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Posts Made By: Enrico Africa

June 22, 2004 08:24 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

First light - ST-8E

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

I was able to do a first light with a new (used) ST-8E that I recently acquired on Amart. This is an RRGB of M16.

7 x 10 Min L (through an R filter) 1x1 Median
6 x 5 Min R 2x2 Median
4 x 5 Min G 2x2 Average
3 x 5 Min B 2x2 Median

This is a first of sorts: I acquired the L data on one night and the RGB data on another.

The color exposure times were dictated by conditions. I hope to gather more decent color data in the future, but I am very happy with the L. This raw color combine does not quite do the L data justice, but I'm happy for a first pass. I wonder what it will be like after proper color combining and some further processing.

Comments, questoins and suggestions always welcome.
Eric

July 19, 2004 09:32 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

LRGB Processing help

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

I'm relatively new to LRGB imaging. I currently have an LRGB sequence of M20 shot across two nights that is driving me crazy. I did a preliminary LRGB combine in CCDSoft last night, and the resulting image is completely magenta. My L exposures are 10 x 5 minutes, and my individual RGB's are 3 x 5 minutes each. When I combine just the RGB, I get a relatively decent image (the red component is red and the blue component shows up). When I add the L, the whole color scheme goes out the window and turns a deep magenta. I have to tune the blue up to the max just to have the slightest tinge of blue show up.

My filters are in place, and I can indirectly verify that the clear filter was indeed used for the L image (an exposure through the red filter is dimmer than through the clear filter).

Any idea from anyone out there as to why L data can mess up the colors in CCDSoft?

What's extra maddening is that this did not happen with my prior LRGB's. Or were those beginner's luck?
http://members.nuvox.net/~on.aunt/M51Color.htm
http://members.nuvox.net/~on.aunt/M57color.htm

Thanks in advance,
Eric

July 22, 2004 06:41 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M16 from last month

Posted By Enrico Africa

RRGB of the Eagle nebula (M16). Imaged the nights of June 19-20, 2004.

Takahashi FS-102 on an EM200 mount.
SBIG ST-8E, CFW-8A filter wheel.

L: 7 x 10 Minutes through Red filter binned 1 x 1
R: 3 x 5 minutes, binned 2 x 2
G: 3 x 5 minutes, binned 2 x 2
B: 3 x 5 minutes, binned 2 x 2

CCDSoft used for image acquisition and RGB combine. Photoshop used for LRGB combine and final processing.

Comments welcome.
Eric

July 25, 2004 06:55 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M20 LRGB

Posted By Enrico Africa

This image was what inspired (necessitated?) my plunge into attempting LRGB combines in Photoshop. An LRGB combine using CCDSoft turned out awful - the entire image was this sick shade of red. I finally went into finding out just how to do LRGB combines using Photoshop. My earlier-posted M16 was the result. Here is my similarly-processed M20.

Images acquired the nights of July 15 and 16.
Equipment:
SBIG ST-7E, CFW-8a color filter wheel
Takahashi FS102 on a Takahashi EM200 mount

L: 10 x 5 minutes, binned 1 x 1
R: 3 x 5 minutes, binned 2 x 2
G: 3 x 5 minutes, binned 2 x 2
B: 3 x 5 minutes, binned 2 x 2

L, G, B images acquired at a friend's dark sky site July 15th. R images taken July 16th from my backyard.

Images calibrated, aligned and median combined in CCDSoft. RGB combine done in CCDSoft. Final LRGB combine and processing done in Photoshop 5.0.

Comments welcome.
Eric

August 12, 2004 07:14 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

The Falkor Nebula...

Posted By Enrico Africa

...otherwise known as the Veil Nebula, NGC 6992.

As it was composed, when I started processing this image, it kinda looked to me like Falkor, the Luck Dragon, from the movie "The Never Ending Story". I got the image of at least a skeletal version of that jolly old dragon flying through the clouds like a porpoise....

Anyway, I was gathering 100 minutes of red images of the Veil for an RRGB image. I happened to chance on this guide star that not only punched through my blue filter, it went right through the Hydrogen-Alpha filter as well!

So I gathered 120 minutes' worth of Ha data. I was hoping to gather another 120 minutes' worth of Ha data, along with the requisite blue and green data for an HaRGB, but right now the weather gods have spoken against that. Ah, well...

So, here is my first Ha image ever. I'm struggling with the background, but still not too bad given it's my first (I think):

Object: Veil Nebula
Equipment: ST-8XE with CFW-8a filter through a Borg 76ED on a Takahashi EM200 mount. 4.5 nm Ha filter (not sure of brand).
Exposures: 8 x 15 minutes
Calibrated and median combined in CCDSoft, some post-processing done with Photoshop 5.0.

http://members.nuvox.net/~on.aunt/DSO/VeilHaMediumCrop.jpg

Enjoy (I hope),
Eric

September 13, 2004 08:02 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M33 LRGB

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hello,

Here is an image of M33 taken last Friday-Saturday (9/10 - 9/11).

