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1st attempt at M57

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Below is my first attempt at the ring nebular (un-guided), the DSO that started my foray into the dark arts of astrophotography.

I know now that there is not enough data by a long way, but there are dark flats, & flat files, only a couple of the latter!

Having read Dennis Isaacs's article 'Astro Image Data Reduction (Calibration). A Primer' www.dens-astropics.org.uk I have a much better grasp on some of the whys and wherefores :)

There are a couple of things I don't quite get at the moment, the second image is one of the un-processed files and it looks to have a lot more colour than the stacked one (first one) which I would have expected to be the other way around.

The second thing is how do I get a closer image of small DSO's, do I use a 2" Barlow or something else?

Stacked picture of Ring Nebular, taken with EOS 300D modded with Baader DSLR-AFC: Dark flats @ ISO 800 x5 30",37",59",60"& 90":

Flats @ ISO 800 x2 2" & 10": Light frames @ ISO 800 x6 47",21",17",24",23" & 51" (last 2 with UHC filter)

M57 stacked 2mb.tif

Single light frame @ ISO 800 47"

CRW_5041 2mb.tif

Thanks for looking,


I've just tried to convert the .TIF files to .jpg in Photoshop cs2 and the option doesn't come up, have I missed something again? :(:)


Edited by Paulus
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Here you go - converted to jpg using 'save for web'.

top image is the unstacked one. Nice try Paulus - nice colour showing up on the ring. You seem to have lost a lot of stars in stacking somehow?



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Thank you DLP, didn't think of saving for web use! I'm not sure what happened in stacking either, was hoping someone might have a view.

Very kind of you Mike, I was pleased to see the colour but I'm not happy with much else, especially the size.

I hoped I could make it look bigger but the camera is only Meg so I suppose there are not enough pixels to get blown up detail.


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Hi Paul,

In terms of size, M57 is really quite small. With the help of a couple of the mods here at Kelling, my first image was of M57. Under an ideal sky it came out similar to yours. That is to say - clear and neat but very, very small.

Try a crop and then an enlarge and then a gaussian blur :)

Edited by MikeWilson
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