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Goofi's Imaging Challenge, February 2024 - Horsehead Nebula

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#1 nikm


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 11:17 AM

The February 2024 Challenge is now open. The target this month is the Horsehead 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 February 29, and I will try to announce the winner sometime after March 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 crackout


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 11:41 AM

Nice, finished this just a week ago.

I couldn't decide if I like SHO or OHS better, so I processed both versions.



Click either image for HQ.


Capture date: January 26th – 28th, 2024
Location: Augsburg, Germany
Bortle class: 5-6

Lights (Gain 100, -5°C, Bin 1×1):
H: 30 x 300s (2h 30m)
Oiii: 49 x 300s (4h 5m)
Sii: 36 x 300s (3h)
Integration: 9h 35m
Darks: 60
Flats: 30 x 10s
Flat Darks: 60

Scope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 100ED
Reducer: APM Riccardi 0.75x
Camera: ZWO ASI2600MM Pro
Guide scope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 100ED
Guide camera: ZWO ASI290MM Mini with ZWO OAG-L
Filterwheel: ZWO EFW 7x36mm
Filter(s): Astronomik H 6nm, Astronomik Oiii 6nm, Astronomik Sii 6nm
Mount: ZWO AM5
Tripod: ZWO TC40

Control: ZWO ASIAIR Plus

Processing in PI:



#3 southernharry


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 12:59 PM

Been a difficult winter here for imaging but did get one try on the Horsehead and surrounding area.


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

148 X 1 minute on 11 Jan  (Too late for more work this year on this one)

APP,  Affinity Photo, Photoshop Elements.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IC_434-crop-lpc-cbg-csc-St-NX-PS-AP-PS-Crop-1000.jpg


#4 DirtyRod


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 05:04 PM

B33 - Horsehead Nebula
IC434 - Horsehead Nebula


Captured: Dec 2023.    

Data: 19 hours of IR-Cut data combined with 9 hours of Ha

Crop of the same image. 


Redcat 71
ASI2600MC Pro, ASI071MC Pro
Optolong IR-Cut , L-Extreme
AA +



#5 JF1960


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 08:21 PM



Scope - William Optics Redcat 51
Camera - ZWO ASI533MC Pro
Mount - Sky-Watcher EQM-35 Pro
Filter - Optolong UV/IR cut 2"
Accessories - ZWO ASIAIR Plus   ZWO EAF
Software -  Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight


Frames: 107×180″ (5h 21′)

Avg. Moon age:
27.69 days
Avg. Moon phase:


#6 Wheeljack


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 09:02 PM

FlameAndHorseHead (IC434)-Reduced.jpg


Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS Pro w/ 0.85x Reducer/Flattener

Player One Poseidon-C Pro
Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro

25 x 300s Optolong L-eXtreme· (Captured January 2024)

20 x 300s Optolong L-Pro (Captured November 2023)


Higher res version at astrobin


#7 Mark_E


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Posted 02 February 2024 - 09:39 PM


I generated both narrowband and broadband images of the Horsehead Nebula, I selected the broadband image to post in this feed.

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

Broadband exposure time:  16 hrs 24 min
Image acquisition days in December 2023: 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
L  200 at 120"
R  100 at 120"
G  103 at 120"
B  89 at 120"
SII  100 at 300"
Ha  100 at 300"
OIII  128 at 300"   
Flats:   50 per filter
Dark Flats:  50 per filter
Darks:   50 x 120", 50x300"

Edited by Mark_E, 02 February 2024 - 09:41 PM.


#8 timothystraub



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Posted 03 February 2024 - 02:02 PM

Acquisition:  October 20,2023

Prosser, WA USA Bortle 4

100 x 1 min subs guided and dithered every sub.

50 bias, 30 darks, 30 flats

Capture and control of equipment via ASIAir plus


Equipment:  Celestron C11 XLT with HyperStar v4 (540 mm, f 1.9) with filter draw (IDAS NBZ UHS filter was used to image), ASI 2600 mc (-10C, gain 100) main camera, ZWO 30 mm guide scope, ASI 462 mc guide camera, iOptron CEM 70G mount on a permanent pier in my roll off roof observatory.


Processing:  WBPP to calibrate, normalize, and stack.  Used the autocropped drizzle master for this submission.  PI workflow BX AI4 (correct only), DBE, SCNR, SPCC, BX AI4 default settings for stellar and non-stellar details, NX, StarX.  Starless:  GHS, Stars: histogram stretch and saturation.  Combined in Pixel Math and exported as a TIF.  Minor adjustments were made on the TIF  in Camera Raw and Photoshop.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Horse Head part 2 copy 2.jpg


#9 joydeepb


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Posted 03 February 2024 - 09:25 PM

Dates: Jan. 27, 2024
Frames: 267×60″(4h 27′) ISO400 f/5.4 bin 1×1
Integration: 4h 27′
Flats: 100
Bias: 100
Avg. Moon age: 16.35 days
Avg. Moon phase: 97.18%
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 8.00

