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Preliminary Center Panel of Andromeda Galaxy with GSO 6" F/5 Newtonian - Feedback Requested

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#1 Dren

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 09:07 PM

I've started collecting data for my first mosaic: a three-panel mosaic of Andromeda Galaxy.

 

Got 3-panel data in Red so far (about 10 hours per panel).  But with moon shining in the sky and cloudy nights in the forecast, I decided to do some quick captures of the center panel in Green (about 6 hours) and Blue (about 8 hours).  I wanted start messing with processing to see if I can figure out the workflow for the mosaic.  Here's what I have so far.

 

Captured using GSO 6" f/5 Newtonian with ES coma corrector and ASI294mm on EQ6R Pro.  Guided using ZWO OAG and ASI120mm-mini.

 

A cropped view of the center panel.

Center.jpg

 

A zoomed view of the center.

Zoom.jpg

 

I tried to go light with processing to keep the image looking "natural" and avoid the heavily processed look.  I may go a little harder on processing to make the stars look sharper.   

 

One of the issues I've encountered is trying to make the dust trails pop without making them look flat.  When I process to the point that the dust trails become prominent, then different shadings between different dust trails get lost and the image looks flat to me.  On the other hand, when I do light processing, then you can't see the dust trails near the center when zoomed out.  I did some mixing of the more subtle and more processed versions-basically masking the outer areas to insert more prominence into the center.

 

Seems like it's a tradeoff between keeping the subtle look between the dust trails (which looks good when zoomed in) vs making the dust trails more prominent (which looks good when zoomed out).

 

Any thoughts or advice?

 

Other feedback welcome.

 

Thanks in advance.


Edited by Dren, 16 October 2021 - 09:14 PM.

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#2 Dren

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 09:08 PM

For comparision, here's a look at quick processing to make the dust lanes more prominent.

 

A cropped view of the center panel.

CenterProcessed.jpg

 

A zoomed view of the center.

ZoomProcessed.jpg


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#3 Dren

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:39 AM

I played around with MLT and DarkStructureEnhance to bring out a little more contrast in the dust trails, and boosted saturation and curve a little to make the center pop a little.  I think I like this version the best.  

 

A cropped view of the center panel.

CenterProcessed2.jpg

 

A zoomed view of the center.

ZoomProcessed2.jpg

 


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#4 dcm_guitar

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 12:41 AM

I have very little to add.  This looks like a fun project.  I've never done a mosaic, so I'll be watching this thread.  Wish I had something to add, but I did want to say thanks for starting this thread.


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#5 Dren

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Posted 20 November 2021 - 11:44 PM

Wrapped up my first mosaic.  Three panels of R, G, B, data of Andromeda Galaxy.  Collected about 88 hours in total.  Problem is that most of the data was collected with moon up high and bright in the sky.  The gradient made stitching the panels a real pain.  I'll probably try this target again next year, either at a dark site or during new moon.  I think my next mosaic target will be with narrowband data.  

 

Captured using GSO 6" f/5 Newtonian with ES coma corrector and ASI294mm on EQ6R Pro.  Guided using ZWO OAG and ASI120mm-mini.  Subs of 60 seconds.  Bortle 6.  

 

Comments and feedback welcome.

M31.jpg

Higher res here: https://www.flickr.c...4899@N02/9chjn5

 

And just for fun, here is my very first AP photo.  M31 captured using Sony RX100 II on a fixed tripod.  Can't remember the capture details.  Probably a handful of really short subs, stacked on DSS.

First.jpg

 


Edited by Dren, 21 November 2021 - 08:27 PM.

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