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Goofi's Imaging Challenge, December 2020 - NGC 2264 The Cone Nebula

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#1 nmoushon


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Posted 04 December 2020 - 04:36 PM

The December 2020 Challenge is now open. The target is NGC 2264. 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 December 31, and I will try to announce the winner sometime after January 1. With the holidays please give a little extra time to get everything in order.


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 Volkan Ovun

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 09:47 AM

Mount          : Celestron AVX

Telescope    :  Celestron 8" Newtonian

Guide scope:  Svbony 30/120

Imaging cam:  QHYCCD163M

Guide cam   :  ASI120MM

Coma corr.  :  Baader RCCI

Filters/Exp.T:   13x300s Ha, 21x160s R, 21x160s G,  21x160s B (Optolong 36mm unmounted in QHYCFW3-US-7 slot)

Softwares   :  N.I.N.A,  PHD2,  Astro Pixel Processor

Transparency 6,   Seeing 6,  Bortle 9


I imaged in 23-26 November 2020. Obviously I'm not an AP expert, I satisfied broadband filters results in bortle 9.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cone_Nebula_exlow.jpg

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#3 jewelsdean



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Posted 06 December 2020 - 03:26 AM

Mount              :  Skywatcher EQ6

Telescope       :  Explore Scientific AR152 Doublet

Guide scope   :  Lumicon 2" OAG

Imaging cam   :  ASI 533MC Pro

Guide cam      :  ASI120MM

Filters/Exp.T   :  Optolong L-eXtreme/30x180

Other              :  Altair Astro .8x reducer/flattener

Software         :  Astroberry, Ekos, Kstars, PHD2,  Astro Pixel Processor, Gimp

Imaged Dec 6, 2020   Not bad for a first time imaging with this scope and image train, struggled with guiding quite a bit for whatever reason.  Thanks for the challenge!  Was fun.  Effective Focal Length 790mm.

NGC 2264 Christmas Tree Cluster

Edited by jewelsdean, 06 December 2020 - 03:38 AM.

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#4 MyBluOx


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Posted 06 December 2020 - 08:17 AM

Here is my entry for this months contest.


Imaging telescopes or lenses: Orion Skyview Pro ED80EQ

Imaging cameras: SBIG STF-8300c

Mounts: Meade 12" LX200GPS

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Off-axis Guider

Guiding cameras: SBIG STic

Focal reducers: None

Software: MaximDL 5, PixInsight 1.8

Filters: Optolong L-Pro 2"

Dates: Dec 4-5, 2020

Frames: 35x900s out of 60x900s

Integration: 15 hours


I hope you enjoy it. 



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#5 Bretw01


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Posted 06 December 2020 - 01:13 PM

Dates:                      11-13, 11-27-2020

Mount:                     EQ6R-Pro

Telescope:               SVQ100

Guidescope:            ZWO 60/280

Imaging camera:     ASI533MC-Pro

Guide camera:        Starshoot Autoguider

Filter:                       Optolong 2" L_eXtreme


39x600, gain 100, -10c

75 bias, 30 darks

PHD2, SGP, calibrated, stacked and processed with PixInsight, tweaked in PSCC2021

Halos courtesy of L_eXtreme







Edited by Bretw01, 06 December 2020 - 08:35 PM.

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#6 kevindt


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Posted 07 December 2020 - 07:18 PM

Here's my contribution - from the windy back yard last night:


Imaging telescopes or lenses: Celestron RASA8

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI 533MC Pro

Mounts: Orion AZ-EQ Atlas Pro G

Guiding telescopes or lenses: 60 mm/ 250 mm generic finder 

Guiding cameras: ZWO ASI120MM

Focal reducers: None

Guiding and imaging software: ASIAIR Pro app version 1.5

Post-processing software: PixInsight 1.8, GIMP 2 for scaling/jpeg export

Filters: 2" IDAS NBX

Dates: Dec 6-7 2020

Frames: 80x180 sec lights, no calibration frames

Integration: 4 hours

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cone and Christmas Tree.jpg

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#7 const


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Posted 07 December 2020 - 10:50 PM

Celestron AVX, Edge HD 8", focus motor. HyperStar V4. ASI294MC Pro. Capturing with KStars/Ekos.

