Monday, December 11, 2017

Get More Detail with DSS (embed settings without applying)

The reprocessed Ha-image of the California Nebula shows a bit more detail than my previous version.  I have been processing the autosave file that DSS creates in Photoshop for over two years as I thought the autosave file was not stretched.  However, after getting advice from Astrobin users Victor Van Puyenbroeck and Trevor Jones (also with Astrobackyard.com), I saved the image with the DSS settings embedded but not applied.  I then turned up the exposure in order to view the image and then did my normal stretching with curves and such.  I reprocessed my Ha-image of the Pacman Nebula and of the Flaming Star Nebula with similar results.

So does this mean I am going to reprocess every image I have done?  Perhaps when I retire...

Reprocessed California Nebula

Original California Nebula

Reprocessed Pacman Nebula

Original Pacman Nebula


Friday, December 8, 2017

NGC 1499 - California Nebula HaRGB

This is the California Nebula (NGC 1499) and is my Second attempt with HaRGB processing. 
I believe the Ha image shows more detail than the Pacman Nebula Ha image although it does not show as much detail is Trevor Jones (Astrobackyard.com) Ha-California version. He seems to have mastered Ha processing.  Once again this was taken when the moon was out which I find really cool.  I decided take 2 minute exposures using the Ha filter but only managed collect about 1-hour of data.  The color will have to wait as the cold winter weather is taking a turn for the worse.   


NGC 1499 - California Nebula-Ha
Location: Home Monroe, CT
Date: 11-28-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR, Astronomik Ha Clip-filter
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 29 x 120s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 8 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Astronomy Tools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Navi & Company IC-63 and IC-59)

More from the Cassiopeia region. I have been wanting to capture this stunning object since seeing a few images of this lately.  I was not sure of how best to image this, i.e. use a filter and what kind. I checked what others did but it seemed there was no best way, so I decided to not use any.  It was a clear night and I have relatively dark skies directly above me.

IC59 & IC63 are emission and reflection nebulae that lie approximately 600 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. IC63 (the red nebula in my image) is sometimes called the "Ghost of Cassiopeia." The very bright star in the image, Navi (Gamma Cassiopeia), illuminates the clouds of gas and dust (source: Astronomy).

IC63 & IC59
Location: Home Monroe, CT
Date: 11-20-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 120 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 10 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pleiades (2017)

It has been a couple of years since I last imaged Pleiades (M45) which is surprising since it is my favorite open cluster especially because you can see it well with the naked eye.  This was taken over four nights.  I am happy with how it turned out overall but the star halos around the four largest stars were driving me crazy so I made a revision after tweaking them somewhat.

Original

Tweaking Halos

M45 - Pleiades
Location: Home Monroe, CT and Boothe Hill Park, Stratford, Ct
Date: 11-13-17, 11-16-17, 11-17-17, 11-19-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 68 x 90s, 28 x 90s, 16 x 90s, 47 x 90s,
ISO: 1600
Temp: 10 C, 10 C, 10 C, 10 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Pacman Nebula using HaRGB processing

I completed my first HaRGB image.  For those not in the know, that is combining Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) exposures with regular color (RGB) exposures.  I pretty much followed the method described in detail by Trevor Jones from Astrobackyard.com (HaRGB Tutorial).  Since he already went over what to do I will just show you my results and give you my thoughts.  Long and short, my results are not as good as I had hoped.  I was expecting better Ha detail but this may be due to my inexperience with Ha-processing.  However, the results are promising and I should improve with more experience.  The other thing is it was really cool shooting a nebula during nearly full moon, I really enjoyed that and just being able to shoot exposures when the moon is out is worth perfecting this technique.

The following are my results:

Image 1 is the normal color (RGB) image which consists of 81 x 90 second exposures over two days stacked using DSS.  There were 10 darks, 10 bias, and 14 flats taken each night for support.


Image 2 is the Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) image which consists of 38 x 180 second exposures over two days stacked using DSS.  Again, there were 10 darks, 10 bias, and 14 flats taken each night for support.


Image 3 is the HaR image (Ha + red channel RGB) produced by copying the red channel RGB on to the Ha image.


Image 4 is the enhanced RGB image.  An HaR image (Ha + red channel RGB) is produced and copied into back into the red channel of the RGB image.


Image 5 is the final HaRGB (enhanced RGB + HaR).

Image 6 is the new final HaRGB using a new H-alpha processed image (Ha-nebula portion merged with RGB star field).

NGC 281 - Pacman Nebula-Ha
Location: Home Monroe, CT
Date: 11-06-17, 11-08-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR, Astronomik Ha Clip-filter
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 12 x 180s, 26 x 180s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 10 C, 10 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

NGC 281 - Pacman Nebula-RGB
Location: Home Monroe, CT
Date: 11-13-17, 11-16-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 39 x 90s, 43 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 10 C, 10 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pacman Nebula in Ha

This is the the first image I have ever taken in Ha with my new Astronomik Ha 12 mm clip-filter. I decided on the Pacman Nebula (NGC 281) since it was high up and visible from the Happy Frog astronomy shed). It twas really neat imaging when the moon was out and 80%. Normally I would never image a nebula under those circumstances. I hoped to get over an hour of exposure but only manged to get 12 usable 3 minute exposures. This is my first processing attempt and am not sure if I am doing well. The curve stretching seems to work opposite after I hit the red channel to make it black and white. I got some additional data last night but the guiding was not that great. I will process them when I get a chance. Hopefully, they will to the quality but will see if it does or not.


NGC 281 - Pacman Nebula
Location: Home Monroe, CT
Date: 11-06-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
f/7.5
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR, Astronomik Ha Clip-filter
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 12 x 180s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 10 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cassiopeia Plus

For the past couple months I have been concentrating in the region around Perseus and Cassiopeia.  Three recent image appear in this wide field image.  They are: 1) the Heart Nebula, 2) the Soul Nebula, and 3) the Double Cluster.  All of these are located on the left side of the image.  As you can see, there are still plenty of other objects within Cassiopeia's reign.

I captured this around the same time I did the Soul Nebula but wanted to process that first.  I tried to use flats for this image however I must have done something wrong as they made the image much worse.  I successfully used flats with the telescope but this was taken using a Canan 50 mm camera lens (Nifty Fifty).

Cassiopeia Region Wide Field


Cassiopeia Region
Location: Home Monroe, CT
Date: 10-18-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Lens: Canon 50mm f/2.8 (Nifty Fifty)
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 50mm
f/4.0
Focal Reducer: None
Mount: Orion Atlas Pro EQ/AZ Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 60 x 90s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 15 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.
https://kurtzeppetello.smugmug.com/