Looks great! Congrats!
The pattern around Alnitak has nothing to do with your processing. It's the camera. The ASI1600MM Pro is known for it. It's one of that camera's biggest weaknesses. Just do what I do: fix it in Photoshop!
Thank you! I had no idea about this. I was sure I'm doing something wrong
That may be the best first image I've ever seen. Seriously.
Alnitak is a unique problem. Just ignore it for right now.
Polar alignment is best done with a small camera that does platesolving to locate the North Celestial Pole, and superimpose your mounts RA axis. Way faster than drift, just as good for all practical purposes. I have the $300 PoleMaster, very easy solution. Only slightly harder is using Sharpcap Pro, and it's less costly. No experience with it.
But those stars are good by me. "Pixel peeping" will drive you crazy.
Do you have this book?
Thank you very much!
Good to know about Alnitak. I'll search the forum and read more about it.
About polar alignment, unfortunately, I shoot from balcony in a south-facing apartment. I have a fairly wide view (140 to 150 degrees), but I don't see west and east horizons which makes even drift alignment challenging.
I don't have the book. Looks interesting! Added it to my cart
Sharpcap is definitely the way to go. Very easy to use and the price is right. Due to a lack of drivers you may have a problem with the Orion camera on sharpcap. I finally had to upgrade because it just wouldn't work and finally stopped working in phd2.
I need a view of Polaris for Sharpcap, right? I explained above, I cannot see Polaris from my balcony
If that is your first real astro image then we are seeing a great imager rising up here! Congratulations with your first and impressive image here! Wish I would have started like you
This maybe the best compliment I've ever received. Thank you very much
That is excellent for a first image. I would not worry too much about the stars, just yet, you will need to get better at Polar Alignment and Guiding, but those can wait.
From a processing standpoint, here's hopefully some constructive feedback - I think you are clipping the black point minimally, but definitely. The background is a bit too dark - this region is exceptionally bright with prominent Ha. I would go back and re-do the stretching a bit and you will be able to bring out more structure to the Ha regions.
Thank you. Since I don't have a view of Polaris, and my east and west horizons are blocked (15 to 20 degrees each) polar alignment is a bit challenging. I'll definitely spend more time on it next time.
Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it. I had the same feeling, but Alnitak getting more weird was stopping me from making it brighter. I thought I'm overdoing it. But based on other comments, it seems that I shouldn't worry about that for now.