NGC1381 & Friends

 

NGC 1381

Eighteen 10-minute light frames, calibrated, registered, stacked, and post-processed using PixInsight.

Date taken: 26/11/2016
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, Baader Multi Purpose Coma Corrector
ISO800
Mount: HEQ5PRO
Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
Guiding: PHD2
50 bias frames, 20 dark frames, 50 flat frames.
Total integration time: 180 minutes

PRE-PROCESSING DETAILS:

  • BatchPreProcessing, calibration and debayer
  • Blink to find and remove any really bad frames
  • Star Alignment
  • Blink to make sure everything aligned well
  • Image integration (using Winsorized Sigma Clipping)
  • Dynamic Background extraction
  • CanonBandingReduction

PROCESSING THE IMAGE:

  • DynamicCrop
  • StarMask
  • Deconvolution
  • TGVDenoise
  • MultiscaleMedianTransform
  • HistogramTransformation
  • CurvesTransformation

NGC 2467 – Skull and Crossbones nebula

NGC 2467

Thirty-Three 5-minute light frames, calibrated, registered, stacked, and post-processed using PixInsight. This may well be the most exposures I have taken of one object in one night, and the resulting reduction in noise is fantastic!

Date taken: 05/01/2016
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
ISO800
Mount: HEQ5PRO
Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
Guiding: PHD2
50 bias frames, 20 dark frames, 50 flat frames.
Total integration time: 165 minutes

PRE-PROCESSING DETAILS:

  • BatchPreProcessing, calibration and debayer
  • Blink to find and remove any really bad frames
  • Star Alignment
  • Blink to make sure everything aligned well
  • Image integration (using Winsorized Sigma Clipping)
  • Automatic Background extraction

PROCESSING THE IMAGE:

  • Background Neutralisation
  • Colour Calibration
  • Histrogram Transformation
  • TGVDenoise (masked, L channel extracted post-histogram extraction)
  • UnsharpMask (masked, with a range mask so only the interesting nebulae were affected)
  • Histrogram Transformation x2 to further stretch the image after noise reduction
  • Curves Transformation x2 to bring out the colours
  • scnr to remove the green tinge
  • DynamicCrop, removing the less interesting edges of the images

Far less effort was required to reduce the noise in this image – TGVDenoise was able to eliminate almost all of the small scale noise in a single pass without ruining the details of the nebula.

NGC2438

Fourteen 5-minute light frames, calibrated, registered, stacked, and post-processed using PixInsight. I took this after the Horsehead Nebula was too low in the sky to get any useful images.

The gathering of stars just above the nebula are commonly known as M46, this region is within the constellation Puppis.

Date taken: 13/03/2015
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
ISO800
Mount: HEQ5PRO
Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
Guiding: PHD2
50 bias frames, 20 dark frames, 50 flat frames.
Total integration time: 70 minutes

Pre-Processing details:

  • BatchPreProcessing, calibration only
  • BatchDebayer
  • Star Alignment
  • Image integration (using Winsorized Sigma Clipping)
  • Automatic Background extraction
  • Dynamic Crop to remove some of the dodgy edges
  • Automatic Background extraction to remove any remaining unwanted gradients
  • Extracted luminance from the RGB for later on

Processing the RGB Image:

  • Background Neutralisation
  • Colour Calibration
  • scnr to remove the green tinge
  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • multiscalemediantransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • Histrogram Transformation
  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, L channel extracted post-histogram extraction)
  • ACDNR (masked, L channel extracted post-histogram extraction)
    atrouswavelettransform (blurring the image)

Processing the luminance image:

  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • multiscalemediantransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • Histrogram Transformation
  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, cloned image with auto clip shadows/highlights)
  • ACDNR (masked, cloned image with auto clip shadows/highlights)

Putting the images together:

  • LRGBCombination, saturation initial tweak.
  • Curves, increase contrast, bring out details

IC434 – The Horsehead Nebula

ic434-lrgb-final

Seventeen 5-minute light frames, calibrated, registered, stacked, and post-processed using PixInsight. I have tried and failed to capture the Horsehead nebula before, so I’m glad to finally tick this one off!

