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Goofi's Imaging Challenge, September 2020 - NGC 7129

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#1 nmoushon


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Posted 01 September 2020 - 04:32 PM

The September 2020 Challenge is now open. The target is NGC 7129. To reduce the number of stickies, please submit your entry to this thread.


For those having troubles locating the target here is a post that will help locate near by objects.


The Rules will remain pretty simple:


      Your Equipment

      Your Data, Captured This Season

      Your Processing

      One Entry Per Member

      Only post your FINAL image


To increase participation over such a diverse group, the winner will be selected by random drawing. Please feel free to start a thread requesting guidance on your entry prior to submitting it, the whole purpose of this challenge is to learn and compare on a common target. Entries must be submitted by midnight eastern time on September 30, and I will try to announce the winner sometime on October 1.


Note: If I am late announcing, gently nudge one of the moderators in a private note, it helps.


Please display an image in your post, not just a link!!


I hope everyone has fun with this one, and with that,


Let The Games Begin


**Disclaimer** - If the selected winner does not reply and pick a target with-in 3 days of the winner being announced, the Mods will then select the next target.

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#2 steste1122


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Posted 02 September 2020 - 11:46 AM

Vixen VC200L, ZWO ASI 2600, Astronomic UVIR filter, IOptron CEM 40ec

120" x 70 exposure, -5c unity gain, captured August 9, 2020

Stacked in PixInsight using dark frames.  Used Photoshop for stretching/color balance




Attached Thumbnails

  • ngc 7129.JPG

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#3 AdrianoMS


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Posted 02 September 2020 - 04:41 PM

The target chosen for this month is far north. I had not even heard of NGC 7129. But I want to see the photos of the participants so that I can get to know this object.

#4 johrich


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Posted 04 September 2020 - 02:53 PM

NGC 7129, a small target for my small AT72EDII! Imaged from my backyard, Sept 3, 2020

Ioptron SmartEQ Pro+
ASI183MC Pro
ASI224MC guide camera
ZWO F/4 mini guide scope
Optolong Lpro Filter

60 Subs at 240 sec each, 20 Darks, 20 Flats, 20 Bias
Processed in Astro Pixel Processor and Pixinsight


Attached Thumbnails

  • 09042020_NGC7129_Lpro_AT72_ASI183MC_60L_240_Sec_APP pix small.jpg

Edited by johrich, 04 September 2020 - 05:53 PM.

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#5 GoBlue


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Posted 04 September 2020 - 06:45 PM

Alrighty then, lets get this party started.

Imaged 9/4 from 2:30am on under the full moon. ( insert howl ).

Cool choice of target this month btw....for Hubble. 80mm, not so much.


Premium top shelf equipment used listed in sig.


140 x 60.

ISO 800.

Dithered every three.

Camera sensor temp +24c

Quick PS process.



Attached Thumbnails

  • ngc 7129.jpg

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#6 Gipht



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Posted 07 September 2020 - 01:25 AM

This picture was imaged on 9/6/20 with the ASI071MC-Pro camera and an 8in. f/4 reflector.  21x2' plus 46x1' at 200 gain and targeting 5C.   CEM60 mount guided. Developed in Star Tools, Gimp, and Starnet++. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • ngc7129b.JPG

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#7 meegja


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Posted 10 September 2020 - 08:21 AM

Nice challenge this! For me it's nice and high in the sky. Had a first session last night (no clouds since 4 weeks) and indeed it's a challenge: the core is captured easily but the surroundings are more difficult. Nice object to practice on :)

#8 johnsoda


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Posted 10 September 2020 - 08:30 PM

Click on small image for better quality image and acquisition details.





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#9 ImNewHere



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Posted 12 September 2020 - 09:06 AM

I may as well toss my initial version of this. I plan on going longer and with longer subs now that I have guiding straightened out, of course that means I need the weather to cooperate.

This was taken August 13th, 30x 120s subs, 20 flats, 20 darks, 60 bias, ISO 1600, Pentax K1ii in crop mode, Orion 10RC with ApexL flattener/reducer, unguided because it wouldn't work right that night (dew heater battery pack was dead and guidescope was covered with dew so don't zoom in on my stars), iOptron CEM60. Stacked in APP and finished up in Photoshop 2020.

I am going to try do it justice with at least 4 or 6 hours from my B4/mag 20.85 front yard.


