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GordonH

"The Owl and the Pussycat" in HST palette

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Hi all

Ok, so it isn't the owl and the pussycat but I couldn't resist a play on words. I have never tried M97 before and as a planetary nebula I knew it would be ok for narrowband imaging. Given the sky conditions last night it was ideally placed, ie high up near the zenith. Originally I was only planning Ha and OIII as I had looked on other sites and not many people had used SII (perhaps because there was virtually none). I hadn't planned on getting M 108 but when composing the image saw that it was in the same shot so I got 2 for the price of 1. I had originally planned on 12x10 minutes unguided for each filter which is what I shot but during the session there must have been some patches of icy moisture in the atmosphere as a few subframes were ruined for each filter. At the end of the session I still had about an hour left till day light so I shot one SII frame and saw that there was something coming through although much fainter than Ha and OIII so I left it running and got 4 useable subframes. This is the end result with 8x10 minutes for Ha, 7x10 minutes for OIII and 4x10 minutes for SII combined as SII:Ha:OIII = R:G:B with a weighting of 3:3:1. Taken with the Takahashi BRC-250 and H36. There are two close up cropped images of the galaxy and nebula themselves on my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk which show these objects in greater detail

Thanks for looking

Best wishes

Gordon

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Very nice frame. Even a hint of diffraction spikes on the stars too. You guys make it look sooooo easy......

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Hi

Thanks for the comments, believe me it is not easy, it takes a lot of patience to get things right, if you don't believe me check the earlier images on my website. It also means long nights in the freezing cold (mind you I have got that sorted now with my jacket)

Best wishes

Gordon

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Crikey that's a lovely owl, I know people probably look at your kit and probably think it must be easier somehow, but it's not.

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Hi All

More cloud tonight so I thought I would have a reprocess at the Owl nebula image as the original was a tad noisy, I have posted it below and there is also the full resolution image on my other site http://www.pbase.com/imaging_the_heavens just click on the thumbnail and it is the last picture in the gallery, I think it looks a bit smoother but I would be interested to see what people think

Thanks for looking

Best wishes

Gordon

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Very nice indeed Gordon.

My new kit is making me work harder, not making it easier!

Cheers

Rob

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Hi Guys

Thanks for the comments, Richie I sometimes think I make life harder for myself because I don't use use flats and only use simple auto dark subtraction in the calibration stages so any gradient, vignetting problems, excess noise, etc has to be processed out with photoshop and in a way, although it is harder this way it helps teach me more about what you can do with the processing side of things. As Rob said I think the more technical your gear gets the more there is to do (partly because of the plethora of facilities on offer). At some point I will start to do autoguiding, taking flat frames and 'proper' dark subtraction and hopefully as a result my imaging will take a step forward. I think if it was easy then that would partly take away some of the enjoyment, for instance if you could take out a DSLR and point it at the Orion Nebula and do an automatic 1/100th second exposure and come out with a perfect picture, would you be happy? I suspect you wouldn't be as happy as you are with the results you are currently getting and that is because astroimaging is a challenge and when you have to spend cold nights outside and then several hours processing the image after to get a nice result that is when you are happy because it is a sense of achievement. Keep at it and hope to see you again sometime

Best wishes

Gordon

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