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Reprocessing M51, first light with my 8300M

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#1 Madratter

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:10 PM

I decided to have a go at reprocessing the M51 data I took back in March as first light with my SBIG STF-8300M. I was curious what I could do with the data with a little more experience under my belt.

This was 89 subs of 30s each for luminosity and 25 subs of 30s of each color (RGB).

I image from an orange zone.

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#2 terry59

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:40 PM

For 30 sec subs I think it looks very good. Makes me wonder what longer subs would do

#3 Raginar

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:43 PM

Looks noisy. The data is pretty awesome for 30 seconds. I agree, you need to do more than 30 seconds :)

#4 Madratter

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:03 PM

I went with 30s because at that time I wasn't guiding yet. I'm looking forward to getting another go at this when conditions are more favorable. Usually, I go with 5m subs now and it does make a big difference.

#5 cuivienor

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:29 PM

Hello Madratter, do you have your original procesed picture? It would be great to compare - indeed for such short subs this is great. I remember the good old days on my LT6 and LS8, limited to 20 seconds, maybe 30 if lucky, and with no image processing abilities (or proper software) at all (now I am maybe at 10% of someone like CounterWeight, Astronewb, or Rigel123 :)).

If this is it http://www.astrobin.com/36570/ the difference is definitely striking!

#6 Madratter

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:01 PM

The original is here:

Original version on Astrobin

Mostly, I like this one better. For example, I like the star colors much more.

If I was to redo it yet again with a third version, I think I would put the contrast about in between the original and this version.

#7 Madratter

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

Better yet, here is the original to the same scale as the above (2 to 1).

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#8 Madratter

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:12 PM

This next version is an attempt to take the top reprocessed version and more closely match the darkness of the background in the original (making the noise less obvious).

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#9 Mike7Mak

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:16 PM

Hope you don't mind. Here's the first pic with some saturation boost, noise reduction and sharpening in Startools. Also 'HDR', 'Life' and 'Wipe' modules used along the way. There's some stubborn color gradients I couldn't get rid of. All in all a lot of detail for 30 second subs.

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#10 CounterWeight

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:39 AM

Impressive what you can get on bright objects with short sub exposures - heck there's a faint galaxy easily visible in the background too.

#11 Madratter

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:16 AM

Hope you don't mind. Here's the first pic with some saturation boost, noise reduction and sharpening in Startools. Also 'HDR', 'Life' and 'Wipe' modules used along the way. There's some stubborn color gradients I couldn't get rid of. All in all a lot of detail for 30 second subs.


I don't mind at all Mike. Thanks for taking a wack at it. This exercise is all about learning.

I actually tried a little mixing in of star tools myself. However, I only have the demo version so I can't save. I like the denoise algorithms in StarTools. I also like what you did with the saturation boost.

Another thing I like about StarTools is the ability to mask off just a particular area (in this case I wanted to mask off the core of NGC 5195 and protect it when pushing the saturation). That is easy in Star Tools but as far as I know cannot be done in PixInsight.

#12 Madratter

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:09 AM

Impressive what you can get on bright objects with short sub exposures - heck there's a faint galaxy easily visible in the background too.


I have marked off two galaxies in the image. In a way the fainter of the two (the slash) is the more obvious one. I have not been able to identify that one.

The brighter one below and to the right of the slash is IC 4278. It is Magnitude 17.4 and has a surface brightness of only 23.7 Mag/arcsec squared. All from a Orange zone backyard with 30 second exposures.

These modern cameras and post processing packages are something else. That is a half magnitude fainter than M101 on the surface brightness scale (23.2 Mag/arcsec squared for M101).

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#13 CounterWeight

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:17 PM

I am not sure about this but in SIMBAD it lists that as IC4277?

Odd that ST3P has no indication anything at all is there - Whoops! I may post on the ST3 group, hard to imagine it hasn't been mentioned.

#14 Madratter

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:45 PM

Yeah, as you know I use ST3P as well (and love it). It is very surprising if there is an IC galaxy that it doesn't show.

#15 Madratter

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:52 PM

Wow. With that hint I was able to look up information on it. That is the correct identification. However, the data on that galaxy is pretty thin to say the least.

IC 4277 on NED

IC 4277 on SIMBAD

Things like this remind me about how much we don't know about the universe around us. Here you have an object right near a famous galaxy that even has an IC number and we don't even have a magnitude for it.

#16 CounterWeight

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 01:24 PM

I was surprised too that it had an IC designation and not something from some other catalog like the PGC or UGC, MGC, RC3 or whatever. As far as I know I've the extended object catalogs installed checked to include - if you are seeing the same thing that means maybe I'm not doing something wrong for a change? ;)

#17 yg1968

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:26 AM

With Photoshop, you can use the technique shown in this video to make the sky darker without impacting the details in the galaxy.
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=_PHd1bIsuu4

#18 Tapio

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:50 AM

That is good for 30s subs.
Had to look in Astrobin of what scope was used.
And your Powerstar III C8 scope was new to me so I had to find out what it was.
http://www.telescope...t/celestron.htm

#19 yg1968

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:24 AM

Here is your image with a darker sky using the technique that I posted above.

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#20 yg1968

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:35 AM

Here is your image processed by Mike7Mak (and me) with a darker sky using the same technique.

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#21 Madratter

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for the pointer to the tutorial and I did watch it. My personal view is that I actually want to see a bit of the noise. If you kill all the noise, you inevitably kill some of the signal, but that is a personal choice.

#22 yg1968

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:28 PM

You only kill the noise in the background. The galaxy is left intact.






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