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This has been a bit of a project. Last year I worked out that my 200mm Canon F2.8 lens and ASI1600 would frame the whole of the Veil complex quite nicely. I captured Ha and OIII data for the east and west nebulae with a Tak FSQ 106 and added this into the widefield image. Although the Tak data had to be shrunk down it did add a bit of extra resolution where it was needed.
The difficulty for me has been the processing. I have found it really difficult to tease out the faint wisps of detail and have tried the usual routines of micro contrast adjustments using curves along with Scott Rosen's Screen blend/mask inversion method but the results weren't great owing to the close proximity of faint and bright nebulosity. I'd heard about the PI process tool for removing stars, Starnet, so loaded this and had a rare foray into PI. This proved very helpful. It was a luminence created from Ha and OIII using the 200mm lens with the Tak data mixed in. Then the starless layer was added in PS with the screen blend mode at 50% opacity. The nebulosity detail was so well preserved I didn't need a mask. After blending I reduced the stars a bit more using the starless layer again and darken as the blend at 50%. I should really unleash some of the stars to add a bit of "punch" but I've wrestled with this data enough for now! I plan to use it further as I look deeper into the Gorgon that is PixInsight!
Telescope: Tak 106 for E and W veils. Canon 200mmL lens
Camera: ZWO ASI 1600 pro mono cmos, Gain 150, offset 50
Filters: Baader 7nm OIII and Ha
E+W Veil 10x30 mins each channel for each nebula. Whole complex 50x5mins for each channel
Captured with SGP, calibrated, aligned and combined with PI, processed mainly with PS but PI for Starnet. Ha mapped to red and OIII to both blue and green
Finally managed to observe the Veil nebula on last Saturday!
I remember spending too many hours searching for it during my observations.
The milky way band in the morning came up really nice ,almost a continuous band from scorpious to Cassiopeia (managed to see that too!).
Thinking about giving veil a last try, we pointed our skywatcher 8 inch dobsonian scope with 32mm plossl eyepiece and lumicon UHC filter and BAM! It was right there, bright enough to show it for first timers too! Looked like an arc or smoke chain coming out of matchstick.
All The reports say that Veil nebula is an easy object, but I have had hard time seeing it all this time, while easily observing Flame nebula and Horsehead nebula through smaller telescopes.
Maybe it's the real dark skies...or just some plain luck!
@Stu, @GavStar and myself met up for a bit of club observing Thursday night… cloudy so good that we met down the pub. Someone (not sure who) pointed out it was clear, so we headed out to stand and chat under clouds with a chill breeze for more than 2hours waiting for the skies to comply with Sat24. Finally we spotted what looked like the edge of the clouds… the others got ready to polar align. OK observing under a near full moon is not ideal.. but it does help with setup and checking your charts!
So what to look for… using Gavins new “magic eyepiece” we headed straight for the Horsehead, just visible, the flame slightly more so above. We were using a TEC160 on a goto panther mount, with 55mm plossl and the TNVC adapter to the intensifier, using a 6nm hydrogen alpha filter to “help”. The gain control worked really well to tune the balance of brightness (and noise) vs detail. The “white phosphor” giving a very neutral and “natural” view.
Right, where next? Up to the jellyfish ic443, nice gentle curve easily visible, checked on the monkeyhead nearby. We then cruised down to the seagull which filled the view and then tried to ferret out the medusa Nebula… it evaded us this time. Swept over the the pacman, the heart and then the California nebula. The latter as two broad nebulous bands crossing the field of view. We need to try a smaller scope to give a bigger field of view for these really big nebulae.
Swapped in a longpass filter and checked on M35 which looked great, M3? and then M81/82, very clear dark lane in the latter.. Clouds finally made a return and we packed up the wrong side of 1am, feet nearly frozen solid. Seemed like many of the streetlights had turned off as well, which is interesting to note. Going to be fun to poke this setup at nebulae when the skies are a little bit more conducive to observing.