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#10 meegja


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Posted 13 September 2020 - 12:15 PM

My first capture of NGC 7129 and indeed it's a challenge. With these kind of object it becomes very clear that my set-up is oversampling. But I knew this when I purchased this all so I'm okay with that smile.gif


3000px version on https://i.imgur.com/h85TmjG.jpg


Bortle 8
Meade LX65 8" f/10 ACF OTA
Ioptron CEM25EC mount (no guiding)
Baader Neodymium SkyGlow filter 
Zwo ASI294MC Pro camera


Captured with SharpCap Pro 
135 x 60 seconds @ -20 degrees Celsius / Gain 120 / Offset 4 / White balance R50/B50

Stacked in DeepSkyStacker 135 lights + 40 darks + 100 flats + 100 dark flats

Processed in Photoshop: Levels, Curves, Shadows/Highlights, color strengthening. Astronomy Tools actions: Contrast enhancement, noise reduction.



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#11 WebFoot


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Posted 15 September 2020 - 08:46 PM

I am not a beginning/intermediate imager, and have no interest in entering any sort of contest, but I happened to have just finished imaging this object, and thought that perhaps people might like to see what I did with it from Bortle 3 skies with a moderately large telescope.


If you want to see it without the awful compression that this site does to photos, there are various versions here:

(HaL)(HaR)GB: 420:525:225:180:380 (a total of almost 29 hours of exposures); luminance layer consists of blend of 35 fifteen-minute images using a luminance filter and 14 thirty-minute images using an Ha filter; R channel is a blend of the Ha data and 15 fifteen-minute images taken through a red filter; G consists of 12 fifteen-minute images taken through a green filter, while B is the combination of 19 twenty-minute images taken through a blue filter.


Images taken on many nights in July and August of 2020.


Equipment: RC Optical Systems 14.5 inch Ritchey-Chretien carbon fiber truss telescope, with ion-milled optics and RCOS field flattener, at about f/9, and an SBIG STX-16803 with internal filter wheel (SBIG filter set), guided by an SBIG AO-X, all riding on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.


Processing: All images calibrated (darks, bias and sky flats), aligned, and combined in Pixinsight. Color combine in Pixinsight. Some finish work (Mure denoise, background neutralization, color calibration, gradient removal, HDR Multiscale Transform) done in Pixinsight; some finish work (Neat Image noise reduction, LRGB combination, high pass filter, contrast and saturation adjustment) was done in Photoshop CC.



Attached Thumbnails

  • LRGB.jpg

Edited by WebFoot, 15 September 2020 - 08:48 PM.

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#12 Der_Pit



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Posted 16 September 2020 - 07:03 AM

Here's my take at it, recorded Sep 9.  I had intended to only image without moon, and over several nights for compensation.  Unfortunately bad weather since then, and even the first day was hampered by awful seeing, and I had to stop early frown.gif

So it's only 179 (50+64+65) 45s subs = 2h23m total exposure...


TS140APO F/6.5 w. Riccardi flattener v1 on CEM60EC

ASI1600MM-Pro, EFWmini with Astronomik DeepSky RGB filters (31mm)

ZWO OAG w. ASI290MMmini

Acquisition KStars/EKOS, PHD2

Processing IDL, Starnet++, GIMP, GMIC, NIK Denoise



Powered by the Penguin

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#13 Jmw845



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Posted 17 September 2020 - 11:27 AM

I am working with a Celestron Nexstar Alt/Az mount with a 130mm reflector.  I captured the images in Sharpcap using a ZWO ASI 224MC camera.  Lights are 976 x5 second subs, 60 darks, 600 bias frames, taken over 3 nights with a lot of moon in early September.  Processed in Astro Pixel Processor and ACDSEE.

NGC 7129 Reflection Nebula


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#14 Navige


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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:30 PM

This one truly was a challenge for me.  I recently got a new Altair Hypercam 183M pro and I have been taking narrowband like crazy.  I put in the LRGB filters and shot this target one night when the smoke from out west was over head.  I had to reshoot it all because I couldn’t process it.  I haven’t had much trouble integrating narrowband in the SHO palette but integrating LRGB is a struggle for me.  I don’t seem to get enough color in my combined image.  I made a post here with M45 that I processed from the same night and got feedback about lack of star color.  I have watched some YouTube videos of a couple different integration methods and none of them are making me happy.  This is the best I can do so feedback is welcome via pm to not litter this thread.   
Scope: AT72EDII 

Reducer: Astrotech 0.8

Mount: Nexstar 6SE wedge and pier mounted

Guiding: QHYLII-C, mini guide scope

Focuser: Rigel n-step 

Filter wheel: starfield high speed 5x-1.25

Filters: starguy 1.25 LRGB

Camera: Hypercam 183M Pro

software: CPWI, NINA, PHD2


Subs: 180s X 15 RGB, 60s X 75 L

Processing- DSS- all channels aligned to highest scoring L sub.  Saved as 32bit tiffs