Captured on December 5 in less than ideal weather. Humidity was high and almost started fogging. It actually started by the time I moved to my primary target, but Cone Nebula just barely slipped through smile.gif Also, the Moon.

92×30s + 80×1s.

Processing in PixInsight. I don't know what are the horizontal streaks across the image. I guess, they are artifacts of Local Normalization that I had to do in order to heal Moon and clouds background changes and gradients.


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#8 kwpickett


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Posted 08 December 2020 - 05:19 PM

Mount          : Orion Atlas EQ-G

Telescope    :  WO Z73

Imaging cam:  ASI 1600mm pro

Guide cam   :  ASI120 mini with ZWO OAG

Filters/Exp.T:   100x300s Ha, 100x120s O, 100x300s S

Softwares   :  APT,  PHD2,  Astro Pixel Processor, Photoshop

Shot on November 2, 17, and 18, 2020 from Bortle 6/7 backyard


Atrobin link: 


Attached Thumbnails

  • Cone Nebula - SHOv2 - 11-19-20 for CN.jpg

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#9 GoBlue


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Posted 10 December 2020 - 09:27 PM

Quickie from 12/9

Was actually hoping for the Northern Lights to appear but no joy.


Yo Santa, If you're scrolling the site, enough with the yearly coal huh?... It was one lousy Elf and Mrs. Claus joke ten years ago.


40 x 180. 2 hrs.

No calibration frames. (quickie).

Pretty hefty crop of image.




Attached Thumbnails

  • christmas tree.jpg

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#10 larryjh


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Posted 12 December 2020 - 09:09 PM

Here is my entry for this month, collected on 12/10/2020

ZEQ25, Omni XLT150, ASI294MC pro, WO uniguide 32 and ASI224MC guide camera
180x60", gain 200, -15C, flats and darks
processing in Siril and Gimp


click on image for larger sizes

NGC 2264


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#11 hmrphoto


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Posted 13 December 2020 - 12:23 PM

My version of the Cone Nebula NCG2264. 


SkyWatcher Evostar 72 with Reducer, ZWO mini guide scope and ZWO 120mm


Optolong L-Extreme

ZWO 2400MC-P

30 x 300s subs 11 December, no flats, stored darks and bias  

APP and Capture One 21



Attached Thumbnails

  • APNGC_2264_No_Flats-RGB-session_1-lpc-cbg-St 7.jpg

Edited by hmrphoto, 13 December 2020 - 12:28 PM.

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#12 TelescopeGreg



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Posted 13 December 2020 - 08:18 PM

Interesting target.  I only had one imaging session on it, gathering just under an hour total.  It certainly could use more time, but between the weather, Holiday bustle (aka on-line shopping at night), and the Moon re-appearing soon, this will be it.  Besides, I want to do some imaging of the Great Conjunction if the weather allows.  Fitting that it's occurring right before Christmas.


I'm still fighting how the cold temps are affecting the imaging computer (Raspberry Pi 4B) and attached RSHTech 4-port USB 3.0 hub.  Seems that they both have trouble communicating with the world (WiFi with the Pi, and USB with the hub) as temps drop to freezing.  Oddly, the thermometers at home were in the low 40's, but across the street (where I image from) the IR thermometer showed upper 20's.  The street is not that wide; no clue why the difference, other than perhaps the tree cover at home.  My fingers and toes agreed with the IR thermometer.  Brrrrr...  I think the next project will be an insulated box for the both.  Wish I could climb in, too.  I had wrapped the Pi in some 1/4" foam rubber, and that seemed to help, but the hub (where the imaging camera was attached) wasn't wrapped and it cut out after only 8 subs.  Moving the camera direct to the Pi worked, so I restarted the software, and resumed imaging.  No problems after that.


