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Refractor galaxy effort - M104 Sombrero...

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Subframes: 70 x 200s luminance, 5 x 200s each for RGB 2 x 2 binned), 20 darks and bias frames, 20 flats for each channel (image stacking, hot pixel and gradient removal in Astroart, curves and colour composition in Paint Shop Pro).

I had never attempted to image this galaxy before, and thought it might be a bit of a challenge for my Vixen ED114 given its low location in the sky.  For me, objects this low down in the southern sky are badly obscured by light pollution from the Aurora Maidstonealis.  In terms of imaging, I find that light pollution filters don't really offer any contrast boosting effect, and that image processing seems to be a better option to offset light sky backgrounds.  What do others find, I wonder?

Given that these were my first clear nights in nearly six weeks I couldn't really ignore the opportunity, even though the seeing wasn't great and the sky not truly dark (high haze, I think). On the plus side, the moon was new and caused no glare problems.  Nevertheless, the conditions led to somewhat noisy sub-frames with gradients that I scrubbed up as best I could using the nifty Astroart gradient removal plug-in, plus noise flattening in PaintShop Pro (curves and edge preserving smooth).  I don't normally bother with dark frames but it did seem to help with the background noise in this case.  My ancient SXV-H9 camera is not set-point cooling regulated and so maybe the warmer weather is adding a dose of electronic noise to my subs.

The output is never going to win any prizes of course, but in the end I was quite pleased with this effort, even if it only shows the Sombrero's dust lane and little else.

Any comments or processing suggestions welcome, but I don't have Pixinsight or Photoshop CS.  So if my fleem needs sprigomising or something like that, then alas, so be it...

Edited by Hallingskies
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2 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

No image appearing for me.


Thank for the reply.  Sorry, the link seems to be broken and I don't appear to have the rights to edit or delete this post.  To be honest, the image wasn't much cop anyway.  If you click on the link to my blog in my signature, it's on there...

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