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Heart Nebula in H-Alpha with a Nikon D5300a


Xiga
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Hey guys

Here's a quick WIP version of the Heart Nebula taken with my usual gear, the Nikon D5300a, SW 80ED, and HEQ5 Pro. So for this constitutes:

11 x 1200s and 3 x 900s of Ha (so 4 hrs 25 mins in total)

30 Flats

50 Bias

As usual, stacked in APP and processed in PS.

It's well placed here in the UK right now so I'm hoping to get some OIII in the coming weeks.

I'm never quite sure how much to process these images. Aside from the usual stretching, apart from a mild amount of deconvolution, sharpening, and contrast enhancement that's all I tend to do really.

I've also attached a false colour version using one of Carboni's actions.

C&C welcome as always.

Oh, and Happy Christmas everyone! (it's December now, it's allowed :tongue: )

 

Heart Nebula.jpg

Heart Nebula Red.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Xiga said:

I'm never quite sure how much to process these images. Aside from the usual stretching, apart from a mild amount of deconvolution, sharpening, and contrast enhancement that's all I tend to do really.

You've really processed it well with lots of detail across the image. Often, a little is better than more and you've got it spot on. Although I'm not a fan of the mono-red look, it does show more detail. I find an inverted B&W can also show more contrast in the brightest areas, which often are hard to see. I guess our eyes (or at least mine) are more sensitive to shades of dark than shades of light.

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Lovely Ciaran, I was waiting for your next image patiently!  Such a lovely FOV and well processed image, and I do like NC false red.

Unfortunately not had a single period of clearness here since my Oiii filter arrived lol

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On 01/12/2017 at 14:36, Filroden said:

You've really processed it well with lots of detail across the image. Often, a little is better than more and you've got it spot on. Although I'm not a fan of the mono-red look, it does show more detail. I find an inverted B&W can also show more contrast in the brightest areas, which often are hard to see. I guess our eyes (or at least mine) are more sensitive to shades of dark than shades of light.

Thanks Ken :smiley:

On 01/12/2017 at 14:39, tooth_dr said:

Lovely Ciaran, I was waiting for your next image patiently!  Such a lovely FOV and well processed image, and I do like NC false red.

Unfortunately not had a single period of clearness here since my Oiii filter arrived lol

Cheers Adam. It's always the way isn't it when you get a new bit of gear! I look forward to seeing how you get on with your OIII filter. 

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On 01/12/2017 at 23:14, stevewanstall said:

Can I ask what the ISO setting is?

Hi Steven. I used ISO 200 (the only ISO i ever use with the D5300). The Sony sensor in the D5300 has the same low read noise at virtually all ISO values (unlike with Canon's where you need to use ISO 800 or most likely 1600 to lower the read noise to a respectable amount). This means you can use a low ISO value and benefit from an increase in Dynamic Range. 

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I shot this on Wednesday night (the 29th) and it was a night of firsts for me in many ways. 

Due to work and family commitments (a busy job and also having a toddler running around causing havoc at home) i didn't get set up until around 10pm. The Heart Nebula was transiting at about 22:25 so i figured let's try a meridian flip for the 1st time! The 1st exposure completed just before the transit, so i let the 2nd one begin and i monitored the guiding to see how it would fare. I started to see the guide graph fluctuate a bit more than usual (still not bad mind) so i decided to go for the flip at the end of the 2nd exposure. So i ticked the box in SGP and waited to see what would happen. And i was really pleasantly surprised to see it all happen automatically in front of my eyes. It took a quick Plate-Solve frame, slewed to the other side of the mount, and then solved to the prior position, all without any fuss! All that was left to do was move the counterweight a bit to keep the balance slightly east-side heavy, give the guiding a chance to settle down, and off we went again. I've always been slightly afraid of doing a meridian flip up to now, so it's good to know that i no longer have to worry about them in future. 

Prior to all of this, i had installed Team Viewer on both the imaging laptop and my desktop computer in the house. I had heard good things about Team Viewer and how people used it to control their imaging rig from inside, but without having an obsy i never thought i would get much benefit from it. But now that Winter is upon us and temperatures have dropped, i definitely wanted to give it a go, as the prospect of staying warm was just too good to pass up! I honestly was expecting to hit some snags in getting it to work, but it was super easy to install and get up and running. So as soon as i'd focused (a manual procedure which i have to be outside for) i went back inside and, boy was it cool to calibrate PHD, plate-solve back to the target and begin the imaging run, all without having to be outside in the freezing cold! I also set up the capture folder as a shared folder, so i was able to transfer the subs to the desktop computer as they came in. So i'll be using Team Viewer every time from now on!

