I’ve been slowly working my way through the Messier catalog, and being galaxy season, M106 was a nice challenge being a fainter target. I’m hoping to get more frames if the weather cooperates but unfortunately, the Moon is waxing, and I don’t see much in the way of clear sky coming soon. I collected frames on Feb. 20, and 22nd only.
- Orion Atlas Pro mount
- Altair Astro 115mm Wave Series Triplet APO
- 0.79x reducer/flattener
- Camera (ASI1600mm-c)
- Astronomik Type IIc R, G, B filters
- 636 focal length, f/5.5, 1.23" pix/res
- QHY5L-II guide cam and AstroTech 60mm guide scope
- Sequence Generator Pro, MetaGuide, EQMOD
- Picture of my observatory
0 gain / 15 offset
R (120 sec) x 41 = 82 minutes
G (120 sec) x 39 = 78 minutes
B (120 sec) x 40 = 80 minutes
I use Astro Pixel Processor (APP) and am really enjoying the processing workflow. This software makes batch calibration simple, with loading in the Bias, Darks, Flats, and masters are created for future processing. The default settings work well, and I only usually adjust the final integration parameters – this case, ‘Star Shape’ was chosen as the weights for each frame by filter, since it tends to give the sharpest overall result. The outlier rejection algorithm of “LN MAD winsor sigma clip” gives a very clean result – the frames have already been normalized in pre-processing, and this rejection method helps with the light pollution/gradients that I especially suffer from, living under Bortle 5 skies and street lights! Normally I bring the combined stacks into PixInsight to do some further processing before combining to an RGB, but in this image I used APP for all the processing work. Once the stacks by filter were finished, I used the Combine RBG tool to make a colour image, then used the Light Pollution Removal tool, followed by the Background Calibration tool to remove gradients, and neutralize the sky background further. I then used HSL Color tool to play with the overall colours and suppress the background further.
Edited by Tsarbomba, 28 February 2020 - 10:42 PM.