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Eastern Veil Nebula - 16 hours unmodified DSLR

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#1 smr


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Posted 09 October 2019 - 04:49 PM

Hi all,


This is my longest astrophotography project to date.


The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus.


It constitutes the visible portions of the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant, many portions of which have acquired their own individual names and catalogue identifiers. The source supernova was a star 20 times more massive than the Sun, which exploded around 8,000 years ago. The remnants have since expanded to cover an area of the sky roughly 3 degrees in diameter (about 6 times the diameter, or 36 times the area, of the full Moon). The distance to the nebula is not precisely known, but Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) data supports a distance of about 1,470 light years.


15 hours, 50 minutes of total exposure time
274 Sub Frames (3, 4 and 5 minute exposures)
ISO 200
No Darks (Dithered)
200 Bias Frames
25 Flats Per Session


Telescope: William Optics Zenithstar 73
Mount: Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro Rowan Belt Mod
Autoguiding Scope: Starwave 50mm Guidescope
Autoguiding Camera: ZWO ASI 120MM Mini
Camera: Canon 80D (unmodified)


PHD2 Guiding
Astrophotography Tool
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Lightroom


48872416626_d77f58741c_h.jpgEastern Veil Nebula by Joel Spencer, on Flickr


I've just started an Astrophotography channel as well so if you want to see the final session you can here...



Edited by smr, 09 October 2019 - 05:06 PM.

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#2 mic1970


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Posted 09 October 2019 - 04:58 PM

Inspiring for a newbe like me.

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#3 JDShoots


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Posted 09 October 2019 - 06:54 PM

Inspiring for a newbe like me.

yeah what he said!

#4 Starman27



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Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:41 AM

Well done.

#5 bobharmony


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Posted 10 October 2019 - 09:50 AM

Very nice.  It is good to know that this kind of target is withing range of an unmodded DSLR, given enough integration time.  Thanks for sharing!



#6 Alen K

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 11:08 AM

Nice image with lots of detail and a nice video to boot. I did not watch or listen to the entire video, just skipped through it, and you might have already commented in there about your sky conditions, but what are they (SQM reading if you took one)? Where was the Veil in the sky when you shot it and were you shooting through a light dome? (If reasonably overhead probably not.) All of that makes a huge difference wrt the integration times required for a given SNR. Did you need to do any gradient reduction? I ask because I see a change in the black point toward red close to the nebula but perhaps that is the result of a differential stretch after masking.

#7 MikeECha


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Posted 11 October 2019 - 05:00 PM

Nice capture. That is my target for tonight, clouds permitting.

#8 elmiko



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Posted 11 October 2019 - 05:18 PM

Beautiful image! Great job on the processing.

#9 Samir Kharusi

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:39 PM

Hi smr, 

Unfortunately I feel that you are short-changing your field efforts by not going full blast on the post processing side. I could not resist checking whether you have tons of data hidden in there. Here's what you posted:



I extracted the rgb channels separately and gave each a massive stretch to see what lurks beneath, and then recombined the channels:



Having used an unmodded camera, one would expect a dearth of Red, H-alpha, so I gave the R channel yet an extra boost and then overlaid with the above and adjusting transparency to give a pleasing rendition. Of course all this is subjective as to what is the most pleasing, but I just submit these examples as regards what you have in there:



There is of course no correct way. It's all according to taste but I feel that you have mastered the capture part. You now need to, e.g. learn how to control star bloat  during excessive contrast stretching (that's why I went into separation of the RGB channels but that was futile since I ended up combining all 3!). And I strongly encourage you get that camera modded. The middle example above shows how weakly Ha is recorded in an unmodded camera...

#10 Bretw01



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Posted 13 October 2019 - 02:20 AM

Nice image, good star control. waytogo.gif

#11 jambroseus


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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:01 AM

Nice but doing a simple levels adjustment brightens in nicely.



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