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First Attempt at a Reflection Nebula - NGC7023 (The Iris Nebula)


AMcD
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This is my first attempt at a reflection nebula.  This image of the Iris Nebula represents 23 hours and 15 minutes of 300 second integrations.  It was taken with a QHY8 attached to a TS152 achromatic refractor mounted on a Losmandy G11 guided with PHD2.  The data was gathered using SGPro, stacked in DSS and processed with PS.  I found the processing much. much harder than with emission nebula even with a substantial amount of data.  Some of the data was gathered only in nautical darkness and with a waxing moon, so this may have had something to do with the struggle. 😀  As always, constructive criticism welcome.

NGC7023_BB_Stack_23hrs_15minsFirstPass.tif

NGC7023_BB_Stack_23hrs_15minsFirstAttempt.thumb.png.f881e0c42a6ff45697c5b4b7f79d6cc9.png

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Nice one! Obviously these work best in dark skies, but with lots of data you can get good results. You've got a huge amount of integration time, and the end result is a little dark, so I suspect there's more detail in there if you stretch a bit more. Tricky thing is bringing the dust out of the background and avoiding too much noise.

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I think that's pretty good to be honest. I've tried the Iris a couple of times & haven't got anything as good as this. And yes...I think this one is particularly tricky to process with the bright centre & the varying thicknesses of dust around.

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4 hours ago, Fegato said:

Nice one! Obviously these work best in dark skies, but with lots of data you can get good results. You've got a huge amount of integration time, and the end result is a little dark, so I suspect there's more detail in there if you stretch a bit more. Tricky thing is bringing the dust out of the background and avoiding too much noise.

Many thanks @Fegato  Yes, striking the balance between bringing out the detail and keeping the noise to a minimum is the challenge that I have been wresting with.  I plan to have another go at the data with a but more stretching- but perhaps not today as we went to a rather good 50th birthday party last night 😂

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It transpires that something of a hangover does not prevent the use of Photoshop 😀   I have stretched this more in an attempt to bring out the dust, whilst also trying not to blow out the centre and to keep the noise under reasonable control.  To that end, I have added nine hours of narrow band data to the central part of the nebula that I took when experimenting some months ago.  As such, this image now comprises 23 hours and 15 minutes of 300 second integrations through an Optolong L-Pro, with the addition of 9 hours of 300 second integrations through an Optolong L-Extreme, for a total of 32 hours and 25 mins of imaging time.

NGC7023_NBB_Stack_32hrs_25minsFinal.tif

NGC7023_NBB_Stack_32hrs_25minsFinal.thumb.png.2611747eb49b4920536bf79316bbedda.png

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