Date taken: 13/03/2015
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
ISO800
Mount: HEQ5PRO
Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
Guiding: PHD2
50 bias frames, 20 dark frames, 50 flat frames.
Total integration time: 85 minutes

Pre-Processing details:

  • BatchPreProcessing, calibration only
  • BatchDebayer
  • Star Alignment
  • Image integration (using Winsorized Sigma Clipping)
  • Automatic Background extraction
  • Dynamic Crop to remove some of the dodgy edges
  • Automatic Background extraction to remove any remaining unwanted gradients
  • Extracted luminance from the RGB for later on

Processing the RGB Image:

  • Background Neutralisation
  • Colour Calibration
  • scnr to remove the green tinge
  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • multiscalemediantransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • Histrogram Transformation
  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, L channel extracted post-histogram extraction)
  • ACDNR (masked, L channel extracted post-histogram extraction)
    atrouswavelettransform (blurring the image)

Processing the luminance image:

  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • multiscalemediantransform (masked, duplicate image, STF autostretch)
  • Histrogram Transformation
  • atrouswavelettransform (masked, cloned image with auto clip shadows/highlights)
  • ACDNR (masked, cloned image with auto clip shadows/highlights)

Putting the images together:

  • LRGBCombination, saturation initial tweak.
  • Curves, increase contrast, bring out details
  • Rotated 90°

M42 – Orion Nebula – one year later

 Update! I’ve reprocessed the image:

m42_HDR_latest

The steps were mostly the same as before, but the HDR stage was tweaked a bit:

  • RGBWorkingSpace changed to 1 for each channel
  • DynamicPSF to generate PSF for Deconvolution
  • Luminance mask created from RGB image
  • Deconvolution used to bring out some more details
  • Multiple HistrogramTransformation runs to stretch the image carefully, and align the channels
  • HDRMultiscaleTransform with the brightest stars masked, once on the larger scale (~10) and once on a smaller scale (~7)
  • SCNR to reduce green
  • ACDNR to reduce noise
  • HistogramTransformation to stretch the image a little further
  • RangeMask+StarMask used to protect the background & bright stars
  • LocalHistrogramEqualisation used on the nebula to brighten things up
  • CurvesTransformation to increase contrast
  • UnsharpMask to sharpen some details slightly
  • Slight Convolution to reduce a bit of the harshness from UnsharpMask
  • ColourSaturation three times, one with a mask protecting everything but the brightest stars, one protecting the background and bright stars to increase saturation on the nebula, and once with the previous mask inverted to reveal some colour in the dusty background.
Original post:

m42-HDR

I’ve shot this target before!

I haven’t done a HDR shot before, most targets don’t really need it in my experience. There is one huge exception – M42! The core of M42 is super bright compared to the rest, and then there’s the dust which usually goes unseen until you take much longer exposures.

M42 is easy to capture, hard to master.

General Details:
  • Date taken: 14/12/2014
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
  • ISO800
  • Mount: HEQ5PRO
  • Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
  • Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
  • Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
  • Guiding: PHD2
  • 50 bias frames, 20 dark frames (for the 300 second lights only!), 50 flat frames
  • 15 x 10 second exposures
  • 15 x 60 second exposures
  • 12 x 300 second exposures
  • Total integration time: 4650 seconds
Pre-Processing details (performed on each exposure length individually):
  • BatchPreProcessing, calibration only
  • BatchDebayer
  • Star Alignment with drizzle (took a lot of tweaking to get the 10 second exposures to align correctly!)
  • Blink to check for and remove any bad frames
  • Image integration with drizzle (using Winsorized Sigma Clipping)
  • Automatic background extraction on the three integrated RGB images to remove the light pollution
Processing the resulting RGB Images:
  • BackgroundNeutralization
  • ColourCalibration
  • SCNR to remove the green tinge
Prep the images for HDR:
  • StarAlignment of the three different integrations so they’ll line up
  • Blink to make sure they are lined up OK
  • DynamicCrop to cut out any bad edge bits
HDR Time:
  • HDRComposition to combine the three different exposure length integrations
  • RGBWorkingSpace
  • ACDNR to reduce noise
  • HistogramTransformation x2 to bring out the background dust
  • HDRMultiscaleTransform to reveal the core of M42
  • ColorSaturation to enhance the colours a bit
  • CurvesTransformation to enhance contrast and luminance
  • LocalHistogramEqualisation to brighten the image a bit

