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Contains:  NGC 3077, M 82, NGC 3034, M 81, Bode's nebulae, NGC 3031, NGC 2976
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M81 / M82 through the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN), 


            Andrew Klinger
M81 / M82 through the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN)

M81 / M82 through the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN)

Technical card

Imaging telescope or lens:William Optics GT-81

Imaging camera:Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i

Mount:Orion Sirius EQ-G (HEQ5)

Guiding telescope or lens:Orion 50 mm Guide Scope

Guiding camera:Orion Star Shoot Auto Guider

Focal reducer:William Optics Flat 6A


Resolution: 4584x2991

Dates:March 26, 2017

Frames: 128x480" ISO800

Integration: 17.1 hours

Darks: ~32

Flats: ~30

Bias: ~200

Avg. Moon age: 27.78 days

Avg. Moon phase: 3.44%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 3.00 job: 2052947

RA center: 148.764 degrees

DEC center: 69.336 degrees

Pixel scale: 2.288 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 271.648 degrees

Field radius: 1.739 degrees

Locations: Atoka dark site, Atoka, Oklahoma, United States


M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (Cigar Galaxy) pair can be seen in center. What is seen as the brighter background throughout the frame is actually nebulae clouds known as the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN). IFN actually sits above our galactic plane and is illuminated by our galaxy as a whole, rather than emitting its own light. It is extremely faint and needs to be imaged under dark skies to be revealed.

OTA: William Optics GT81 w/0.8x reducer (382mm fl at f/4.7)
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G (HEQ-5)
Guidescope: Orion 50mm guidescope
Guiding camera: Orion StarShoot Autoguider
Imaging camera: Canon t3i (unmodified)


Location: Atoka, Oklahoma (Bortle 3)
Dates: 1/23/17, 1/26/17, 1/30/17, 2/22/17, 3/2/17, 3/26/17
128x480" lights
Total integration time: 17hr 4min
32x darks per night (temp-matched from dark library)
30x flats per night
200x bias (master bias in library)

Batch PreProcessing script to generate calibrated/registered images
ImageIntegration (Linear Fit rejection)
Dynamic Crop
ABE x3
Background Neutralization
Color Calibration
Extract L from RGB

RGB processing:
SCNR green
TGVDenoise (NR via Jon Rista's tutorial)
MMT (targeting chrominance and then luminance)
Histogram Transformation x3
HDRMT (M81 done separately from M82 and small objects)
Histogram Transformation (used range mask to push dark areas closer to the clipping point, leaving the IFN alone)
Curves Transformation (saturation)
Color Saturation (targeting specific galaxy colors)
Curves Transformation (slight contrast on entire image)

L processing:
MMT (slight NR)
Histogram Transformation x3
Histogram Transformation x2 (with range mask to push non-IFN areas closer to clipping point)
HDRMT (M81 done separately from M82 and small objects)
LHE (stars masked off)
MorphologicalTransformation x2
Curves Transformation (slight contrast on entire image)

Combined L and RGB with LRGB Combination tool
Curves Transformation
MorphologicalTransformation (slightly reduce stars)
SCNR green



Andrew Klinger
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


M81 / M82 through the Integrated Flux Nebula (IFN), 


            Andrew Klinger