Believe it or not but i had never actually re-focused during an imaging run before. My imaging sessions don't usually last for more than 2 or 3 hours at the very most, and at my imaging scale i've never really noticed my focus to change significantly during that time, but after the meridian flip i did notice the FWHM's creeping up a bit, so i decided to do a re-focus (and thankfully i did see the FWHM's come down a little afterwards). 

By the time i had warmed up the gear sufficiently to pack it all away in it's cases at the end of the night, it was nearly 4am. Was up again at 7:15 for work. The less said about my state of mind at work that day, the better really :tongue: 

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6 hours ago, Xiga said:

I shot this on Wednesday night (the 29th) and it was a night of firsts for me in many ways. 

Due to work and family commitments (a busy job and also having a toddler running around causing havoc at home) i didn't get set up until around 10pm. The Heart Nebula was transiting at about 22:25 so i figured let's try a meridian flip for the 1st time! The 1st exposure completed just before the transit, so i let the 2nd one begin and i monitored the guiding to see how it would fare. I started to see the guide graph fluctuate a bit more than usual (still not bad mind) so i decided to go for the flip at the end of the 2nd exposure. So i ticked the box in SGP and waited to see what would happen. And i was really pleasantly surprised to see it all happen automatically in front of my eyes. It took a quick Plate-Solve frame, slewed to the other side of the mount, and then solved to the prior position, all without any fuss! All that was left to do was move the counterweight a bit to keep the balance slightly east-side heavy, give the guiding a chance to settle down, and off we went again. I've always been slightly afraid of doing a meridian flip up to now, so it's good to know that i no longer have to worry about them in future. 

Prior to all of this, i had installed Team Viewer on both the imaging laptop and my desktop computer in the house. I had heard good things about Team Viewer and how people used it to control their imaging rig from inside, but without having an obsy i never thought i would get much benefit from it. But now that Winter is upon us and temperatures have dropped, i definitely wanted to give it a go, as the prospect of staying warm was just too good to pass up! I honestly was expecting to hit some snags in getting it to work, but it was super easy to install and get up and running. So as soon as i'd focused (a manual procedure which i have to be outside for) i went back inside and, boy was it cool to calibrate PHD, plate-solve back to the target and begin the imaging run, all without having to be outside in the freezing cold! I also set up the capture folder as a shared folder, so i was able to transfer the subs to the desktop computer as they came in. So i'll be using Team Viewer every time from now on!

Believe it or not but i had never actually re-focused during an imaging run before. My imaging sessions don't usually last for more than 2 or 3 hours at the very most, and at my imaging scale i've never really noticed my focus to change significantly during that time, but after the meridian flip i did notice the FWHM's creeping up a bit, so i decided to do a re-focus (and thankfully i did see the FWHM's come down a little afterwards). 

By the time i had warmed up the gear sufficiently to pack it all away in it's cases at the end of the night, it was nearly 4am. Was up again at 7:15 for work. The less said about my state of mind at work that day, the better really :tongue: 

It’s tough but IMO if you want to do great images you got to put in the effort! Its a miracle I get anything done with 3 young kids :happy7:

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16 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

It’s tough but IMO if you want to do great images you got to put in the effort! Its a miracle I get anything done with 3 young kids :happy7:

I take my hat off to you Sir. I only have the one munchkin, and i find that hard enough balancing everything. If i had 3 like yourself, i'm not sure if i'd manage anything at all! 

Maybe i need to ask Santa for an obsy....:tongue:

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After having a second look, i think the original is over-stretched. I'd be interested to hear what others think though.

So i made a simple curve adjustment to bring everything down a bit. I think it looks more natural now, and with a lot less 'in your face' noise.

I also discovered that adding a small Surface Blur (Radius 1, Threshhold 10) seems to do a good job of minimising some of the graininess that is inherent in DSLR NB images, but at the same time without impacting any of the stars or detail in any hard edges. 

Oh yes, and i also ran the Vertical and Horizontal Banding Noise Reduction actions in PS too (which i find these images need quite badly). 

 

Heart Nebula.jpg

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