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Goofi's Imaging Challenge, January 2024 - NGC 1499 The California Nebula

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#1 nikm


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Posted 02 January 2024 - 07:21 PM

The January 2024 Challenge is now open. The target this month is NGC 1499 The California Nebula. To reduce the number of stickies, please submit your entry to this thread.


The Rules will remain pretty simple:


-Your Equipment
-Your Data, Captured This Season
-Your Processing
-One Entry Per Member
-Only post your FINAL image. Please display an image in your post, not just a link!!


NO general discussion in this thread. Your post should only contain your image and appropriate info. There is a separate thread for discussion.


To increase participation over such a diverse group, the winner will be selected by random drawing.


Entries must be submitted by midnight, eastern time, on January 31, and I will try to announce the winner sometime after February 1. 


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.


There is now a companion thread that runs parallel with the imaging challenge each month. This thread will be for general discussion on the corresponding months imaging challenge target. This thread will be very informal and relaxed and will be treated just like any other thread in the forums. Here is where you can post questions on processing, get help finding the targets location, post a preliminary "final" image to get feedback, etc. The only thing special is that I will be pinning it every month and each months companion thread will be titled in the same way for easy finding and searching. Since this is informal the mods will NOT be starting this thread. We will leave it up to the general membership. So it could take a couple days for someone to start it and for a mod to pin it. So please be patient if you don't see it up day one. Who ever starts this thread please PM me with a link to the thread so I can pin it.


Whoever starts the companion thread should title it to match the following: Target Name - Techniques and Progress Discussion  For example: Rosette Challenge - Techniques and Progress Discussion


Once the companion thread is post, please DM me with a link or put in a mod alert and I, or a fellow mod, will get it pinned.


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


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


Let The Games Begin


#2 acrh2



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Posted 02 January 2024 - 08:56 PM

This data was taken over 3 night on 11/4, 11/8, 11/9/2023.
4.5 hours of Ha and Sii, 6 hours of Oiii - total integration time of 15 hours.
Askar FRA400 @ 280 mm, ASI2600MM Pro @ -5C, 4 min subs dithered every sub.
Antlia 3nm Pro SHO filters, 40 flats, 40 darks, 50 biases.
The rest of the equipment is in the signature.
Bortle 5.5 sky, 25% Moon on average.
Data was stacked in Siril and processed in PI. Because Oiii was very weak, (Ha+SII) was used as luminance for an SHO composition. Final touches in Gimp.
Stars were narrowband, hue shifted to resemble RGB stars.

#3 72Nova



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Posted 03 January 2024 - 07:58 AM

Here is my California Nebula.  


I recently purchased Pixinsight and reprocessed data using RC Astro tools (BXT, NXT & STX) and Bill Blanshan's Narrowband Normalization process (HOO palette).



AT60ED, 294mm, Astronomik Ha (45 X 300") and Oiii (36 X 300") filters



Attached Thumbnails

  • California (1).jpg

Edited by 72Nova, 03 January 2024 - 08:01 AM.


#4 LeoNim


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Posted 03 January 2024 - 10:49 PM



    Apertura 90 APO



    Antlia SHO


    72x 300s Ha

    69x 300s OIII

    71x 300s SII



    Channel Combination



    Histogram Stretch via Bill's Pixelmath






Edited by LeoNim, 03 January 2024 - 10:50 PM.


#5 JayRuhMe


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Posted 04 January 2024 - 01:15 AM

NGC1499 Final



Askar FMA230

Antlia Triband Ultra


ASI2600MC Pro


100x120s Lights

40 Darks/Flats/Bias


Bortle 5


Astrobin Here: https://www.astrobin.com/6mkzhd/

Edited by JayRuhMe, 04 January 2024 - 01:17 AM.


#6 HappyGalaxymore


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Posted 04 January 2024 - 07:52 AM

Finally got one for the challenge!


SVBony SV550 80mm, Celestron AVX, SV605cc camera, UHC filter, ASI120mm guidecam

24x600sec frames, 50ea Dark/Bias/Flat/Darkflat, stacked in ASTAP, Stretched/initial edit in Siril, final edit in Photoshop/Topaz denoise

Shot in backyard, DFW area, Bortle 7 on 12/30/2023


2023 12 30 california

Edited by HappyGalaxymore, 04 January 2024 - 07:53 AM.