NGC1365 – Great Barred Spiral Galaxy

ngc1365_final

Twenty-five 5-minute light frames, calibrated, registered, stacked, and post-processed using PixInsight. I was having a bit of trouble before this shot, my stars had colour fringes caused by the coma corrector. I have started performing my collimation with the coma corrector in place, which seems to have reduced this problem significantly. I think it’s just because the coma corrector isn’t as snug a fit as it should be in the focuser tube.

  • Date taken: 27/11/2014
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
  • ISO800
  • Mount: HEQ5PRO
  • Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
  • Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
  • Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
  • Guiding: PHD2
  • 50 bias frames, 20 dark frames, 50 flat frames.
  • Total integration time: 125 minutes

Pre-Processing details:

  • BatchPreProcessing, calibration only
  • BatchDebayer
  • Star Alignment
  • Image integration (using Winsorized Sigma Clipping)
  • Dynamic Background extraction, twice, first time to remove the majority of the light pollution, then a second run to reduce some of the gradients from nearby light sources.
  • Dynamic Crop to remove some of the dodgy edges, also centering the image on NGC1365
  • Extracted luminance from the RGB for later on

Processing the RGB Image:

  • BackgroundNeutralization
  • ColourCalibration
  • ATrousWaveletTransform to reduce noise
  • HistogramTransformation to reveal the galaxy etc
  • ACDNR to further improve noise
  • ATrousWaveletTransform a few more times with various masks to reduce noise and even out the background
  • Blurred the RGB image with ATrousWaveletTransform by removing all the detail from the first 4 layers!

Processing the luminance image:

  • Much the same as before, ATrousWaveletTransform to reduce noise
  • HistogramTransformation to stretch the image
  • More ATrousWaveletTransform, this time using a mask generated from a cloned image, HistogramTransformation used to auto clip highlights & shadows
  • Same mask, ACDNR.
  • Bit more HistogramTransformation now that there is a lot less noise
  • Pixel math: star_mask+range_mask, masking everything but the stars and galaxy
  • LocalHistogramEqualization to bring out some more detail in the galaxy
  • Tiny bit of bias in ATrousWaveletTransform to sharpen up the galaxy

Putting the images together:

  • LRGBCombination!
  • Saturation increased a tad, 0.350 or so, but otherwise just applied L to RGB
  • CurvesTransformation to tweak the saturation and luminance a tad, and increase contrast

M8 – Lagoon Nebula – Take 3

m8-reprocessed

I have re-used the data from my previous attempt, this time the processing was done entirely in PixInsight. If I recall correctly, there was 10 light frames used for a total integration time of 50 minutes.

  • Date taken: 14/08/2014
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
  • ISO800
  • Mount: HEQ5PRO
  • Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
  • Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
  • Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
  • Guiding: PHD2

The colour calibration is much more accurate this time around. I have also managed to reduce the noise considerably during the integration phase by using Winsorized Sigma Clipping. This allowed me to be a lot less aggressive with the noise removal tools, resulting in a more defined image.

C103 – Tarantula Nebula

C103

Nine 5-minute light frames, calibrated, registered, stacked, and post-processed using PixInsight.

  • Date: 25/10/2014
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
  • ISO800
  • Mount: HEQ5PRO
  • Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
  • Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
  • Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
  • Guiding: PHD2
  • 50 bias frames, 20 dark frames, 20 flat frames.

47 TUC

47 TUC

 

Seven 5-minute light frames, calibrated, registered, stacked, and post-processed using PixInsight.

  • Date: 25/10/2014
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Camera: Canon 450d w/ IR filter removed, GSO coma corrector
  • ISO800
  • Mount: HEQ5PRO
  • Scope: GSO 8″ f/5 Newtonian
  • Autoguider: Orion Starshoot AG
  • Imaging: BackyardEOS w/ PHD dithering
  • Guiding: PHD2
  • 50 bias frames, 20 dark frames, 20 flat frames.