for the bright summer!

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Very nice catch. Your target shows a lot of colour, once the summer night is removed as Pyrasanth suggested

BTW, it doesn't help that the target is still too low in the sky. And when it finally is at its peak, it's almost getting daytime again.

Edited by wimvb
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11 hours ago, wimvb said:

Very nice catch. Your target shows a lot of colour, once the summer night is removed as Pyrasanth suggested

BTW, it doesn't help that the target is still too low in the sky. And when it finally is at its peak, it's almost getting daytime again.

Thank you, mid-August will offer better opportunities for us. Now let's enjoy the summer while it lasts.

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