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I've often wondered how my post processing skills have changed over the years, so I decided to find out by extracting some data which I acquired c2.5 years ago and performing a reprocess on M33. The LRGB image with an Ha blend into the red channel represents just over 15 hours and was taken with my ED80 on my NEQ6.
The main post processing differences are:
- I corrected for a slight camera tilt via PS, this results in slightly oddly shaped stars towards the edges of the frame. You should be able to see theses defects in the old image if you zoom in.
- PI's Photometric Colour Calibration was used on the new image.
- PI's HDMRT was used on the Lum to increase the contrast (before I used the PS High Pass Filter)
- PI's Dark Script Enhance was used to enhance the galaxies dust lanes.
So, still a mixture of PS and PI but now with more PI.
(My original result from 2.5 years ago is in the album Deep Sky II).
My recent rendition of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33, NGC 598) in the constellation Triangulum at about 2.5 million light years, luminance, 20x5min., Atik 314L at -10 degrees, SW200P, guiding w/ 9x50 finderscope and PHD2, no flats, altogether 100min. worth of exposure. I had to do an awful lot of wizardry to get rid of light pollution effects.
Of course I will start this post with usual heading....
It's been quite some time since we've had any clear night skies to image under. Looking at my computer when starting up the observatory tonight (7 Jan 18) I noticed the last time I had used it appears to have been the 16th of November. Depressing.
I tried to make the most of tonight by imaging two objects.
The first was the was a spiral galaxy in the constellation Triangulum called the Pinwheel Galaxy or referred to by it's Messier catalogue name - M33.
I've always found this object difficult to image. Previously I'd attempted it with my one shot colour ccd camera - and frankly I got better results than my effort tonight :-)
However, I learned a bit more about LRGB imaging attempting this object tonight. I really didn't have enough time to capture the data I needed on it before it moved out of range of the observatory though so results are poor at best.
Although I considered getting another one shot colour ccd (namely the ASI1600 MC) I think it will be worth persevering with mono LRGB as better results can be obtained with patience.
Here's the capture profile for the image above
Disappointment over I moved on to the highlight of the evening. Narrow band imaging is always my favourite now as the detail that can be captured is amazing.
Tonight's object was NGC 2174 - the Monkey Head Nebula in Orion. I've never imaged this before so I was really looking forward to it.
Again - not really enough time on this to make it useful (see stats below) but it was fun capturing what I did and processing it afterwards - always an learning experience using Pixinsight - every time! :-)
This shot is in the SHO palette and heavily cropped
..and this one is in h-alpha - and not cropped
It will no doubt be a long time before I get to try again!
Here's the stats for the monkey
Obviously there is much wrong with these images - chief amongst the wrongness is the lack of subs, especially on M33.
I also had other problems though - the Ha flats failed as they were dark at the top of the frame and fading to lighter at the bottom - haven't seen that before, so no flats on the Ha. However, with the Teleskop Service 65 I find I get a pretty flat field normally anyway so it didn't impact too much.
Another problem was with the SHO palette. I've used it before on IC1396 and found it easy to apply using PixelMath in Pixinsight (following some advice I was given on this forum). However this time the image came out a pure vibrant green with the same settings - no matter how I mixed the channels - green - so I used SCNR to get rid of it and wound up with the image shown above. I intend to read up on this more :-)
...and finally, the all sky camera - I like to refer to it as WOBSCAM :-) captured a bunch on interesting objects while keeping an eye on any approaching cloud cover :-)