Luckily, the neighbors turned off their Holiday lights display about 15 min into the imaging session, which definitely helped.  I had a shield in place to block the light, but there's a noticeable difference in the subs taken before and after.  I used them all, however, as total time was probably more important.


As I gain more experience with StarTools 1.6, I'm finding new tools that work in magical ways.  This image made use of the Filter module to enhance some of the nebulosity without messing up the background.  Think post-processed multi-band filter.  I also used Life and Shrink, in addition to the usual Develop, Wipe, Contrast, and Color.  Nice.  I did not use AutoDev, as it didn't seem to be able to bring out the Cone part of the image in the lower right, without messing up the background or the blue of the central nebula.  I'm probably just not "holding it right". 






Imaged  10-December, 2020

Telescope:  Stellarvue SVA130EDT (130mm, f/7), no reducer or flattener

Mount:  Celestron AVX

Camera:  ASI2600MC-Pro; Gain 300, Offset 50, Bin 2x2, Temp -5C

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

At-mount Compute:  4gb Raspberry Pi 4B, Astroberry 2.0 distro.  CCDciel, ASTAP, PHD2 software


28 x 120 seconds lights (56 min), 20 each Darks, Flats, Dark-flats. 

Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, processed in StarTools 1.6

Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC2264 Cone Nebula 28 subs 120 sec gain 300 2x2 bin old process-2c.jpeg

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#13 ckagy


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Posted 13 December 2020 - 10:16 PM

Evening all, 


I was able to capture this target over 3 nights from my Bortle 8/9 driveway in Arlington, VA, gathering a total of 13 hours of usable frames. My equipment is an ES AR102, Nikon D750, Orion Skyglow filter, AVX mount. Capture was automated with NINA, initial processing with APP, and then some TLC in Photoshop.




Attached Thumbnails

  • Cone Nebula for web.jpg

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#14 CptNautilus


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Posted 14 December 2020 - 06:29 AM

Here is my entry:



Christmas Tree nebula (NGC2264)


Telescope and mount: Stellina (80 x 400mm, ED doublet)

Data: 829 x 10'' in FITS format, collected over two nights in December and November

Environment: From my balcony, in Bortle-5 skies, between 1° and 7° C


Stacked in DSS with the following parameters:
Stacking mode: Standard
Alignment method: Automatic
Stacking step 1 ->829 frames (Gain: 200) - total exposure: 2 hr 18 mn 10 s
RGB Channels Background Calibration: Yes
Per Channel Background Calibration: No
Method: Median Kappa-Sigma (Kappa = 2.00, Iterations = 5)
Darks: 1 masterdark


Processed in SiriL:
Crop (x=98, y=185, w=2785, h=1747)
Canon Banding Reduction (amount=0.92, Protect=TRUE, invsigma=2.00)
SCNR (type=0, amount=1.00, preserve=true)
Background neutralization
Asinh Transformation: (stretch=1000.0, bp=0.00100)
Histogram Transf. (mid=0.071, lo=0.052, hi=1.000)
Saturation enhancement (amount=0.88)
Saturation enhancement (amount=0.45)


Further cosmetic processing in Affinity Photo and Topaz Denoise


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#15 JOEC.


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Posted 14 December 2020 - 08:58 AM

Last night I finally went out for this. 

6" astrograph



Atlas EQ-G

39 300S subs for 3.2 hours with darks and calibration

L-Enhance filter




Attached Thumbnails

  • webcone-RGB-session_1-mod-St.jpg

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#16 rkelley61


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Posted 14 December 2020 - 11:27 PM

This was another great challenge, more opportunities to learn, and looking at the entries so much more to learn.




