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Contains:  NGC 7129
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NGC 7129: The Cosmic Rosebud in LLRGB, 


            Robert Churan
NGC 7129: The Cosmic Rosebud in LLRGB

NGC 7129: The Cosmic Rosebud in LLRGB

Technical card

Resolution: 5300x3500

ZWO Blue 1.25": 20x512"
ZWO Green 1.25": 20x512"
ZWO Luminance 1.25": 60x512"
ZWO Red 1.25": 20x512"

Integration: 17.1 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~50 job: 2884687

RA center: 325.744 degrees

DEC center: 66.105 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.382 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 0.078 degrees

Field radius: 0.337 degrees

Data source: Backyard


A Beautiful OIII-dominant reflection nebula some 3300 light years away in the northern constellation of Cepheus. A young open cluster containing approx. 130 stars less than a million years old illuminates and doubly-ionizes oxygen gas in the surrounding nebula. The odd bubble-shapes seen and the rosebud-and-stem shape of the nebula come from the ionizing wind of the hot, young stars.

A number of red, orange, and some yellowish crescent-shaped regions are visible throughout the nebula. These are known as Herbig-Haro (HH) objects. These are regions of bright nebulosity associated with newborn stars. They form as jets of partially ionized gases ejected by their parent stars collide with surrounding gas at hundreds of kilometers per second. Most, due to this, are found within a parsec (3.26 ly) of their parent sta, and experience huge visual changes over short periods as they continue to interact with the surrounding interstellar medium and nebulous gases.

This image was super fun and exciting for me! It was my first image processed in the new verion of the StarTools Signal Evolution Tracking Engine, and by far the easiest process of my entire imaging career thus far. After months working with Ivo Jäger, the creator of StarTools, I got to try the release version of StarTools 1.5. I've been there in 1.5 since the beginning of closed beta testing among a small group, and the process was very fun and I learned a ton about the software I use.

The StarTools Signal Evolution Tracking Engine v1.5 is an incredibly powerful set of modules designed specifically to allow imagers to get the most out of astronomical image data. It has several key features that bring it light years ahead of the processing tools most imagers use. The main feature that brings ST ahead is tracking. Unlike other software, ST does not simply flow one module to the next. It tracks every operation done on every pixel very precisely, allowing previously impossible things to become easily done. For example, nonlinear data can be harmlessly deconvolved. The nonlinear signal travels back in time to its linear state, gets deconvolved, and then has every step reapplied with signal and noise carefully noted per pixel. This allows not only more signal to be extracted, but also a targeted wavelet-based denoise procedure to target selectively areas that need more or less denoising, yielding a much cleaner result than other methods.

StarTools also has a few other little bits that make it better. The compose module (new to 1.5) allows precise control of the raw data input levels and combination. Color and chroma are processed separately, yet in paralle, for stunning results. Compose also allows you to extract synthetic luminance from color and automatically recombines it with the luminance data to produce an LLRGB image with 33% more signal than what would have been achieved with straight LRGB alone. The Entropy module (also new to 1.5) allows for precisely controlled luminance weighting per channel (Blue/SHO OIII, Green/SHO Ha, Red/Vis Ha/SHO SII) and can apply very specific emphasis to certain features. In general, ST handles colors marvelously, and in a manner very friendly to my color blind eyes.

There's much more to explore with ST, and I encourage you all to give it a shot:

Hey I know today's description was super long and dull while I preached my StarTools sermon. If you're still reading this, then use the word "partake" in your comment. It'll be our little wink to each other ;)

Cheers to all,



Robert Churan
License: None (All rights reserved)

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Sky plot


NGC 7129: The Cosmic Rosebud in LLRGB, 


            Robert Churan