Telescope: Apertura 75Q
Camera: Canon EOS R5
Mount: Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer GTi
Software: Adobe Photoshop, StarNetV2, Open PHD Guiding Project PHD2, Russell Croman Astrophotography NoiseXTerminator, Siril Team Siril
Guiding Telescope: ZWO 30mm Mini Guider Scope
Guiding Camera: ZWO ASI120MM

(Click to go to Astrobin page)

#10 metagawd



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Posted 03 February 2024 - 11:47 PM

Was not expecting this as the target! I got it last month while working on my imaging train:


IC434 12 14 23 Final


Bortle 8 Zone.
-ASI585MC with Svbony SV220 OIII/Ha Filter
-TS Optics CCD47 .73b Tele-compressor (reducer)
-iOptron Photron 150mm Ritchey-Chretién astrograph telescope
-Svbony SV305Pro Guide Cam with 70 mm guide telescope
-iOptron CEM26 mount
KStars/Ekos, INDI, PhD
Lights: 30 at 120 seconds, 20 at 180 seconds at 252 Gain
Darks: 15 at 120 seconds, 15 at 180 Seconds
Bias: 50
Dark Flats: 15
Flats: 15
Stacked, developed and processed in Astro Pixel Processor and level adjustment in GIMP.


#11 Son of Norway

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Posted 04 February 2024 - 10:02 AM

Equipment: Nexstar 8se,  ZWO ASI585MC,  EQ6-R Pro    Guiding:  SVBony 60mm Guide Scope,  SV305 camera


Data:  Captured 11/21-22 2023; About 3.2 hrs. of Integration  (30 sec exposures at 257 gain)


Processing:  Astro Pixel Processor (Stacking); GIMP (Stretch and Color); SIRIL (Star Reduction); Astro Sharp (Sharpening)



Horsehead Nebula SR RS.jpg


#12 urmo


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Posted 05 February 2024 - 09:32 AM



ASI294MC Pro

4,5 hours 100 sec lights + darks, flats




Edited by urmo, 05 February 2024 - 09:36 AM.


#13 TXLS99



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Posted 05 February 2024 - 06:57 PM

William Optics Z103

0.8 Flattener/Reducer  (577mm focal length)


Orion 50mm Guide scope

asi290mm guide camera

asiair plus


Bortle 4


171 x 120s  5h 42m









Curves adjustment

Curves saturation

Histrogram stretch on stars

Curves saturation on stars

add stars and nebula using Pixel math

Curves adjustment

Final dash of NoiseXterminator again



Edited by TXLS99, 05 February 2024 - 09:10 PM.


#14 JayRuhMe


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Posted 06 February 2024 - 12:28 AM

Acquisition: Dec 2023

Askar FMA230 w/reducer

ZWO 2600MC Pro


ZWO174MM Guide w/ ZWO Guide Scope





95*120s L

40 Bias/Dark/Flats


Bortle 5


IC434 Final


#15 Scullbone


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Posted 06 February 2024 - 08:26 PM

For once the forecast was wrong about a cloudy night and instead we had the first clear night in weeks here on the Oregon Coast!  I just happened to shoot the Horsehead too.


3 Feb 2024
AT 0.8 reducer/flattener
ZWO ASIair Plus
ZWO ASI2600MC Main
ZWO ASI174mm-Mini Guide
iOptron CEM40

Precision engineered stellar diffraction enhancement lens cover (some cardboard wrapped in duct tape and two picture hanging wires)
35x300 sec
Processed in PI


IC434 Horsehead Nebula


For higher res: https://www.icloud.c...#B0i52plgjD5KSE


Clear Skies,



Edited by Scullbone, 06 February 2024 - 08:32 PM.


#16 Daniel Dance

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 01:12 PM

Daniel McCauley

William Optics FLT91 Refractor with ASI2600MC (no filters)

ZWO AM5 Mount

Captured February 4, 2024 - Assateague National Seashore, MD

Processed in PixInsight and Photoshop

Thank you for looking!


53515455630_69aedebfbc_h.jpgHorsehead and Flame Nebula 2024 by Daniel McCauley, on Flickr


#17 gpom


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Posted 08 February 2024 - 08:36 AM

Dates: 2/3-2/6/24

Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Bortle class: 6-7

Lights (Gain 0, -10°C, Bin 1×1):


Chroma L: 260 x 60s - 4h 20m

Chroma R: 105 x 120s - 3h 30m
Chroma G: 104 x 120s - 3h 28m

Chroma B: 105 x 120s - 3h 30m
Integration: 14h 48m
Darks: 30

Flats: 30
Bias: 100


Scope: William Optics Pleiades 68
Camera: ZWO ASI2600MM Pro
Guide camera: ZWO ASI220MM Mini with ZWO OAG-L
Mount: ZWO AM5


Channel Combination
Color Calibration

Histogram Transformation

Curves adjustments


Horsehead with William Optics Pleiades 68



#18 TomC_RR


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Posted 08 February 2024 - 12:29 PM



As Scullbone mentions in post #15, clearish skies were unexpected here in Oregon. Hurried and setup last minute, but not in ideal spot in our yard.