Full size image can be seen at http://members.nuvox.net/~on.aunt/DSO/M33Color.jpg

SBIG ST-8XE
CFW-8a color filter wheel
Takahashi FS102 @f/8 on a Takahashi EM200 mount
L: 12 x 10 minutes binned 1 x 1
R: 7 x 5 minutes binned 2 x 2
G: 6 x 5 minutes binned 2 x 2
B: 9 x 5 minutes binned 2 x 2

Luminance images median combined
Color images averaged
Images reduced and combined in CCDSoft
RGB combine in AIP4WIN
LRGB combine and final processing in Photoshop 5.0

Comments welcome.
Eric

September 19, 2004 04:52 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

NGC891

Posted By Enrico Africa

Here's my first attempt at NGC891. I used a C8 at f/6.5 (1.413 arc-seconds/pixel) on a Takahashi EM200 mount. Camera used is an ST-8XE. I got a couple of background galaxies, but they are out of the frame of this cropped image.

It was somewhat windy the night I imaged (Sep. 18), but I persisted in imaging at 1 x 1 for luminance anyway.

L: 12 x 10 minutes binned 1 x 1
R: 6 x 5 minutes binned 2 x 2
G: 6 x 5 minutes binned 2 x 2
B: 9 x 5 minutes binned 2 x 2

Comments welcome.

Eric

October 17, 2004 07:16 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

NGC 6946 and Friends

Posted By Enrico Africa

Hi all,

I've been busy imaging the last couple of weeks, and between imaging and other commitments I have not been able to process them to my satisfaction yet.

That said, here is a quick and dirty NGC 6946 along with NGC 69339 and NGC 6946's supernova (I think it's the star arrowed). I couldn't shrink the image down to a size that would show everything to my satisfaction, so here's a link instead (I hope you don't mind the extra click!):

http://members.nuvox.net/~on.aunt/DSO/NGC6946-6939.JPG

Imaged October 10, 2004 from my backyard. ST-8XE through a Takahashi FS102 on a Takahashi EM200 mount.

L: 12 x 5 minutes binned 1x1
R: 3 x 5 minutes binned 2x2
G: 3 x 5 minutes binned 2x2
B: 4 x 5 minutes binned 2x2

Images average combined in CCDSoft. Final processing in Photoshop.

This is a quick-and-dirty image (I guess even the processing is quick and dirty) - I just wanted to make sure that I'd have an image of the supernova. Given the FOV of my refractor, I figure why not do a wide-field, multi-image shot as well. The color combine washed out the colors, so I resorted to a rather aggressive boost in color saturation.

Comments and processing tips welcome!
Eric

November 20, 2004 07:56 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

My first M31

Posted By Enrico Africa

OK, I'm coming out of hiding....

There've been so many wonderful images posted here recently that I haven't felt worthy to post anything recently. I've fallen into the trap of working on an image so much that I either give up or never post because I keep trying to perfect it. Anyway, I've decided that enough is enough, so here it is, warts and all!

This is my first serious attempt at M31. Capture and processing details below:

Camera: SBIG ST-8XE
Scope: Borg 76ED at f/6.6 (no reducer)
Mount: Takahashi EM200
L: 27 x 5 minutes binned 1x1
R: 9 x 5 minutes binned 2x2
G: 9 x 5 minutes binned 2x2
B: 9 x 5 minutes binned 2x2

Images acquired and reduced in CCDSoft. Combined using Ray Gralak's Sigma Reject following his online help. RGB combine in AIP4WIN. LRGB combine in Photoshop CS. Levels, curves and gradient removal in Photoshop CS.

The color frames were not well-aligned with the L frames (this is only my second attempt at imaging with a meridian flip), so I had to crop the final color image.

A larger-sized version can be seen here:
http://members.nuvox.net/~on.aunt/DSO/M31Color.jpg

The B&W image should be worthy of a look-see as well, since it had to be cropped for the color version:
http://members.nuvox.net/~on.aunt/DSO/M31BWSmall.jpg

Comments and suggestions welcome.

Eric

December 19, 2004 02:37 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Oh no, not another M42!

Posted By Enrico Africa

I was treated unexpectedly to clear skies last Wednesday (Dec. 15). I used that opportunity to image Comet Machholz and M42 (I figure that since it was a worknight, I should shoot some quick targets).

This is my first "serious" attempt at imaging and processing M42.

Equipment: SBIG ST-8XE and CFW-8a through a Takahashi FS102 on a Takahashi EM200 mount.

Nebula:
L: 10 x 1 minute binned 1x1
RGB: 5 x 1 minute each binned 2x2

Trapezium region:
L: 10 x 10 seconds binned 1x1
RGB: 5 x 10 seconds each binned 2x2

Images captured with CCDSoft. RGB combine in AIP4WIN. LRGB combine, layers and color processing in Photoshop. A mild application of SGBNR with PixInsight to smooth out noise was applied to the final image. Image reduced for the web.

Comments and suggestions welcome!
Eric