Sunday, December 11, 2016

M1 - The Crab Nebula

Messier 1 (NGC 1952) or the Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant in the constellation Taurus and is approximately 6300 light years from us and 10 light years in diameter.

Chinese and Arab astronomers recorded the supernova event in the summer of 1054 in the constellation Taurus.  They described it as a "guest star" that was brighter than Venus and visible in the daytime for several weeks. It is believed the Anasazi (native Americans in the southwest) recorded it in a wall painting in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. The Crab Nebula has been identified as the remnant of this supernova - a massive star that collapsed after exhausting its supply of fuel nuclear resulting as a spectacular explosion. M1 is the outwardly expanding shell of ionized gas thrown off in this cataclysmic event (source: Fred Espanek,

I captured M1 over two nights and represents the 48th Messier Object I have taken, only 62 left.  Some of the images have diffraction spikes (star crosses) on the larger stars while some of the images have none.  So did I get a new scope and shoot two separate images?  I added the spikes using the Photoshop Plugin - Astrophotography Tools.  I did a lot of processing on these images as I develop my own technique.  I was trying to follow Ian Norman from Lonely Speck and have used his method for removing the gradients in Lightroom but processing usin his LRGB method was a bit overweening for now. I was able to follow Trevor Jones from AstroBackyard and combined his method with my own to obtain decent results.

Crop2 - PS, LR2, AT, ST - Showing Spikes

Crop2 - PS, LR2, AT, ST

Crop1 - PS, LR2, AT, ST

Wide Field - PS, LR2, AT, ST - Showing Spikes

Wide Field - PS, LR2, AT, ST

M1 - The Crab Nebula (NGC 1952)
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date/Time: 12/01/16 11:45 pm, 12/05/16 11:45 pm
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 48 x 150 sec (120 min)
ISO: 800
Temp: 25 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, StarTools, Astrophotography Tools

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