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Shark Attack - LDN 1235/1251


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On holiday in the Eifel in Germany and hoping for clear nights, but unfortunately it seems that most of the times it's clouded and lightning in the evening. So I already gave my hopes up a bit when yesterday evening I noticed it was clearing up. Against my feeling I decided to just build up the equipment and see what would happen. Somehow I was lucky and while there was lightning in the distance the sky kept clear right over my head until about 4 in the morning. So I decided to work on some dark nebulae as they are impossible to image from my home location.
I used my setup using the Spacecat and Nikon D810a with an Asiair controlling everything. This works really great, except for a few times the guiding just stopped without a reason, and so I was able to catch in total 29x300s of images of LDN 1235/1251. LDN 1235 is also known as the shark nebula but somehow this image makes me think of a shark lurking under water to catch the swimmer (LDN1251) at the surface.
During the imaging I took time to enjoy the Milky Way shining over me and see some nice details even with the naked eye. During the night quite a lot of Perseids were visible, sometimes very quick and shortly visible, but also a few that left a nice trail.
One of the photos was also photobombed by Elon Musk's Starlink satellites. I have attached this raw image to show what it looks like. This also gives an idea of the raw data of a single 300s image that I used to generate the final image. It's always nice to see the power of image stacking :) The trails are luckily easily to remove using the proper algorithms, but I do understand the annoyance when there will be 12.000 of them in the sky. But that's something luckily they are working on to make them not visible from the ground.
Thanks for watching and I hope for a few more nice nights to get even more detail out of this image in the coming nights.
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That's an awesome result Avdhoeven, really nice!

The Asiair looks interesting i keep looking at reviews of it, i'd be more than happy with 5 min exposures and images like this! :)


Edited by SkyJamie
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7 hours ago, Filroden said:

Beautifully captured. Would love to know how you created the black speckled border effect in the frame. Is that just a second image behind it or do you create the black border using the original image itself?

I used this action set that can be found for photoshop: https://www.behance.net/gallery/15470885/Simple-Beautiful-Borders-Free-Photoshop-Actions

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On 16/08/2020 at 19:15, Avdhoeven said:

I updated the image using data from the 2 Dark nebulae that I took in the previous years during my holidays in the same location. It became a nice blend I think.



That's really something special André, congrats! I also like the Fov that Spacecat gives. 

I know how hard a target this is, having tried it myself a year or two back, before giving up after the realisation i didn't have the gear or skies to really do it justice. 

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The last night of my holiday it unexpected became clear. So I was able to catch more data then expected and extend from 2,5 hours to 7 hours total data. The result is astonishing. This clearly shows how much images can improve by having enough integration time.

The top image shows 2,5 hours and the bottom 7 hours in the raw stack without any processing except a stretch in Astropixelprocessor.


This is the result using just D810a data which I'm quite happy with:



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