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MikeWilson

M45 - The Pleiades (and a request...)

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In order to celebrate the first clear night in three weeks, I got myself out into the garden. Only to find that our new neighbours (a multinational engineering firm) had set up floodlights over our garden. So half an hour later after discussing this with one of their security guards, and waiting a couple of hours for their floodlights to go off, I finally got round to imaging.

And then a residential neighbour across the alleyway lit up their new security lights, sending floods of light out. I couldn't help it and I shouted quite loudly as their security light went off.

After fighting with inadequate power supply (Alkaline batteries) for the SynGuider, I captured two hours of data of M45 before the clouds rolled in. Over half of the data was wasted (vibration probably).

However I managed to capture this, and was it all worth it? Yes!:

post-18683-133877500757_thumb.jpg

I think it looks better reduced in size and "unsharp masked":

M45%20-%2011-11-2010%20%287x6min%29%20stacked%20-DBE.jpg

9 x 6 minutes @ ISO 800 on Canon 1000D unmodded.

Darks, flats and bias calibration frames used.

Skywatcher 150P 6" Newtonian.

Guided with ST80 + Synguider.

TIF file (stacked only - original data): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3717210/M45%20-%2011-11-2010%20%287x6min%29%20stacked.zip

TIF file (stacked & basic processing): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3717210/M45%20-%2011-11-2010%20%287x6min%29%20stacked%20-DBE%20-%20PS.zip

I wouldn't usually ask, but if someone skilled is able to pull more detail out of the data than I please would you mind? I'm planning on using M45 on some Christmas Cards this year and if you can produce a better M45 out of my data than mine, I'd love to send you one as a memento!

Best,

Mike

Edited by MikeWilson

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For some reason the TIFF wants to open as a QuickTime movie on my comp :)

But had a play with the JPEG

post-16950-133877500763_thumb.jpg

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For some reason the TIFF wants to open as a QuickTime movie on my comp :)

But had a play with the JPEG

Very nice Martin,

Did you adjust the levels or did you first create a mask and then adjusted the background? I'm finding it difficult to effectively pull out the background. (I used flats and Dynamic Background Extraction in PixInsight LE 1.0).

I've also made the .tiff available as a .zip and updated the link to it :D

Edited by MikeWilson

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LOL. Nothing quite as exotic as that...I dont have photoshop on my laptop...so I just opend it in Nebulosity2 and hit "Adjust Colour Background(ofset)" And it did its thing and came up with that.

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Hi Mike,

First of all, what a bummer about those security lights. It must be really frustrating for you.

As for your M45, I've played around with the contrast/colour and tried to reduce that little dark patch along the bottom of the frame all with Curves adjustment layers.

It's a beautiful shot and will make a great Christmas card.

Cheers,

Jon

post-18666-133877500774_thumb.jpg

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Jon's read my mind here; the original was slewed well over towards the green and the background level was too high. It's looking good now.

Painful, your situation with the lights. I now really take a dark sky for granted and your post reminds me not to do so. Keep trying because you are getting genuinely creditable results.

Olly

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Well Mike considering all the flood light you have around you the image looks pretty good. You had a better night than I did, I just wasted 6 hours and got very cold.

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Ok I just had to...I had a play. I am no photographer/astro-imager but here's my shot at it

post-21967-133877500909_thumb.jpg

(hope I got thumbnails right)

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Hello everyone,

Thanks for your kind and helpful comments. John, Celeste, would it be possible to have a high resolution copy of your images? They look amazing.

Regarding the light pollution, it's a big issue here. I'm wondering whilst I pursue diplomacy with our non-residential neighbours if it would be worth considering narrowband imaging. I'm guessing that narrowband (at least from home) would give me a higher SNR in my stacked data. Am I right or is there more to it than simply using a narrowband filter (with a modded DSLR, of course).

Mike

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Heres a simple example........... just rotate your image and add a message. :)

(Course it looks better if the writing is straight. :D )

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It's a very nice image, loads of nebulosity captured. Tracking working a dream.

Edited by russ

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That's a funny image, Cloudwatcher. I didn't think of flipping it portrait, it almost looks exactly like a Christmas tree!

Russ - I cannot believe how amazing your image is. You've brought out so much of the nebulosity whilst retaining a lot of the smaller stars without clipping them and yet still extracting the background. My wife likes your picture the best, however..

I really like the way in which Jon has caught the colour balance showing through the blue reflections and still keeping the stars white. I also like the simplicity of Celeste's image which shows very little noise and has kept the stars neat throughout the field.

I can't believe that I took these. I'll taken some images of the floodlights and light pollution in the area which should give an idea of the problem I've got :)

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Cool idea to use it as an xmas card pic! Hmmm, I think I'll do the same with my m45 :)

With processing, you might want to think about taking a bit of the blue out of it so you can see the other star colours. Another winner for the 150P!

Im not sure a NB filter would do m45 any favours. Your best bet with the 1000d is to get it modded then use a CLS filter.

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Hi Uranium,

The 150P is rather good at imaging, isn't it? I wonder how much better the 150P DS would be, if it's worth the upgrade or if the 200P DS would be "better" (given it's heavier, has a narrower FoV and is more prone to wind).

Re: NB filters, I was thinking more for NB on emission nebulae rather than M45. But if I imaged M45 through a modded DSLR, would it look any better than this unmodded image given there's not much Ha going on?

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That's a funny image, Cloudwatcher. I didn't think of flipping it portrait, it almost looks exactly like a Christmas tree!QUOTE]

As Captain Mainwaring used to say......"Ah!" " You spotted that did you Wilson." :)

Just for the fun of it heres a 'posh' one,this time using your image the right way round . :D

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That's a funny image, Cloudwatcher. I didn't think of flipping it portrait, it almost looks exactly like a Christmas tree!

As Captain Mainwaring used to say......"Ah!" " You spotted that did you Wilson." :)

Just for the fun of it heres a 'posh' one,this time using your image the right way round . :D

Santa looks a little blue shifted in that one. He's going the wrong way! Come back! :p

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Don't worry......... Blue Shift means he's coming toward you.

Sideways! :)

And thanks for clearing that up. Red, blue, left right, all the same thing in an expanding universe, eh? :D

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Sideways! :D

He's still under the influence of the Crab Nebula he passed a little earlier................. Sideways. The only way to travel! :)

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Coming on well Mike.

There are some artifacts though that shouldn't be there, mid left of the image especially. Did one or more of the subs have them on?

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Coming on well Mike.

There are some artifacts though that shouldn't be there, mid left of the image especially. Did one or more of the subs have them on?

Thanks Tim.

All the subs have them. In fact generally any long exposure (>60s) image with a bright star in them will generate them. I suspect that they're caused by some internal reflection with the coma corrector and/or CLS clip filter as I don't get them with the naked camera sensor facing the secondary mirror.

I removed them in my version using Photoshop's lasso and 'content aware fill' feature.

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