Photoshop 2020 work flow: each sub- linear stretch (in levels) of grey point to the right of histogram peak, then covert to 16bit.

linear stretch each channel until even histograms with visually similar black point

deep sky noise reduction on each RGB file

convert R to RGB file, copy and paste G and B into channels

curves stretch L file and convert to RGB

boost saturation of master RGB file and copy and paste as new layer in L file

change RGB layer to Color then merge visible layers 

crop to trim stacking artifact

levels adjustment to balance colors

selective color to tone down magenta and cyan stars then merge visible layers 

Save as JPG




Attached Thumbnails

  • 3B9BC209-C48A-4AE7-BB35-0533EBE96112.jpeg

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#15 TelescopeGreg



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Posted 25 September 2020 - 04:56 PM

Hi folks,


The smoke cleared just in time to grab two quick nights' images, before the Moon makes another of a mess of the sky.  This is also a "First Light" image for the new ASI2600MC-P camera, and as such, a first time doing a complete imaging session under the acquisition control of CCDciel.  The prior camera, a Nikon D3200 DSLR, used an Intervalometer for clicking off the subs.  Interesting transition, which happened fairly painlessly, where I had different procedures for the mundane stuff such as focus, and a new / better source for Plate Solving (instead of using the guide camera).  An on-camera 2x2 binning kept the download time short, so as to not eat into the imaging time.  Download time was zero with the DSLR since it went to the on-camera SD card.


The ASI2600MC-P has a QE of 80%, vs the Nikon's 50%, and it can actually see Ha.  I expected it to be a lot more sensitive than it turned out to be.  To be fair, I was running the Nikon at an ISO of 3200 or 6400, and short 20- to 30-second images to avoid AVX tracking / guiding issues.  I started the ASI with its optimal gain at 100 and a 10 second test exposure.  Didn't see anything.  Eventually, I settled on a gain of 300, with 1-minute subs.  Noise was still low, and by some miracle the guiding was the best it's ever been; probably should have gone longer.  I don't know if the guiding was due to the lack of mirror slap, a happenstance of where in the sky it was pointed, or what.  But, wow.  I just hope it wasn't a fluke.


So, here I give you NGC-7129.  Imaged 9/23 & 9/24, 2020.


Telescope:  Stellarvue SVA130EDT, no reducer or flattener

Camera:  ASI2600MC-P, gain 300, offset 5, temp -5C, on-camera bin 2x2

Mount:  Celestron AVX

Guiding:  ZWO 60mm f/4.6 scope, ASI174mm Mini camera


Lights 147, mixed exposure (about half were 60 sec, total just under 2 hrs)

Calibration darks 30, flats 30, dark-flats 30, bias 84 (haven't settled on what mix to use)


Software:  Acquisition CCDciel, Plate solve ASTAP, Guiding PHD2, all on a 4gb Raspberry Pi 4B

Stacked in DSS, Processed in StarTools.  Slight crop around the edges for stacking artifacts.





Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC7129 2 nights 147 subs 1hr 53m15sec various exposure 2x2 bin ST new process.jpeg

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#16 JOEC.


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Posted 26 September 2020 - 09:52 AM

After about 6 weeks of clouds here in Florida I just made the deadline last night. 93 subs at 120S with flats bias and darks. Shot with a 6" Astrograph with a  QHY168C camera guided with Orion 60mm Multi-Use Guide Scope and QHY5III 224C camera  on an Atlas EQ-G using PHD2 and APT. Processed in APP and PSE20 and Topaz Labs.


Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC7129web-csc-SC-St.jpg

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#17 Gene3


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Posted 26 September 2020 - 03:08 PM

Here is my NGC 7129 LRGB imaging outcome.

SVX152T with SFFX-1 flattener,  & QHY600M camera on SB MX+ mount. image scale was 0.65 arc sec/pixel

78 600s guided subs (L=28, R=22, G=14, B=14) taken 17Sep to 19Sep & 23Sep. 24 each darks, flats, and flat darks

Lots of thin clouds and humidity to deal with. Focus was a heck of a challenge. FWHM varied between 1.7 to 2.3. 

I think more Lum data can help reduce the noise seen in the lower part of the image.

Special thanks to Ron Brecher (AstroDoc) for showing how to make the best of this data


NGC 7129 Sep20 20x.jpg

Edited by Gene3, 26 September 2020 - 03:29 PM.

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#18 nmoushon


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Posted 01 October 2020 - 09:26 AM

The winner of this months challenge is post #13 by Jmw845


I will post next months challenge when I am able. Thank you for participating everyone.

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

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