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M42 - LRGB First Light


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I managed to set up my new filter wheel and Baader LRGB filter set on Tuesday night, as M42 is an easy target I decided to test them out on it.

I managed 10 x 60 secs in L and then 10 x 30 secs binned in RGB, I then altered it to 10 x 20 secs of L and 10 x 10 secs binned of RGB (this was a mistake as there is a lot of noise in the RGB images) before it went behind a tree. I didn't have time to take any darks or bias frames.

I seem to have a bit of problem lining up my B image I think as there seems to be the odd star with a fringe. I also think it may be a tad over sharpened.

But all in all I'm quite pleased apart form the mess I've made of the core.

The background still needs to be made a bit darker in my opinion.

The fringing removed.

And when blending is best to do it before any stretching is done as I did it after and then found it difficult to blend the colours?

Any thoughts and tips appreciated :D

Next step I think will be to to get a guide camera.


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Well done matey! You have deffo over sharpened it and lost a lot of fine detail some where down the line so it looks like a pastel drawing! Less processing is some times more.

I do exactly the same though....I have at least five reprocesses of every image I do and then when I go back to my fave one, I can't remember how I got there!

I have found that reading all the tutorials I can has helped me out no end!

Look forward to seeing more!

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Darned good in my view. When sharpening, do it after isolating the stars so as not to sharpen them. The quick way is to use Noels Actions to select brighter stars and expand/feather the selection. Otherwise have a look at Martin B's tutorial on how to select stars in an image.

The colour balance is strange. I thought this had an Ha layer since it is quite pink, so some somewhere the colour balance has slipped. However, you have not made a mess of the core. Far from it, it is very good and often seen in a totally burned out state!


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Thanks both I am pleased with it as my first attempt.

When looking at the RGB images after they are combined, there is very little information in the Blue & Green channels compared to the Red would this be normal or should I look at doing longer exposures for B&G to get more colour in there.

I downloaded Noels Actions last night but haven't had time to try them out yet, so I'll look at that tonight... Thanks

With the core on my second attempt I found that if I kept masking it out and leaving it as the first stretch then virtually all the detail remained without having to use the shorter subs. :D

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I always do equal exposures per colour and sort the balance later, or get AstroArt and PixInsight to sort it! It is more a red object than anything else.

When you want to get dead clever on the Layer Masking, here's how...

Compositing 2 Different Exposures via Layer Masks

It is an exceptionally good tutorial.


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Nice tutorial, that's what approximately what I did with my first attempt I usually use a tablet/pen select the area and then feather, adjust with curves etc. The gaussian blur version looks a very good idea.

Edited by Penfold
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