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M51 Processing help....?

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Nadeem, that is excellent.

And I think I've just wet my pants. When I processed M51, I saw a smudge (middle picture at the bottom right). I, um, 'removed' it on my processing attempt with 'content aware fill' in Photoshop thinking it was an internal reflection.

It's another galaxy, isn't it? :) Wow, well done AndyUK for capturing it!

EDIT: NGC 5169, Mag 14 galaxy!

Edited by MikeWilson
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The number of galaxies out there absolutely blows my mind. To quote from Wikipedia, "There are probably more than 170 billion (1.7 × 1011) galaxies in the observable universe"*.

That means if you wanted to image them all in a 70 year lifetime (say you start when you are 20 and die when you're 90), you'd need to image 6.6 million of them every single day to complete the observable universe marathon. And that doesn't even account for the cloudy night we get in the UK :)

*^ Gott, J. Richard, III; et al. (2005). "A Map of the Universe". The Astrophysical Journal 624 (2): 463–484. doi:10.1086/428890. Bibcode: 2005ApJ...624..463G.

^ Mackie, Glen (2002-02-01). "To see the Universe in a Grain of Taranaki Sand". Swinburne University. Retrieved 2006-12-20.

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Having had a business trip (and no time for web access), I see I've missed a few reworks - I'm gobsmacked!

First, Nadeem - That mp4 download is superb - Thank you so much for going through the effort to record all right the way back from DSS and seeing the settings you chose back there ;). I'd accepted the recommended AHD bayering... and also missed the option for modded camera frames :(.

And as for your final reworks... :(! I had spotted the bottom right galaxy (but had no idea what it was or what mag - Thanks Mike!), but hadn't even noticed the other one... :) (I'm SO pleased with this MN190!!!).

Carol / Anna - Thank you ever some much for your versions too... and to answer your question Mike, thank God I don't have to be a judge(!). I'm probably going to have to create another gallery of "3rd Party Reworks" as to post any of these in with my existing ones would feel like plagiarism...

Thanks ever so much everyone... and the weather's looking promising for tonight also (fingers crossed!), so maybe I can try out the new techniques...

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Not at all....! I'm thinking of putting all of the fullframe shots together in one frame to show all the variations (I think I'll exclude mine though!). If I'm right, I think it may look a little like the series of Rouen Cathedral that Monet painted...

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... And yet another beauty (yet again!)

Okay... For anyone interested, I've taken a copy of everyone's "fullest" frame versions (including my best effort :() and uploaded them into an "M51 Versions" Gallery (there's 10 in total).

[NOTE: So as not show any "personal preference" I've used Nadeems reprocessed extreme crop as the cover as it shows that tiny faint galaxy - Thanks Nadeem :icon_salut:]

I've done this simply to see all of them on the screen at one time so as to see how many different ways there are to process the same image... even though some people were using either my original posted low res file (severely handicapped!) or using my stacked .tif (also handicapped as I've since discovered there was at least one switch I'd ignored in DSS!).

There's no way that I could decide which is best as I think they're all stunning :). Thanks again all (now, must go and start setting up for tonights efforts ;):p)

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Hi guys! Im new to astrophotography. Just bought a cg5 mount to take some slightly longer exposures with my c8. I live in the Los Angeles area and have heavily light polluted and smog polluted skies. I know it will be impossible to to ever reach the great quality of all your images.

I wanted to ask you guys for some tips for my equipment. I just bought a light pollution filter clip for my canon t1i to remove the orange glow in all my images. Im awaiting to receive that clip in the next day or two.

I have an f/6.3 reducer on my c8 that creates some vignetting around my image as well. I have already been told to read up on "FLATS" for that issue :)

I have also added CS5 to my mac and have been practicing stacking to remove background noise from the image.

-Are there any other suggestions for my setup that you guys recommend? Either for my C8 or for the new ZS80ED i bought?

-Any other editing software that i should consider getting as well? (maybe compatible with mac)

Im also considering getting a little meade DSI II for imaging and for tracking (possibly).

What do you guys think???

I really hope that i can reach a level even half as good as you guys one day :p

Have a great day :(

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Hi Alex - I'll get back to you later on your queries, but...

In Nadeem's extreme closeup, I've investigated that little galaxy smudge to the top left of the upper part of the whirlpool (NGC 5195)- Apparently it's IC4277 (mag 15.5).

In addition, there's also IC4278 (Mag 15) to the lower left of the upper part of the whirlpool - Nice one, Nadeem!

EDIT: And to the left of the core of the Whirpool (in the slightly less closeup image), you'll find two slightly yellow stars... To the left of those is another smudge - IC 4282 (Mag 17 :))

Edited by AndyUK
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Should you need it Andy, I have the recording for the extreme makeover as well, using the full stack you sent across inc. the dark flats, this shows how I pulled the ha regions out of the galaxy. :)


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(Hi Nadeem ....Ooooh! Go on then - Yes please (if it's no bother?!))

Hi Alex - Never having been to LA I can't imagine the severity of the problem, but Nadeem lives on the outskirts of London and takes some stunning unguided images, so I don't think there's any real reason why you shouldn't be able to as well (although there's no real substitute for a good dark sky!)

I had a CG5 once (a good mount!) but I'm afraid I'm personally not familar with the C8... or indeed astro-related software for Mac's - I'm having enough difficulty deciding whether to install Windows 7 32 or 64 bit onto my new work PC at the moment (I have a feeling that much of the software I have/use/would like to use may not be compatible with 64 bit, let alone a Mac :))

It might be best if you started a new thread on those queries and then hopefully you'll attract the SCT / Mac users to give you the advice you need...?

Hi Martin - As I think I mentioned earlier, I'd be a cr*p judge :(

Even though I don't have PI, I'm going to see if I can rework mine yet again (probably over the weekend) and see if I can get these subtle blues and reds that everyone else has teased out of it and then I'll be able to put that in my gallery (I'd love to put some of these in, but that would be cheating!)

Thanks again everyone for all your help :p

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After all the help I've received from everyone (and although still not as good as most!) I've put a second rework together this evening which I think shows a vast improvement on certainly the first attempt ;)!

I'll post it here anyway (sort of to close off the thread?) but also edit my first post as I think the comparative difference is quite amazing - It just goes to show what the combined assistance of everyone who has posted has made to my processing skills over the last few days... :(

I'd like to thank you all again for helping me out and also showing what's possible to achieve from raw frames if you have "the knowledge", but I have to give special mentions to Nadeem and Anna for giving me a fairly in-depth insight into their processing workflows - Cheers again :):p


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