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Friday, January 22, 2010

IC 410, a cosmic fertilization


Natural color composition from Narrowband channels.

After many technical and weather problems I managed to get enough data for this image.
IC 410 is a beautiful object next to a "Flaming Star Nebula", IC 405, in Auriga.
Ambient temperature was about -21 celsius degrees and the transparency was good.
Seeing was really bad all night long, about 5 FWHM, so I shot H-alpha frames binned 2x2 to have a image scale of 1,5 arcseconds/pixel.
Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack.
Deconvolution with a CCDSharp, 30 iterations.
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3.
Telescope, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9
Guiding, SXV-AO @ 8Hz
Image Scale, 1,5 arcseconds/pixel
H-alpha 7x1200s Binned 2x2
O-III 4x600s, binned 3x3
S-II 3x600s, binned 3x3

A starless image of the IC 410. This looks now like a Rococo painting, very 3D!


Steve W said...


As always, your work is an inspiration; technically, artistically, your images excite the imagination. Please, keep it up!


Steve W (Tucson, AZ)

J-P Metsavainio said...

Thanks a lot Steve!

nightsky said...

Awesome as always J-P. I'm actually working on IC410 myself at the moment though I'm doubting mine will come out as nicely as yours has. I have used your tone mapping technique in the past and very much like it given that my ST2000XM isn't all that sensitive. A few questions for you; do you find that binning your SII and OIII data helps with the finished image given that you yourself use the tonemapping technique? I see that you use subs half as long as your HA subs. Is the binning used because your subs are half as long, or is it simply a higher sensitivity thing?

I too am fighting the winter here in Canada and there's a lot of grey skies. If I can truly get away with binned OIII and SII data with half the time spent exposing, it might work much better going forward.


J-P Metsavainio said...

Hi and thanks Chris!

Being able to use binning is a one of the major adwance of monochrome CCD.

I usually shoot H-a binned 1x1, if seeing supports it. if there is bad seeing, there is not any point to oversample too much, so I use 2x2 binning, like in this image.

If there is not much high resolution details in other channels, like there usually isn't, I use 3x3 binning mode or even 4x4! QHY9 has about 9meg pixels, so there is enough them left in different bin modes.
(I scale binned channels match to H-a after stacking them)

Binnig increase sensitivity a lot!
Binned 3x3 is about nine times more sensitive, than 1x1.

I will test a new method soon.
There the H-a is shot partly bin 1x1 mode and partly lower modes. The final combination has high S/N details from a bin 1x1 image and low S/N objects, like a dim background nebulosity etc..., from binned material.
I'll publish this after tests.

Weather is very volatile up here, so I have to use creative meyhods to be able to have enough data.