Follow the link to a larger image and acquisition details




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#17 BABOafrica


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Posted 15 December 2020 - 10:40 AM



C8 SCT on Atlas EQ-G with Meade f/6.3 focal reducer


Bortle 8-9 skies


Fuji X-A1 (modded) & UHC filter


Guiding with Orion SSAG


Processed with DSS / StarTools 4.1 / GIMP


100 x 60s (plus darks / bias / flats)



NGC2264 14DEC20 100x60s F1m-64 C8FR-E sec ST sm.jpg






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#18 requiemjp


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Posted 16 December 2020 - 01:15 AM

Took on Dec 12th and Dec 15th

Camera: modded Canon 60D with Canon 300mm f/4 IS L

Guide Camera: ASI 120mm mini with WO 32mm UniGuide

Mount: iOptron SkyGuider Pro

Filter: Optolong l-ehanced

Control with Raspberry Pi 4 + Ekos + PHD2

Stacked in Siril. extract Ha and OIII

Processed with Siril + GIMP + lightroom 



NGC 2264

Edited by requiemjp, 16 December 2020 - 12:27 PM.

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#19 limeyx


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Posted 16 December 2020 - 02:04 AM

This was quite a tough one for me.


Dates:Dec. 14, 2020

Frames: 65x180"

Integration: 3.2 hours

Avg. Moon age: 29.33 days

Avg. Moon phase: 0.04%


Camera: Nikon D5300 (Unmodded) with 300MM lens

Mount: Skyguider Pro (with William Optics 32mm guide scope)


Bortle 5 zone


Full Image: https://www.astrobin.com/tjp6kq/

Attached Thumbnails

  • Final_1.jpg

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#20 ImNewHere



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Posted 19 December 2020 - 09:17 AM

Pentax K1ii, Orion 10RC, ApexL, iOptron CEM60, Astromania 70mm guidescope with MGEN II, 30x 180s at ISO 1600, 20x darks, 20x flats, 20x dark flats, processed in APP and Photoshop 2021, captured late in the night on 12-9-20 and through into the early morning of 12-10-20.



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#21 pbmazda32


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Posted 19 December 2020 - 09:52 AM

20x90s each channel (RGB). Some mismatched flats and darks due to user error. Equipment used is everything in my signature minus the 178mm camera. Bortle 4.

The Cone Nebula

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#22 Der_Pit



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Posted 19 December 2020 - 10:36 AM

Here's my version of it.  Taken over two days (14/15.12).  Second day had clouds in the end, 'eating' all green data from that day frown.gif  


ASI1600MM, EFWmini with Astronomik DeepSky RGB

RGB only, 60s subs @gain 76  R:143 G:60 B:155, 6h total

Sharpstar 140 on CEM60EC

Acquisition: KStars/EKOS

Processing: IDL, Starnet++, Gimp


Full size+details on Astrobin



Powered by the Penguin

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#23 Gipht



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Posted 19 December 2020 - 11:13 AM

This picture was taken last night with a STV 70mm at f/4.8 and the ASI071MC camera and the STC dual band filter, 44x4'.  There is an interesting object just above and to the left of the cone nebula, that is also in several of your pictures with a wide enough field.   I do not believe it is lens flaring.  A comet comes to mind, but  it does not  appear to move relative to the surrounding stars in pictures taken days earlier.  A comet coming strait at us?  I hope not!

Attached Thumbnails

  • christmastree2020wf.JPG

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#24 CCD-Freak


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Posted 19 December 2020 - 02:04 PM

Here is my go at the NGC2264 complex


75 x 120" (2.5 hours total)

ASI-533MCP (should have used a UV-IR filter)

Sharpstar 150mm F2.8 Hyper Newt

AP900GTO with 50mm guide scope with ASI-290MM and PHD

Captured and processed with Astro Art 7

Imaged at Rodeo, New Mexico 10/18/2020


NGC2264 Cal-Sigma-GR-CB-Sat-Curves-CS-3x3-3 - LBL-sm.jpg


John Love


Edited by CCD-Freak, 19 December 2020 - 02:10 PM.

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#25 Jinux


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Posted 19 December 2020 - 08:32 PM

My first submission on this challenge to learn.


ES102EDT with SV102 0.8x reducer / L-Enhance filter


G11+480mm guide scope with ASI178MC

300s x 44, processed in APP with dark and bias, no flat

Imaged at Bortle 5 backyard


Attached Thumbnails

  • NGC2264-RGB-session_1-cbg-St_resize.jpg

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