Only able to get 1 hr 25 mins of integration time in before getting into powerlines and power pole. 


WO Z81 w/ .8 FF-reducer

Canon RA

17 - 300 sec light frames @1600 ISO




Processed in PI with following workflow.


BXT correct only




Masked Stretch


Curves on starless

After re-adding stars - NXT

Edited by TomC_RR, 08 February 2024 - 12:30 PM.


#19 Joe85sti



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Posted 08 February 2024 - 03:32 PM




Capture date: Jan 21st, Feb 3-7  

Location: Worcester, MA
Bortle class: 6-7

Lights (Gain 100, -10°C, Bin 1×1)
H: 105 x 300s (8h 45m)
Oiii: 64 x 300s (5h 20m)
Sii: 86 x 300s (7h 10m)

R: 20 x 20s

G: 20 x 20s

B: 20 x 20s

(RGB just for stars)
Integration: ~22 hours
Darks: 30/filter
Flats: 30 
Flat Darks: 30


Scope: Explore Scientific ED80 with ES Flattener
Camera: ZWO ASI2600MM Pro
Guide scope: WO UniScope 50
Guide camera: ZWO ASI174MM Mini
Filterwheel: ZWO EFW 7x36mm
Filter(s): Antlia Ha 3nm, Antlia Oiii 3nm, Antlia Sii 3nm, Antlia RGB Pro

Mount: SW NEQ6 Pro
Control: Nina running on mini PC

Processing in PI:





Chan Combine (OHS)

Stretch with STF

Stretch in HT

Color Saturation


Convolute color

Stretch Ha clone with GHS

Combine Color with Ha as luminance 

Combine with RGB stars

Edited by Joe85sti, 08 February 2024 - 05:05 PM.


#20 orio61


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Posted 09 February 2024 - 05:16 AM


mount: CQ350

February 2, 3 and 4

refractor: TS 76 EDPH with flatener 341 mm f 4.5

camera: ASI 533 MC pro (-10º) + optolong L-Enhance

exposures: 200 s., bortle 6, without moon; Time global 9 h 5 min.

processed: Stacked with ASI Studio (lights, 40 darks, 40 bias)

                    Pixinsight (BXT, BN, DC, PCC, HT)

                    Photoshop (FilterCameraRaw, Curves)

                    Pixinsight (BXT)

Edited by orio61, 09 February 2024 - 05:29 AM.


#21 pedxing



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Posted 10 February 2024 - 12:57 PM


ASI2600MM Pro

Orion 50mm Guide scope

ASI174MM-Mini guide camera

Avalon Linear mount


Bortle 5

13 x 300s  1h 5m

26 October 2023

Astrodon 36mm 3nm Ha filter


Pixinsight (drizzle 2x, BXT, SXT, HT, NXT, Curves, Resample)


From my balcony in Juneau, AK



Edited by pedxing, 10 February 2024 - 12:58 PM.


#22 AdrianoMS



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  • Loc: Volta Redonda, Brazil

Posted 11 February 2024 - 12:08 PM

53523009114_61721bede3_h.jpgIC 434 - horsehead nebula by Adriano Motta da Silva, no Flickr




Sky-Watcher Equinox 80/500 refractor

Optolong L-Enhance

Sky-Watcher NEQ6-Pro


Stacked in APP.

Processed in PixInsight and Fitswork.




#23 Oort Cloud

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Posted 12 February 2024 - 01:58 AM

Here is my entry for this month. I would try to get more Ha for this, but it is too low too early for my horizon this late in the season.  I was only able to get 50m of H, and 30m each of R, G, & B, however this 2h 20m image has more detail than my previous OSC image that had about 2x as much time on it.  The H filter and mono camera was a real game changer.  Still, the short integration time hurts the final image.  The JPG might look ok since it was scaled to 50% before cropping to 1600x1200, but there is still plenty of noise for you to enjoy on the full size/res version here:




Equipment used:

  • Camera: ZWO 2600MM
  • Filters: ZWO Ha (7nm), R, G, B
  • Scope: Zenithstar 73, 0.8x flattener (345mm focal length, f/4.7)
  • Mount: EQ6-r Pro
  • Guiding: OAG-L, ZWO 174MM
  • Exposure: H 300s-10, R 120s-15, G 120s-15, B 120s-15

IC434 HaRGB final.jpg


#24 starslicer


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Posted 13 February 2024 - 04:45 AM

Put the hyperstar on for this one

(414) 60 seconds


Pixinsight and PS




#25 readkonrad


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Posted 13 February 2024 - 01:29 PM

Finally got a clear night for the first time in a long time.  Framed this as Orion's Belt, processed it as a black and white Ha due to the low total time/high noise.


Redcat 51


Anltia ALP-T filter



Bortle 7

19 x 300s  1h 35m

APP (Ha-OIII extract Ha)

Pixinsight (Graxpert, BXT, NXT, SXT, GHS)


Orion's Belt Ha

Full Res


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