Mineral Moon from 29th December

Here’s a picture of last night’s full moon. I’ve spent a good part of the today learning some new processing techniques from the page below:

How To Photograph And Edit a Mineral Moon | Light Stalking

Unfortunately the steps are all in Photoshop, so I had to work out how to do them in GIMP, but it seems to have worked. I wanted to see if I could do this entirely in free software, but couldn’t get the noise reduction to work so there’s a bit of Pixinsight in here, but otherwise it’s all done with free stuff.

Capture details are: Canon DSLR on 130PDS – Disc is stack of 30 of 1/500s, halo is a single jpeg at 1/10 sec

Processing is: Converted to avi by Pipp, stacked in Autostakkert, Saturation and Layers in GIMP and Noise reduction in Pixinsight MLT.




2nd attempt at processing my narrowband image of M42 from 24/12/2020

Do you prefer one of these versions from today or the ones I posted previously?

In one respect these images are better – in my previous post I had stacked the frames using Nebulosity 4 and there was some misalignment of stars in corners. On this occasion, I used the automatic script in PixInsight to stack and it has done a far better job. I also think I have kept more detail in the fish-mouth/trapezium region. Leaving some of the green in the image (i.e. not using 100% on SCNR has also emphasised the Running Man nebula M43).

Regarding colour choices in narrowband imaging, this is in the eye of the beholder – not sure which I prefer…..

Versions 1 and 3 are very similar – Version 1 is really Version 3 with Topaz SharpenAI and DeNoiseAI filters applied.

All versions used 75% SCNR in PixInsight – in Version 2 I used Replace Colour in Photoshop to replace some of green with red to see if it looked nicer!

Version 4 is my Phoenix Version!


Hunting Barnards Loop

I’ve been fascinated by Barnards Loop ever since I first saw a photo of it- an emission nebula that covers a huge part of the sky. In case you’re not familiar, it’s a large loop of gas centred roughly on Messier 42 that encircles good chunk of the Orion constellation. It’s thought to be a remnant of a Supernova from a couple of million years ago at least 100 light years across. I had a go at imaging it last year, but wasn’t especially thrilled with the results, so definitely on the list for another go. Easier said than done when you’re fighting light pollution…

I started this on 16th initially with an IDAS light pollution filter and a Sigma 18-55 lens. Unfortunately the lens/filter combination produced some very strange effects, so I took the filter out and stacked 20 minutes worth of data from 40x 30 second shots. I’m to the North of Burton and so Orion goes right over the light dome from the town- not a pretty sight:

I attacked it in Pixinsight with DBE. It’s a good tool, but the mess left behind from this one had me needing to clip the background out to get something presentable. Still- I thought it’d make a good base to mix some Ha over:

Next clear night was Christmas Eve. I waited for Orion to get nice and high in the sky and then had a go with a 7nm Baader Ha filter, collecting an hour of data. This really underlines how much LP gets generated by an average urban area. Despite around 95% of the visible spectrum being cut out, there’s still a pretty nasty gradient:

Did my best to sort it out, but it was still a pretty noisy image. Final result is below. If I want to get a decent version of this I think I’m going to need to go somewhere darker, but if anyone has any bright ideas for improving this in the meantime, I’m listening!


M42 from 20/12/2020

My best ever photo of M42 – from 20/12/2020.
I particularly like the brown nebulosity around the bright central nebula which extends across whole of frame.
Represents better photo taking but also improved processing skills.
Stars also look rounder this time but don’t know why!

  • Altair Astro 183M mono camera
  • LRGB filters
  • Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA
  • Altair Astro Lightwave 1.0x field flattener
  • EQ6 mount
  • Lichfield, UK