#7 DirtyRod



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Posted 04 January 2024 - 10:16 AM

NGC1499 2600 RC71 Len 16hrs Logo small

Captured Sept 2023.
Redcat 71
ASI2600MC Pro
Optolong L-Enhance
AA +
16 hours of 3 min exposures
Bortle 7-8


#8 psy_zju


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Posted 04 January 2024 - 01:58 PM

Orion ED80t, Asi294MC Pro, Antlia RGB triband filter
ASI290mm mini, 60mm guide scope


Captured in Oct 2023
141 x 240s, total integration time is 9h24m
Flat, dark flat and dark are used.
Bortle 8

Imaging processing
Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1499.jpg


#9 dac4215



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Posted 04 January 2024 - 02:46 PM



Astrobin Link



Here is my entry for this month. 

Fma180 pro 

Asi533mc with L-ultimate filter

Eq6r guided with svbony 30mm guidescope and asi120mm mini

Asiair plus and zwo eaf

Bortle 6


146 x 300s for total of 12 hours and 10 minutes

30 darks / 30 flats / 150 biases

Processed in Pixinsight and Affinity photo.


#10 timothystraub



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Posted 04 January 2024 - 08:08 PM

I happened to have photographed this nebula on September 10, 2023.


This was captured with my Celestron C6 v4 HyperStar with the IDAS NBZ UHS filter. Guided with 30 mm ZWO guide scope with 462 mc planetary camera.

20 x 300 seconds lights, dithered every sub.

Stacked using WBPP in PixInsight

Used the 2x drizzle master for a normal PI workflow. I used the new BlurXterminator AI 4.  Photoshop Camera Raw Smart filter.


Attached Thumbnails

  • Image07 copy.jpg


#11 Mark_E


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Posted 04 January 2024 - 10:31 PM

This is my first SHO narrowband image.


Image Telescope:  William Optics GT81 with 0.8 flattener-reducer
Guide Telescope:   William Optics UniGuide 50mm

Image Camera:  ZWO  ASI2600MM Pro
Guide Camera:  QHYCCD QHY5III178M
Filters:  Antlia LRGB V Pro
             Antlia 3nm Pro:   SII, H-alpha, and OIII


Mount: iOptron CEM40


Software: N.I.N.A., PHD2, ASCOM, PixInsight (with BXT, NXT, SXT, NN)


Bortle: ~5


Total exposure time:  31 hrs 45 min
Image Acquisition Days in November 2023:  9,10,11, and 12.

L  15 at 120"
R  15 at 120"
G  15 at 120"
B  15 at 120"
SII  114 at 300"
Ha  129 at 300"
OIII  114 at 300"   

L, R, G, B images used for stars.
Flats:   50 per filter
Dark Flats:  50 per filter
Darks:   50 x 120", 50x300"


NGC 1499 NB Final for CN.jpg


#12 southernharry


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Posted 05 January 2024 - 07:30 PM

Due to illness and ill weather i missed last month but I am back.  Decided on a mostly star free image for this one.


AT 72 EDII at 344 mm (.8 Reducer) F/5.6, Astromik UV/IR filter

ZWO AS294MC Pro at 0 degrees C

AT 60mm guide with ASI224MC

iOptron CEM 26  and PHD2

156 X 1 minute on 4 Jan  (Would like more but too many projects)

APP,  Affinity Photo, StarNet for star removal, Photoshop Elements.

NGC 1499 crop Lpc Cbg Csc 1 St For SN NS AP P Reduced
NGC_1499-crop-lpc-cbg-csc-1-St-For SN-NS-AP-PS.jpg



#13 AstronoDon


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Posted 06 January 2024 - 12:03 AM

5.5 hours with my GT81 and D5300 in Bortle 5 skies. Not much to note here other than I’m loving the new blurXterminator and my new ASIAIR mini grin.gif


GT81 w/ Field Flattener + EQ6-R Pro
Nikon d5300 Unmodified with Hutech IDAS-LPS-D1-N5
98 x 200sec, darks, flats, dark flats
Pixinsight - DBE,BXT Correct only, SPCC, BXT, EZ Denoise, SCNR, SXT, Curves to Saturation, GHS, LHE, ACDNR/MMT, Curves to saturation on stars, Histogram stretch stars, Screen stars to nebula, export to photoshop
Camera Raw Filter final touchups and final black point setting in photoshop.



Edited by AstronoDon, 06 January 2024 - 07:53 PM.


#14 mariemarie


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Posted 06 January 2024 - 10:38 PM

Here's my California, from California. My goodness, this is a red target in RGB. I had fun with trying to keep all the details in the clouds while processing.


