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Messier 57 is is just coming into a position for a decent look around 11 30 pm. IT is a colourful object and I thought it would give me a good target with which to practice my colour developing in PS/Lightroom. I have read so much about how to produce a LRGB image from the four stacked/calibrated luminance, red, blue and green images, a lot seems contradicatory and some, when followed, gave me colour yes, but not as we know it. I am sure a fair chunk must be put down to me. Anyway, I now have a work flow which gives me colour, sometimes resembling what other people have obtained. Progess of sorts.
This images is based on 114s subs at gain 139, offset 21.
L 39, R 20, G 20, B 19
Calibrated and stacked in DSS (flats, dark flats and darks)
Messier 57 Ring Nebula in Lyra
NASA: M57, or the Ring Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a sun-like star. The tiny white dot in the centre of the nebula is the star’s hot core, called a white dwarf. M57 is about 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra, and is best observed during August. Discovered by the French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in 1779, the Ring Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.8 and can be spotted with moderately sized telescopes.
Equipment: Celestron 9.25 XLT at F10, Skywatcher EQ6 Pro GEM, ZWO 1600MM Pro, ZWO EFW with ZWO LRGB filters, QHY5IIC guide camera on Skywatcher 9 x 50 finderscope, Celestron Focus Motor
Software: Ascom 6, Eqmod, Cartes du Ciel, AstroPhotography Tool, PHD2
My first attempt at M57. I attempted to capture the extended halo by gathering some OIII and Ha data and then blending these into Blue and Red channels, respectively of an LRGB image. The image below represents about 21 hours and was taken with my Esprit 150.
LIGHTS: L:13, R:13,G:8. B: 10 x 600s; Ha:13, OIII:14 x 1800s. DARKS:30, BIAS:100, FLATS:40 all at -20C.
Image captured 15th April 2018 from my back garden in Birmingham
Multiple 130s exposures at ISO 800 - Canon 200D with CLS filter.
approx 20 mins exposure in total.
Darks and flats applied.
Telescope : SW ED80 DS pro
Mount : HEQ5 pro - belt modded unguided
stacked in DSS and processed in Star Tools
By Victor Boesen
Tonight was the best night out in a long time. The last couple of days the sky has been crystal clear, and today is friday, which meant nothing was on the schedule for tomorrow.
Scope, filters and eyepieces:
Today, I was using my one and only Skywatcher 10" dob, with my collection of explorer scientific 82 degree eyepieces. For the first time in a long time, I also used my CLS filter.
Before I headed out, I decided to have a look at skysafari 5 to see what I should have a look at this clear evening.
Tonights list ended up including:
M13 looked fabulous as always, but I can't quite bag the propeller. I was resolving stars nicely, even a couple in the center, when using averted vision. I think M13 looks the best at 136x and sometimes at 255x, however most of the times I think the image is too dark when observing at 255x.
M92 was a surprise. Locating it was surprisingly easy, as I through the finderscope could just see it as a little faint dot. Looking at it through the scope was amazing. It was not as big as M13, but at 136x it looked very nice, and sometimes, it almost looked like the stars formed a smiley:-) Surprisingly I was also able to resolve a good amount of stars in this cluster, but not as many as in M13.
Now I know this wasn't on the list but I thought I had to give it a go when I saw it on skysafari. NGC6229! Also located in Hercules, and via starhopping also easy to find. This was the smallest one of them all, but the most rewarding since this was my first object from the New General Catalogue (NGC). I was also using 136x at this target, because this is the most comfortable magnification in my opinion. I was only resolving one or two stars in this target, but it was easily visable, just as a bright smudge.
M57 is by far my favorite object (out of the few objects I have seen). The contrast and shape of it gives me the WOW feeling everytime I observe it. Now this target I was observing comfortably at 255x and it looked amazing! Now this was where it popped in the CLS filter which almost made it look like the red outer-part of the nebula was visable, but this faded soon after. While observing this target for about 20min I was thinking if a UHC or a OIII would give me better or the same views?
M27 was kind of disappointing, but I just think I have overestimated how it would look like, but it was still a very nice view it gave me at 136x and 85x. The dumbbell shape became more visable over time, but I think the thing I like more about M57 compared to M27 is the contrast between sky and nebula.
In the end it was one of my best nights I have had with my new (5 months old) scope. I have yet to try it at my grandma and grandpas' where the milky way is visable, and I am very excited to do just that.