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Image of the day 11/22/2021

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
    The Cone, 


            Jonathan Piques

    The Cone

    Image of the day 11/22/2021

    Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
      The Cone, 


            Jonathan Piques

      The Cone

      Jonathan Piques
      None (All rights reserved)...

      Imaging telescopes or lenses: Orion optics UK AG12

      Imaging cameras: zwo optical ASI 2600MM Pro

      Mounts: Software Bisque Paramount MX+

      Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion optics UK AG12

      Guiding cameras: ZWO ASI290 Mini

      Software: PIXINSIGHT 1.8  ·  Sequence Generator Pro

      Filters:Chroma Ha 5nm 36mm  ·  Chroma B 36mm  ·  Chroma G 36mm  ·  Chroma R 36mm  ·  Chroma L 36mm

      Accessory: StarLight Instruments Feather Touch Focuser  ·  Pegasus Astro ultimate powerbox v2

      Dates:Nov. 5, 2021Nov. 7, 2021Nov. 8, 2021Nov. 10, 2021

      Chroma B 36mm: 180x120" (6h) (gain: 100.00) bin 1x1
      Chroma G 36mm: 180x120" (6h) (gain: 100.00) bin 1x1
      Chroma Ha 5nm 36mm: 7x600" (1h 10') (gain: 100.00) bin 1x1
      Chroma L 36mm: 360x60" (6h) (gain: 100.00) bin 1x1
      Chroma R 36mm: 180x120" (6h) (gain: 100.00) bin 1x1

      Integration: 25h 10'

      Avg. Moon age: 3.54 days

      Avg. Moon phase: 16.82%

      RA center: 06h40m55s.908

      DEC center: +09°3916.76

      Pixel scale: 0.684 arcsec/pixel

      Orientation: 4.280 degrees

      Field radius: 0.545 degrees

      WCS transformation: thin plate spline

      More info:Open 

      Resolution: 4061x4061

      Data source: Own remote observatory

      Remote source: DeepSkyWest


      The Cone Nebula is one of those somewhat rare targets that are really interesting in both narrowband or broadband, and I've always wanted to take a shot at a broadband image but haven't had the skies for it until recently.  From an astronomical perspective, it's fairly run of the mill: it's a hydrogen-dominated emission nebula with some blue reflection elements located about 2,700 light years away in the constellation Monoceros.   Other names for it are the Christmas Tree nebula (presumably because of the shape, though it may be because of the date of its initial discovery).  The wavy region just to the upper right of the reflection nebula is called the Fox Fur Nebula, again, for reasons I'm not 100% sure on.  Either way, there's lots of interesting color and structure going on, and that's what I tried to bring out in the image. 

      My processing here was primarily focused on bringing out all the structure, which is deliciously complex.  To do that, I took an approach I rarely do, and blended in Ha with LRGB data, because just looking at it, the Ha contained detail just not readily visible in broadband.  Rather than just use the NRGB script like I've done in the past, I tried a new approach (for me at least), learned from @Adam Block, wherein I used Herbert Walter's Blend script set to Screen blend, and blended in starless, stretched Ha data into both the nonlinear luminance data and the extracted red channel from the permanently stretched, color-calibrated RGB image.  I then recombined the now modified red channel with the other color channels and applied the new blended luminance.  The net result contained significantly more detail than the LRGB alone, though it did take some iteration on how much of the Ha to blend into the red channel so the whole thing didn't look like a big red blob: the blue reflection element adds a lot of visual interest, and I really didn't want to lose it.  I think I ended up attenuating it by maybe 20 - 25%. 

      All in all, it was a fun experiment and yielded a not-terrible result, though could always be better.  I'm putting this one down for now, though I may do an all-narrowband version at some point in the future.  As always, comments and criticisms welcome.


      Sky plot

      Sky plot


      The Cone, 


            Jonathan Piques