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M101 - 36hours in LHaRGB with HDR stars

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#1 cfosterstars

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 11:15 PM

I took much of this data last year but I never really was satisfied with the processing. I tried reprocessing the data from scratch four times, each time applying new learning over the last year, but I could never get both good color and detail without creating rather ugly stars. So this year I collect more data that included some short exposure of LRGB to use for replacing the star cores using HDRCombination. I think that worked quite well in giving more breathing room in the image. I am still not completely happy with it, but I think its better than before. So here is the pinwheel galaxy in LHaRGB. I used a masking method of adding the Ha data that is working very well for me that I will be publishing in my Pixinsight process flow shortly for all the details. 

 

M101LHaRGB_crop_SM.jpg

 

Comments and critique welcome.

 

https://www.astrobin.com/350882/D/

 

Imaging telescope or lens:Orion EON 115mm ED APO Triplet Refractor

Imaging camera:ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mount:ORION HDX-110 EG-G

Guiding telescope or lens:Orion 70 mm Multi-Use Finderscope

Guiding camera:ZWO ASI290mm Mini

Focal reducer:William Optics 0.8x Flattener IV

Software:PHD Labs PHD 2 Guiding,  Carte Du Ciel 3.10,  Sequence generator pro

Filters:Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-series gen 2,  Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-series gen 2,  Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-series gen 2,  Astrodon Luminance Tru-Balance E-series gen 2,  Astrodon 36mm Ha 5nm

 

Resolution: 4651x3129

Dates:May 25, 2018,  May 30, 2018,  June 1, 2018,  June 3, 2018,  June 5, 2018,  May 2, 2019,  May 10, 2019,  May 13, 2019,  May 15, 2019

Frames:
Astrodon 36mm Ha 5nm: 112x240" (gain: 200.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 93x180" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 60x30" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 106x180" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 60x30" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Luminance Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 60x30" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Luminance Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 445x90" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 105x180" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-series gen 2: 60x30" (gain: 76.00) -15C bin 1x1

Integration: 35.8 hours

Darks: ~44

Flats: ~44

Flat darks: ~44

Avg. Moon age: 15.22 days

Avg. Moon phase: 67.54%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

Astrometry.net job: 2707371

RA center: 210.824 degrees

DEC center: 54.387 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.594 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 1.972 degrees

Field radius: 0.462 degrees

Locations: Backyard, Austin, TX, United States


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#2 Pete_xl

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 01:15 AM

Wow, ca. 36 hrs of light - that's a lot!

 

Because C & C are welcome I'd like to say that I very much like the details in that image and how you revealed the  Ha-regions. In my eyes a good mesure to  separate the wheat from the chaff in M101 images is the extent of detail NGC 5471. NGC 5471 is a star forming Ha-region with a diameter of 17" that shows several bright "knots". In you picture it is located in the 9:30 direction left from the center more or less in the golden cut of the image. In many (most) images NGC 5471 is only a bright (often greenish) blotch but yours shows the 5 knots clearly in the full resolution on Astrobin. Left of 5471 in your image there are also some tiny galaxies visible that qualify your picture as a very deep one with high detail content.

 

If some critique is allowed I would suggest to reduce the quite apparant color noise with an appropiate noise filter. On the whole the noise level appears quite high in relation to the exposure time and number of subs that were used. 

 

Pete


Edited by Pete_xl, 24 May 2019 - 01:16 AM.

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#3 David_Ritter

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 04:04 AM

Good image! But Pete is right, it's a bit noisy color-wise.



#4 cfosterstars

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:10 AM

Wow, ca. 36 hrs of light - that's a lot!

 

Because C & C are welcome I'd like to say that I very much like the details in that image and how you revealed the  Ha-regions. In my eyes a good mesure to  separate the wheat from the chaff in M101 images is the extent of detail NGC 5471. NGC 5471 is a star forming Ha-region with a diameter of 17" that shows several bright "knots". In you picture it is located in the 9:30 direction left from the center more or less in the golden cut of the image. In many (most) images NGC 5471 is only a bright (often greenish) blotch but yours shows the 5 knots clearly in the full resolution on Astrobin. Left of 5471 in your image there are also some tiny galaxies visible that qualify your picture as a very deep one with high detail content.

 

If some critique is allowed I would suggest to reduce the quite apparant color noise with an appropiate noise filter. On the whole the noise level appears quite high in relation to the exposure time and number of subs that were used. 

 

Pete

 

Good image! But Pete is right, it's a bit noisy color-wise.

I agree. I actually did NO noise reduction at all in the image. Its also a bit oversharpened to my eye. I go back and do a bit a tweaking tonight.


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#5 FredOS

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:51 AM

I'm intrigued but the color around the core which is more green and less yellow than you usual see (for example the John Hayes version on astrobin). But it certainly looks very impressive. Agree a little less color noise would help.



#6 elmiko

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 08:00 AM

Beautiful image! You really captured a lot of details! Keep up the great work! How do you like that HDX110?

Mike



#7 cfosterstars

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:36 AM

Beautiful image! You really captured a lot of details! Keep up the great work! How do you like that HDX110?

Mike

The HDX-110 is a beast for the price. It is not a premium mount and its biggest downside is the lack of spring loaded worms. That leaves the backlash basically because it is simply not going to be fixed with out spring-loaded worms. However, with the right balance - you need to balance RA perfectly and misbalance DEC slightly - you get very nice guiding and you can hold a tank on the mount. I have about 90lbs of telescope gear PLUS 90 lbs of counterweights and it doesnt break a sweat. EQMOD is absolutely great. With the auto PEC from EQMOD, my PE is about 1" RMS. Backlash from not balancing correctly is the only thing that will cause issues in tracking. With my SCT I get high yield for 7-10 minute subs if I need them. For the price, its a good mount. The only thing that I would put in its class for the price is the CEM120 and its more expensive. To get a significant improvement you have to spend significantly more. Its NOT a AP1100 or a Paramount and it doesnt cost like one, but it still a great mount.



#8 cfosterstars

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:33 PM

I redid the sharpening and LHE of the SLUM. I also redid the LRGBCombination and a bit of the color saturation and addressed the residual greenish cast with SCNR and balancing the histogram peaks a bit manually. I also did a bit of color noise reduction only during LRGBCombination. I was able to bring out more of the blue star forming regions in the spiral arms also buy creating a mask that only allowed changes to the spiral arms with both the Ha regions and all the stars protected. I could have easily stretched it image more to see more of the fainter outer arms, but that made background is more noisy. I think this is just the limitation of Bortle 5 skies. I hope this is better.

 

M101LHaRGB_NL_LessSharp_Crop_SM.jpg

 

I have been looking at astrobin at all kinds of images to see how my background noise and faint detail compared. Kind of a fruitless exercise, but what I tend to see is that if I really think its a superior image, it is usually, but not always, with superior optics from darker skies than I have. So for what its worth, I like my image and think I am getting about the most I can out of my equipment and sky quality. Still can improve for sure, but progress has been made... 


Edited by cfosterstars, 25 May 2019 - 12:19 PM.

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#9 44maurer

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 12:11 PM

Very nice!!!


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