Horsehead Nebula data from 9/1/2021

Thanks to RAG members who have offered to have a go at processing my Horsehead and Flame data to see what you can make of it.

File can be downloaded by clicking on link below – comes with calibration data – ZIP file – WARNING! The file is 10GB in size!

Horsehead and Flame Nebula in Orion, light frames & calibration files, Altair Astro 183M/Sky Watcher Equinox 80+1.0x FF/LRGB 9/01/2021 (ZIP file, 10 GB)



Horsehead and Flame Nebulae from last night

My photo from last night:

  • 3 hours of data.
  • 80mm Sky Watcher Equinox Pro telescope.
  • Sky Watcher EQ6 mount.
  • Mono camera Altair Astro 183M – Baader LRGB 7-8.5nm filters.
  • Taken in Lichfield, UK.
  • Sky had some transparency issues & below zero temperature outside.
  • Telescope set up on garden.
  • Processed in PixInsight and Photoshop CS6 with GradientXterminator filter and Astroflat Pro filters; and Topaz AI Noise and AI Sharpen filters.


Which version of following two do you prefer?

The Tadpoles Nebula

I caught this one on Christmas Eve. We had a lovely clear night, and although it was very much family time I did manage to sneak out and set the scope running. It was pretty clear nearly all night, so I was able to gather data for all the channels in one night- a rarity in UK narrowband imaging. Details are:

Capture details are:

RGB (for the stars) – 10 mins/channel – 20x 30 seconds, Ha – 90x 2mins, Oiii and Sii – 75x 2mins.

130pds on HEQ5 with ASI1600mm at Gain 250.

I’m normally indecisive about the best presentation, but in this instance the Hubble version was definitely the one to go with, as it really highlights the tadpoles. I’ve also included a Starnet version- it definitely adds some noise, but you can see the faint bits of the nebula much better.

I was curious about the Tadpoles- apparently they’re similar to the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula- dust and gas left over from the formation of the nearby star cluster NGC1893, and the nursery for future star creation. They point away from the cluster because of stellar winds and radiation pressure from it.


M42 LRGB 20/12/2020 re-processed 1/1/2021

My first processed image of 2021 is a re-process of my LRGB data on M42 from 20/12/2020.

I have used StarNet in PixInsight to extract the nebula, enhance it, and then added back the stars in Photoshop.

Although there isn’t more detail in this image compared to my last attempt, I think my background gradients are better dealt with, and the stars slightly improved – although my wife prefers the previous version! What do you think?


New version of M42:

Most of stars removed using StarNet in PI:

7 Sisters of California

This is my second attempt at this composition and some time off over the holidays is giving me time to catch up with processing…

This is quite a large chunk of sky between the Pleiades running up to the California nebula. I had a go at this around 9 months ago, but it was low in the sky at the time and I clipped the background to sort out atmospheics and light pollution gradients. It’s been nice to have another go closer to the zenith. The acquisition was as follows:

2 pane mosaic, taken through Altair 183c Pro camera on a Star Adventurer with a Canon 15 year old “nifty fifty” f1.8 lens. I found focussing at f1.8 just about impossible, so it’s stopped down to f2.8. I wanted to get as much of the dust as possible, so I didn’t use a filter and this restricted me to 30 second exposures at gain 1000. Each pane has 120×30 seconds.

I then enhanced the California nebula by blending it with some data taken back in October with a 1970s 135mm Soviet lens and an Ha filter.

The Heart of the Heart nebula

Happy New Year Everyone! 

Here is my attempt at the heart of the heart nebula showing the melotte 15 star cluster.

I used my skywatcher 250pds on the Neq6 Pro mount. I shot through the optolong lenhance filter and the baader mark III coma corrector.

These images are 54 x 10 minute frames at ISO 1600 stacked in deep sky stacker and processed in pixinsight and photoshop. I also used star net to create a starless version of the image too!

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.