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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
My first DSO with my new scope (Esprit 100ED) taken over a couple of nights this week with a modified 450d. It was stacked with only a little bit of processing in AA6, 42*300s subs, darks, bias and flats all captured using APT. PA was done using Sharpcap Pro and guiding is with a ZWO 60mm guidescope and an ASI224MC. I dither between each sub so don't know whether I should stop using darks, also I need to sort out my guiding as it could be a lot better. My processing skills need to be improved a lot, I'm considering getting Pixinsight, I've seen lots of great pictures using it, how easy/hard is it to learn the basics to get a reasonable result from? Here it is let me know what you think good or bad.
I recieved my new toy on Friday but didn't get time to set it up till Saturday, to my surprise it remained clear, so went to try it out. Everything went so well I polar aligned in no time using Sharpcap. I slewed over to Alkaid and focussing with the Bhatinov mask was a doddle with the very smooth 3" focusser. I use APT and CDC/Ascom to control everything from a laptop next to my mount, I used Goto++ & PlateSolving to move to my target NGC6960 (The Witch's Broom Nebula). PHD2 quickly calibrated and appeared to be guiding very well. I then set APT off capturing 300s subs with a dither after each one. I thought to myself if this is how it's going to be everytime with my new scope this pastime is going to be so easy from now on. I retired inside RDC'd from my other laptop to keep an eye on the progress and relaxed. After about an hour APT started it's automatic Meridian Flip process, that's when everything went pear-shaped, it failed to platesolve it's image and timed out, so I tried forcing it to flip and it just would not platesolve the 30s image it took. I then did a Goto++ on my target, the mount did a flip took the image and platesolved it first time then happily started taking 300s images again. It got to about 01.00 and I was getting tired so I stopped it capturing thinking I'd better go to bed, but then I noticed Cassiopeia had appeared from behind my house which meant M32 would be in view and I wondered what it would look like captured through the Esprit. I slewed round and looked at the sub then did the stupid thing of rotating the focusser to try to get it across the corners of the sensor to capture as much as possible, I took 4 subs, then a few darks and packed everything away. It wasn't until the next day when I took some Bias and Flat frames and tried to process it all that I realised by moving everything I had ruined the flats. We live and learn. Anyway I managed to just stack the 12 lights from before the flip and cropped it with no further processing until I get some more subs. I'm very please with my new scope.
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!