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California Nebula in HaRGB - Reprocessed Using PixInsight, 



    
        

            Kurt Zeppetello
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California Nebula in HaRGB - Reprocessed Using PixInsight

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
California Nebula in HaRGB - Reprocessed Using PixInsight, 



    
        

            Kurt Zeppetello
Powered byPixInsight

California Nebula in HaRGB - Reprocessed Using PixInsight

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

Imaging cameras: Canon T3i Full Spectrum 600D

Mounts: Orion Sirius EQ-G (HEQ5)

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser

Guiding cameras: QHY-5-L-II-M Planatary & Autoguider

Focal reducers: Orion .8X Focal Reducer

Software: Adobe photoshop  ·  Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight  ·  Gradient Exterminator  ·  BackyardEOS  ·  PHD Guiding

Filters: Astronomik Ha 12nm Clip Filter EOS  ·  Astrodon UV/IR


Dates:Nov. 28, 2017Dec. 20, 2017

Frames:
60x120" (2h) ISO1600
Astronomik Ha 12nm Clip Filter EOS: 29x120" (58') ISO1600

Integration: 2h 58'

Darks: ~10

Flats: ~10

Bias: ~10

Avg. Moon age: 5.55 days

Avg. Moon phase: 36.24%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

Temperature: 3.00


Astrometry.net job: 2197355

RA center: 4h 1' 24"

DEC center: +36° 22' 41"

Pixel scale: 1.835 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -85.410 degrees

Field radius: 1.433 degrees


Resolution: 3252x4576

Locations: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, Connecticut, United States

Data source: Backyard

Description

This is the same data for the Califoria Nebula (NGC 1499) collected with my modified Canon 600d that I used to produce the image in November (and December) of 2017. I used DSS for stacking and primarily Photoshop for processing. I have been happy with using PS and hesitant of PixInsight for the usual reason - hard to learn. However, I recently obtained a ZWO 1600MM-Pro and think it will be easier in the long run to process the images in PI. Also, I read a recent Sky and Telescope article by Richard Wright who discussed this very subject. In a nutshell he recommended learning both. He made the point PI is not any harder to learn than PS and PI can do certain functions much easier than PS. Use the right tool for the job mentality.

I have already experienced this in my very limited time using PI. I stacked both the Ha and RGB data using PI and it produced two images which were aligned. I believe DSS can do this as well but I did not know it at the time so I spent few hours aligning the Ha and RGB images by hand and eye. I then combined these images using the NBRGB script function followed by a histogram stretch. Special thanks goes to Shannon Calvert for helping locate the NBRGB function. The combined image looked OK. PixInsight did in 10 minutes what me many hours to do in PS. I then exported the image to PS and did some of my favorite PS operations on this new rendition. Why didn't I just continue and process the whole image in PI? The point was to start using PI not totally switch yet and I wanted to get an image done quickly. It is going to be a long process in order to learn this program, I imagine over time I will use PS less.

The new image is sharper and show more nebulosity than the original image. Also, the stars as well as the star colors seem much more real or balanced, at least to me.

Lastly, I just combined the Ha and RGB images directly, no processing prior to combining. I am not sure if it is recommended or not with PI. I may experiment with this. When I originally did this last year I processed the images individually prior to combining. The link above takes you the original image. - Kurt

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California Nebula in HaRGB - Reprocessed Using PixInsight, 



    
        

            Kurt Zeppetello