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A second attempt at the Witch’s Broom Nebula (NGC6960), this time in narrowband. It took me 3.5 months to acquire the data, which was caused by a combination of poor UK weather and the partial obstruction by trees at my location.
Although imaged in narrowband, I tried to go for realistic looking colours so started with Ha mapped to red and OIII mapped to blue with a synthetic green generated from a Ha/OIII mix. After a few hue adjustments, I ended up with a colour image which mainly gave blue/reddish stars and nebula. I found that detail could be boosted by creating a super luminance image from the individually stacked narrow band stacks and then deconvolving the result which I then blended into the colour result via Pixinsight’s LRGB process. The image represents 16.5 hours integration time.
My first DSO with my new scope (Esprit 100ED) taken over a couple of nights this week with a modified 450d. It was stacked with only a little bit of processing in AA6, 42*300s subs, darks, bias and flats all captured using APT. PA was done using Sharpcap Pro and guiding is with a ZWO 60mm guidescope and an ASI224MC. I dither between each sub so don't know whether I should stop using darks, also I need to sort out my guiding as it could be a lot better. My processing skills need to be improved a lot, I'm considering getting Pixinsight, I've seen lots of great pictures using it, how easy/hard is it to learn the basics to get a reasonable result from? Here it is let me know what you think good or bad.
I recieved my new toy on Friday but didn't get time to set it up till Saturday, to my surprise it remained clear, so went to try it out. Everything went so well I polar aligned in no time using Sharpcap. I slewed over to Alkaid and focussing with the Bhatinov mask was a doddle with the very smooth 3" focusser. I use APT and CDC/Ascom to control everything from a laptop next to my mount, I used Goto++ & PlateSolving to move to my target NGC6960 (The Witch's Broom Nebula). PHD2 quickly calibrated and appeared to be guiding very well. I then set APT off capturing 300s subs with a dither after each one. I thought to myself if this is how it's going to be everytime with my new scope this pastime is going to be so easy from now on. I retired inside RDC'd from my other laptop to keep an eye on the progress and relaxed. After about an hour APT started it's automatic Meridian Flip process, that's when everything went pear-shaped, it failed to platesolve it's image and timed out, so I tried forcing it to flip and it just would not platesolve the 30s image it took. I then did a Goto++ on my target, the mount did a flip took the image and platesolved it first time then happily started taking 300s images again. It got to about 01.00 and I was getting tired so I stopped it capturing thinking I'd better go to bed, but then I noticed Cassiopeia had appeared from behind my house which meant M32 would be in view and I wondered what it would look like captured through the Esprit. I slewed round and looked at the sub then did the stupid thing of rotating the focusser to try to get it across the corners of the sensor to capture as much as possible, I took 4 subs, then a few darks and packed everything away. It wasn't until the next day when I took some Bias and Flat frames and tried to process it all that I realised by moving everything I had ruined the flats. We live and learn. Anyway I managed to just stack the 12 lights from before the flip and cropped it with no further processing until I get some more subs. I'm very please with my new scope.
NGC6960 – Witch's Broom Nebula
Really delighted with this one. We had a lovely evening where I could get some great subframes, it was stable and nice and clear for a change.
This is a supernova remnant in the constellation of Cygnus. Its original host star exploded some 5000 - 8000 years ago. It is roughly 1,500 light year away from us.
My first serious go at a narrowband image taken over a few nights from my back garden in not-so-darkest North Staffs
Ha: 30 x 300s
OIII: 28 x 150s
R: 22 x 30s
G: 22 x 30s
B: 22 x 30s
(I also took a whole load of L lights but didn't use them in this versions - still feeling my way in to NB imaging)
RGB lights used for star colours only.
Calibration: Bias and flats, no darks (dithering)
Ha used for Luminace and Red channel
OIII used for Blue and Green channels
Equipment list in sig