3 January 2024
Northern San Francisco Bay Area, Bortle 3
160 x 2min lights (5.3 hrs)
30 darks
30 flats
100 bias
Stacked and stretched in SiriL, StarXTerminator and NoiseXTerminator in Affinity Photo, stretching as well as reintegration of star layer in GIMP
SW HEQ5, ZWO 2600MC, AT80EDT, ASI Air Pro, ZWO EAF, ZWO 120mm guide camera, WO guidescope



Edited by mariemarie, 06 January 2024 - 10:43 PM.


#15 crackout


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Posted 11 January 2024 - 04:22 AM

Click for HQ.
Capture date: December 30th, 2023 & January 9th, 2024
Location: Augsburg, Germany
Bortle class: 5-6
Lights (Gain 100, -5°C, Bin 1×1):
H: 22 x 300s (1h 50m)
Oiii: 51 x 300s (4h 15m)
R: 14 x 180s (42m)
G: 15 x 180s (45m)
B: 15 x 180s (45m)
Integration: 8h 17m
Darks: 60
Flats: 30 x 5s
Flat Darks: 60
Scope: Askar 65PHQ
Camera: ZWO ASI2600MM Pro
Guide scope: Askar 65PHQ
Guide camera: ZWO ASI290MM Mini with ZWO OAG-L
Filterwheel: ZWO EFW 7x36mm
Filter(s): Astronomik H 6nm, Astronomik Oiii 6nm, Astronomik DeepSky RGB
Mount: ZWO AM5
Tripod: ZWO TC40
Control: ZWO ASIAIR Pro

Processed in PI:
Crop, Color Calibration, BXT, NXT, SXT, HT, Curves

#16 rj144



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Posted 13 January 2024 - 03:32 AM

I shot most of this a few weeks ago but added about 1/2 hour this month.  :)





Iexos 100 mount ($400 mount), AT60ED, Saturn Player One, Antila Triband, 30 second subs, from Bortle 8/9.  About  5 hours integration.


Processed with GraXpert AI, Siril, Astrosharp, and Affinity 2 with James Ritson's macros, NoiseX and Topaz Denoise.  Then, I ran it through astrosleuth.


#17 Buzz135



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Posted 14 January 2024 - 11:27 AM

I went for a 2-panel mosaic this year (Nov 2023).


Location:  Woodbury, MN (Bortle 7)

Telescope:  AT115-EDT with reducer

Mount: iOptron CEM40

Camera:  ZWO ASI2600MC Pro

Filter:  Optolong L-Pro

Guiding:  WO 50mm Uniguide with ZWO ASI290MM mini

Software:  NINA, Pixinsight


Total exposure time:  3.5 hrs
Images:  210x 120sec + flats + darks




#18 JF1960


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Posted 15 January 2024 - 02:36 PM


  • Optolong UV/IR cut 2": 51×180″(2h 33′)

2h 33′
Avg. Moon age:
27.69 days
Processed in PixInsight
(See my signature for my equipment)



#19 unimatrix0


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Posted 17 January 2024 - 02:25 PM

I abandoned my mosaic project due to poor weather and this DSO is passing Meridian too early. 


Here is the revised version from the entire month of November (shot a few hours each week)


Imaging Telescopes Or Lenses
SVBony SV503 80ED
Imaging Cameras
iOptron CEM26
Antlia 3nm Narrowband H-alpha 36 mm · Antlia 3nm Narrowband Oxygen III 36 mm · Antlia 3nm Narrowband Sulfur II 36 mm
SVBony SV193 2-inch 0.8x Focal Reducer (W9152A) · ZWO ASIAIR Plus · ZWO EFW 7 x 36mm
Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight


47x 300sec Ha

38x300sec O3

29x300sec S2



#20 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 19 January 2024 - 08:40 AM

I attempted to combine two nights' worth of imaging using Pixinsight, but despite (I thought) following the instructions to the letter, I simply ended up with two separate master lights. Having lost the will to live, I submit the better of the two images, and this one is 80x180 seconds, taken last night with a Vixen SD81SII, reduced to f/6, using an ASI2600MC Pro camera and an NBZ Nebula Filter. 


Processed in Pixinsight, using WBPP, with the normal sort of processing and a bit of Blurxterminator. 


Normally I'd separate the stars from the nebula using Starxterminator, but I couldn't face it today and I still quite like the result. 


