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First Flame and Horse Head


Digz
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I managed to get out last night and try my hand at the Flame and Horse Head Nebula in Orion.

I took a total of 12 x 600s but only 7 darks. I think I need to add a few more darks to this.

10 (of 12) x 600s Lights stacked in DSS

Darks, Bias and Flats.

Post Processed in CS4

digz-albums-dso-picture9574-flame-nebula-horse-head.jpg

I was really pleased that the horse started to show up. I reviewed a single frame on the camera and could clearly see the Flame and thats it. I was worried weather I had framed the shot right to included it!

This was my first time taking and using flats. They seemed to work well and Im glad I took them as I have a rather large mark on the sensor that looks like a hair or something and the flats took care of that. Out of curiosity I stacked without the flats after to see what the effect was on vignetting and was pleasantly surprised. That is the flats really took care of the vignetting for me.

I think I have come to the limits of my D200 with this object as it was really hard to get any red in it. Also the flame appears to be washed out, almost like a gradient of some sort which I can not get rid of. However, after seeing several images on the internet it appears that this is correct?

Full of noise which I know more subs will help with.

So, what do you guys think?

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Perfect focus there :p and the horsey is clearly visible

Im not sure why such a heavy gradient though, is it present in each subframe?, what ISO did you use? And for your hairy sensor, you might want to give it a few blasts with a rocket blower before checking how clean it is by taking some flats. If it hasnt shifted, blast it again, take more flats.. etc. until its acceptable. Cleaning DSLRs is such a pain in the..... :)

Edited by Uranium235
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Cheers Paul :p I do have some other Darks which were taken at around the same temperature, I might adding those to the mix over the weekend and see what happens.

Thanks for the comments Uranium, I dont think the gradient is there in each sub, Ill have a check tonight when Im back home. If it isnt what do you suspect it would be? As for cleaning DSLR sensors, dont get me started.......:)

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Hi Digz,

Looks very good. Cannot wait to get my head around taking photos. Have the kit, just waiting to sort a lesson so I can get it connected correctly!

Regards

Chris

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Hi Chris,

Its quite easy once you get your head around it. I have been out three times in the last week and a bit and I have managed to get my setup time down to 45mins. That's 45mins from taking the kit outside to being ready to image including, balancing, polar alignment, star alignment, focussing, and calibration. It took me over an hour and half the first time. Roll on getting an obsy!!

Like with anything practice makes perfect.

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Great image...Like it...

I tried with shorter subs but could not get any colour found this very difficult and frustrating..

I tried setting up last night by the time I did the clouds had rolled in. So glad that it is possible to get faster..

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Hi Chris,

Its quite easy once you get your head around it. I have been out three times in the last week and a bit and I have managed to get my setup time down to 45mins. That's 45mins from taking the kit outside to being ready to image including, balancing, polar alignment, star alignment, focussing, and calibration. It took me over an hour and half the first time. Roll on getting an obsy!!

Like with anything practice makes perfect.

Hi Digz,

Thanks for that. Something for me to aim to.

The minor problem I have is making sure I have the correct cables and software. I guess I just need to sit down with the kit and connect it up then see what happens!!

Best regards

Chris

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Cheers Ralph, It is one of my favourite too. Ive always wanted to get my own image of it right from a young age when I first saw this nebula in a magazine.

Chris, trial and error is the way to go. I would personally try it all out on a cloudy night and practice so when we get our next clear night its second nature and you don't waste valuable time.

Here is a bit of an update:

I had a go at reprocessing changing a couple of settings. In DSS I decided to try per channel calibration and reset the white balances. I also left out the Bias Frames.

digz-albums-dso-picture9601-flame-3-reset-wb-per-channel.jpg

Seems to have lost some of the red in it, and I cant get that back. Also the noise seems to have reduced?

Also attached is a single sub which doesn't have any sign of the gradient that has appeared in the final stack.

post-16579-133877542918_thumb.jpg

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Hi Digz - First, thanks for uploading the raw files... :)

Some of the detail you've captured in the flame and nebulosity around the star at the base of the Horsehead itself is fantastic - It would be great to see what effect more subs would have... Obviously it would remove some of the noise, but that gradient's a really b*gger (I guess most of that would be ampglow? :))

As I mentioned, I'm certainly no expert and very much at the bottom of the learning curve but Gradient Xterminator managed to reduce the gradient quite a bit and I've put some of the red back that you noted you'd lost (maybe it's a bit magenta now?), added a high pass filter and then run a very slight "noise ninja" filter over it.

I'm SURE someone else would be able to get a far better image out of this than me but I think that this is about the best that my skills can get out :(. It's a VERY faint and deceivingly difficult object to capture though so I think you've done really well to capture it so well... and there's certainly nothing wrong at all with the guiding! :D

post-18819-133877543295_thumb.jpg

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