Neil Wyatt

Experiments in processing

I spent the last couple of weeks in South Wales and had a run of clear nights. I got a lot of data by staying up far too late…

Here are four images, processed in a combination of Pixinsight, Photoshop, Astra Image and Deep Sky Stacker trying to make use of the best bits/bits I understand in each!

Crescent Nebula, SHO
Crescent Nebula, SHO

 

Iris Nebula RGB
Iris Nebula RGB

 

Wizard Nebula, Hubble palette
Wizard Nebula, Hubble palette

 

Lobster and Bubble Nebulas
Lobster and Bubble Nebulas

Finally, it all comes together!

I am really p[leased with these two images, for once everything went smoothly, good polar alignment, good focus, good guiding and an hours subs for each filter. I think I need to learn more about the ‘Hubble Palette’ and then revisit the second version, but I’m happy for now!

 

North America and  Pelican Nebulas, narrowband HSO
North America and Pelican Nebulas, narrowband HSO
North America and  Pelican Nebulas, Hubble palette
North America and Pelican Nebulas, Hubble palette

Comet Neowise from Branston Water Park

This was a real processing challenge, it took me hours of trying to get DSS to stack it properly (100 4-second subs!) Had to take stars out of the comet stacked one and then managed to mask the stars in the star-stacked version.

In the end, the comet had hardly moved against the stars! I like this better than my long-exposure version done with a 400mm scope.

 

Comet Neowise at Branston Water Park
Comet Neowise from Branston Water Park

M16 this summer.

This is the image I shared in tonight’s meeting, M16 the Eagle Nebula and cluster in Ha, with the ‘Pillars of Creation’ in the middle. Nearly 3 hours (34 5-minute exposures).

M16 Ha
M16 Ha

I also grabbed a luminance layer for the globular cluster M14 to use with my RGB data, and this Luminance only image of M11 to add to my ‘Messier Collection’.

This is classifies as an open cluster despite being quite compact, to me it looks more like a small but raggedy globular!

 

M11 The Wild Duck Cluster
M11 The Wild Duck Cluster

At last! Noctilucent Clouds

It’s taken me years to see, let alone photograph, noctilucent clouds.

Luna the Lab decided two trips into the garden weren’t enough last night, despite being let out at 11:50 and 1:15. I wasn’t annoyed though as the first two let me test my SQM which gave readings of 19.22 and 19.40 which suggests it’s in the right ball park.

But a couple of hours later she woke me up again, she’s obviously being fed too much.

I took thr meter out and the sky was already starting to lighten and read 18.8sih, but I noticed a few tufts of promising cloud right in the north between the trees.

I got Luna back in, dressed enough not to be arrested and legged it up to the Waterpark.

Thanks to the miracle of image stabilisation, some of my images came out OK co0nsidering they were >1s exposures!

I’m sure these are the ‘real deal’ because the stars were still out and it was just after 3:00am, the clouds were due north across about 45 degrees of the sky.

Noctilucent Clouds at Branston Water Park
Noctilucent Clouds at Branston Water Park
Noctilucent Clouds at LCS Container Park!
Noctilucent Clouds at LCS Container Park!

M13 – Great Cluster in Hercules

I’m particularly pleased with this image. I’ve been wandering around the southern sky picking up ‘missing Messiers’ for my collection, but a few nights ago I though I would try and get some better data for M13.

The initial red subs were a bit poor due to the lack of real darkness, so I took about an hour of subs and chose the best. For green and blue I took about half an hour’s worth of 2 ½ minute subs.

My first process was a bit meh, so I re-did it focusing on bringing out faint detail and being incredibly careful with curves not to bleach the core. Even then on my final curve stretch I had to mask out the core but was rewarded by an extraordinary number of very tiny stars in the outer parts of the cluster. View the image full size and zoom right in, or just check out the inset at the bottom of this post!

 

M13 - Great Cluster in Hercules
M13 – Great Cluster in Hercules

 

M13 zoomed in
M13 zoomed in