1600 masterLight_BIN_1_6248x4176_EXPOSURE_300_00s_FILTER_NoFilter_RGB_autocrop_integration_autocrop_DBE copy.jpg


#21 rkelley61


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Posted 19 January 2024 - 05:18 PM


Scope: WO GT81 with 6AIII .8 reducer FL 382
Imaging Camera: ASI 2600MM Pro / QHY268
Filters: ZWO Ha, OIII, SII; Chroma Ha, OIII, SII
Mount: home build






Linear Phase

Drizzle integration


Non-Linear Phase
MLT Chrominance
MLT Luminance

GHS (touchup)
Recombine Stars
CT-masked RGB balance
ACDNR (Luminance masked)
Resample to 50%


Image Integration time (taken October 2023-January 2024)

Ha   353x180", 1x1, 17h 39'
OIII  337x180", 1x1, 16h 51'
SII  310x180", 1x1, 15h 30'

Total 50h




#22 Chrisofweden



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Posted 20 January 2024 - 09:56 AM

My entry for January.

(Thumbnail links to Astrobin)




A full "Nordic night" of clear skies and average to good Seeing & SQM. Very cold though!
5 - 6 January, under Bortle 4-ish sky, Outside temperature: -18 Deg C, Seeing: Good (1.9)
Scope: Askar FRA600 quintuplet refractor (600mm, F5.6)
Imaging camera: ASI 2600MM Pro @-20c, Gain 100, Bin 1
Guiding: ZWO F4 scope + ASI 120 MC Pro
Focus: ASI EAF
Filters: ASI EFW S,H,O + R,G,B
Mount: EQ6R Pro
Control: NINA
Integration: Roughly 11,5 hours total (3 x 3,5 hrs Narrowband + 3 x 30min RGB) 
Calibration: Bias, Darks, Flats
Software/Processing in PixInsight:
WBPP including Auto pedestal, Cosmetic Correction, Local Normalisation & Drizzle x 2 Autocrop
RC NoiseXterminator
RC BlurXterminator
SHO combination

Channel Combination

RC StarXterminator
Curves, Color Saturation
Pixelmath rescreen combination for stars



Edited by Chrisofweden, 20 January 2024 - 09:57 AM.


#23 bobsdobs


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Posted 21 January 2024 - 08:05 AM

Captured over 4 nights. 14hr 20min total (5 minute exposures)

William Optics Zenithstar 73


Optolong L-Extreme 

Bortle 4 skies


Processed in Pixinsight





SPCC using narrowband mode

BlurX correct only

BlurX mild deconvolution



Starless image


GHS stretch 

Gentle application of NoiseXTerminator 

High Pass contrast enhancement in GIMP




Some PixelMath shenanigans to get approximation of Ha and OIII grayscale images, then a further PixelMath to recombine these to approximate true RGB stars

SPCC in broadband mode to get back to reasonable star colours

Simple histogram stretch and light saturation curves stretch


Recombine both using PixelMath combine rescreen mode




#24 Dereksc


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Posted 21 January 2024 - 02:10 PM

No more chance to add to my data that I posted in the discussion thread but I did reprocess utilizing the new ImageBlend script (Mike Cranfield) - great script.




Astrobin Link:




Camera: ASI533MM
Imaging Telescope: Askar107PHQ
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6R Pro
Software: Starkeeper Voyager · Pixinsight


Frames: R=40x60”, G=40x60”, B=40x60”, Ha=50x240” (5h 20’) (gain: 100) -10°C bin 1x1 (7th January 2024)
Darks: 30, Flats: 30, bias: 47
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.00
Pixel scale: 1.034 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 182 degrees


Processing (Pixinsight):
WeightedBatchPreprocessing Script
Background extraction (GraxPert)
ChanelCombination RGB
Color calibration (SPCC) RGB
Clone RGB for Stars
StarXterminator RGB and Ha
MaskedStretch RGB, RGBClone and Ha
Sharpening (BXT) RGB, RGBClone and Ha
Unscreen stars using RGB and RGBClone
(New) ImageBlend script to enhance (using high pass filter) Starless (Ha+R)GB
screen stars RGBStars and enhanced Starless(Ha+R)GB
Slight noise reduction (NXT) (Ha+R)GB






#25 unitron_man


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Posted 23 January 2024 - 06:22 AM




    Astrotech AT102ED Doublet Refractor
    Classic SBIG ST-8300 Mono CCD Camera

    ATR8 0.8X Field Flattener FL 571mm (F/5.6)
    Celestron CGEM mount Hypertuned
    ZWO EAF Autofocus
    DIY automated myFilterwheel
    DIY Dew Controller



    2h 30m Ha

    1h 15m OIII Bin 2

    1h 30m SII Bin 2

    0h 40m R

    0h 40m G

    0h 40m B


    Grand total of 7h 15m




    Adobe Photoshop Elements
    Celestron CPWI
    Topaz Denoise



    Bortle 5 sky in the driveway, central Massachusetts
    File reduced/compressed to host on CN

    The stars are RGB and the nebula field the SHO data.




Astrobin Link




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