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Though M101 is a relatively large target it is quite dim and this required a significant effort to get detail into its core. I took 31hrs of 30sec exposures which I then thinned down to the best 18hrs of data. Processed in APP and PS it was tricky keeping the core detail that I had imaged from blowing out.
Lots of advice and lots of very small curves stretches was the key in the end. Hardly sharpened it much with noise reduction undertaken as and when noise just stared to appear during stretching.
As the sensor is biased towards red, colour balancing with green and more so with blue was also necessary.
Taken at Gain 200 with a UV IR cut ASI224MC uncooled camera, APM107/700 scope on an AZEQ6.
It’s a good little sensor if you have the conditions (cold nights) and use Flats, Flat Darks and take Darks every night as the sensor temperature varies being uncooled. For info, I found it ran at about 6 degs above ambient once it was steadily running subs off.
Hope you like it.
I tried imaging M101 here in our Bortle 5 neighborhood and it was sort of tough due to the light pollution but I think I was able to pull off a bit of data. My problem now is that I was able to increase the visibility of the galaxy through stretching but in the process the background noise also increased. I also noticed that my galaxy and stars are a bit orange/reddish compared to the other M101 shots which are kinda bluish in color. Not sure if this is being caused by my astromodded camera but I tried correcting it via Photoshop and this is the best "white balanced" image that I got.
Looking for some help in this group maybe someone can have a go with my raw file and share some techniques on how to improve my post processing. The stacking was done via DSS and the processing via Photoshop. I also used Gradient Xterminator and also Astrotools.
Here's my edit and I also attached the raw file so maybe you guys can try tinkering with it also. Also open for any suggestions or comments with my initial edit. Thanks! 😁
Light Frames: 189 x 1 min shots @ ISO1600 (yes I still don't have autoguiding) Dark Frames: 198 x 1 min shots Mount: Celestron OmniXLT CG-4 Telescope: Celestron C6N Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XT Hap-Griffin Mod Autosave.tif
Hi, this is my first time using my new Esprit 100ED, my first time processing using Pixinsight, and it's my first image using a Mono + filters.
I loved them, can't wait to try on more targets.
here's the result:
SkyWatcher Esprit 100ED
SkyWatcher EvoGuide 50ED Guidescope
Imaging cam ZWO ASI1600MM Cool Pro
ZWO LRGB+NB 36mm filters
Guiding cam ZWO ASI290MM Mini
Seeing was avarage
Location was in a Green Zone
By Davide Simonetti
After a couple of days of clear nights and the forecast looking good for another it seemed like a good idea to go to a place with darker skies than London and try a more challenging target. Alas, the run of good weather came to an end and upon arrival at Kelvedon Common in Essex the sky was murky with only Ursa Major bright and easily visible...so revisiting M101 made sense. The poor conditions meant that even with 6 minute exposures the galaxy was only just visible on the subs so I was pleasantly surprised at how the resulting image came out.
004 x 180 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C
014 x 360 second exposures at Unity Gain (139) cooled to -20°C
074 x dark frames
030 x flat frames
100 x bias/offset frames
Total integration time = 1 hour and 36 minutes
Captured with APT
Guided with PHD2
Processed in Nebulosity, Fitsworks, and Photoshop
Telescope: Sky-Watcher Explorer-150PDS
Mount: Skywatcher EQ5
Guide Scope: Orion 50mm Mini
Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MC
Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC Pro
Baader Mark-III MPCC Coma Corrector
Light pollution filter
Here's my homage to galaxy season:
13x600s lum plus 12x900s lum, 24x180s each of R, G and B and 12x180s Ha used for chrominance only. Taken over 2 nights on 21st and 22nd March. Equipment as per sig, processed in Pixinsight
(Cross-posted to the Galaxy competition forum).
Capturing was a little fraught. On the first night things were fine, found a nice guide-star with the galaxy right in the middle of the frame and good guiding all night. However, the second night, with the galaxy in almost exactly the same position and orientation, but I just could not find a guide-star in my OAG. By the time I found one, the galaxy was way off centre, and I had to do some fancy footwork in processing to merge the two sets. Thankfully, I don't think you can see the join...
I was amazed at the number of faint fuzzies in the background, so I made this collage taken from the uncropped image. I don't think I got them all either, there are loads of very faint objects in the pic that don't quite look like star profiles:
This was my first attempt at this target. Which one do you prefer ?
The Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) is a face-on spiral galaxy 21 million light-years away from earth in the constellation Ursa Major. M101 is a large galaxy, comparable in size to the Milky Way with a diameter of 170,000 light-years. It has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses, along with a small central bulge of about 3 billion solar masses. M101 is noted for its high population of H II regions, the pinkish areas in this image, many of which are very large and bright. H II regions usually accompany the enormous clouds of high density molecular hydrogen gas contracting under their own gravitational force where stars form. H II regions are ionized by large numbers of extremely bright and hot young stars, those in M101 are capable of creating hot superbubbles. M101 is asymmetrical due to the tidal forces from interactions with its companion galaxies. These gravitational interactions compress interstellar hydrogen gas, which then triggers strong star formation activity in M101's spiral arms. It is in the M101 group of galaxies, distinct from our own Local Group, but also a member of the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies. The Virgo Supercluster contains at least 100 galaxy groups including our own, and is one of about 10 million superclusters in the observable universe.
Comments and cc welcome, hope you enjoy !