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North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach, 



    
        

            Gary Lopez
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North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach

Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics GT71 71mm f/5.9 Apo Refractor

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM Cooled PRO

Mounts: Orion Atlas EQ-G

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 50mm Guide Scope with helical focusing

Guiding cameras: Lacerta M-Gen II Autoguider

Focal reducers: William Optics 0.8X Field Flattener

Software: Adobe Lightroom CC  ·  Photoshop CC  ·  Main Sequence Software Sequence Generator Pro, v3.0  ·  Pleaides PixInsight Core 1.8

Filters: Astrodon R Gen 2 E-series 31mm  ·  Astrodon G Gen 2 E-series 31mm  ·  Astrodon B Gen 2 E-series 31mm  ·  Astrodon OIII 3nm-31mm  ·  Astrodon SII 3nm-31mm  ·  Astrodon Ha 3nm-31mm


Dates:Sept. 7, 2020Sept. 19, 2020Sept. 20, 2020Sept. 23, 2020Sept. 24, 2020

Frames:
Astrodon B Gen 2 E-series 31mm: 30x60" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon G Gen 2 E-series 31mm: 29x60" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Ha 3nm-31mm: 214x180" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon OIII 3nm-31mm: 112x180" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon R Gen 2 E-series 31mm: 30x60" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon SII 3nm-31mm: 121x180" (gain: 139.00) -15C bin 1x1

Integration: 23.8 hours

Darks: ~30

Bias: ~50

Avg. Moon age: 8.00 days

Avg. Moon phase: 38.80%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4.00


Astrometry.net job: 3924738

RA center: 20h 56' 38"

DEC center: +44° 25' 45"

Pixel scale: 2.303 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -141.368 degrees

Field radius: 1.803 degrees


Resolution: 3396x4492

Locations: Monterey Pines Observatory, Monterey, California, United States

Data source: Backyard

Description

The North America Nebula has been studied by astronomers and imaged by astrophotographers for a long time. In 1786 astronomer William Herschel described a large emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus as a “faint milky nebulosity scattered over this space, in some places pretty bright.” Forty-three years later, in 1829, his son, John Herschel, listed it in their catalog. In 1890 astrophotographer Max Wolf recognized a familiar shape in his long-exposure photograph of the region and called it North America Nebula.

I got lucky in September with five clear nights and excellent seeing. I was able to collect more than 35 hours of data. For this image I used only those sub lights with HFR ranging from 1.6-2.0, totaling about 24 hours of integration. With these excellent data I decided to experiment with different star processing approaches. The effort yielded six different version of the image. What I have posted today is my favorite. The processing approach of this version was a modified Tone Mapping process where starless, narrowband channels are married with a RGB/Master Luminance Masked image using the NBRGB script in Pixinsight. The resulting image has natural star color, fine detail, a soft, liquid-like transparency in the nebular clouds, and a glow that seems to emanate from inside.

I will post all six approaches as a processing study on Astrobin in the near future.

Comments

Revisions

    North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach, 



    
        

            Gary Lopez
    Original
    North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach, 



    
        

            Gary Lopez
    B
    North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach, 



    
        

            Gary Lopez
    C
    North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach, 



    
        

            Gary Lopez
    D
  • Final
    North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach, 



    
        

            Gary Lopez
    E

B

Description: Cleaned up a little cropping problem

Uploaded: ...

C

Description: Tweaked a few areas to pop contrast.

Uploaded: ...

D

Description: Changed black point in central dust lane

Uploaded: ...

E

Description: Cleaned up crop and color temperature of ridges.

Uploaded: ...

Sky plot

Sky plot

Histogram

North America Nebula (NGC 7000): A New Processing Approach, 



    
        

            Gary Lopez