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Friday, October 1, 2021

Milky Way, 12 years, 1250 hours of exposures and 125 x 22 degrees of sky THIS IS A PERMANENT POST, NEW POSTS ARE AFTER THIS POST

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It took nearly twelve years to collect enough data for this high resolution gigapixel class mosaic image of the Milky Way.  Total exposure time used is around 1250 hours between 2009 and 2021.


" I can hear music in this composition, from the high sounds of sparcs and bubbles at left  all the way to a deep and massive sounds at right."


The final photo is about 100 000 pixels wide, it has 234 individual mosaic panels stitched together and 1,7 gigapixels. (Click for a large image) All the frames used are marked in this image. Since many of sub-images and mosaics are independent artworks it leads to a very complex mosaic structure. 


From Taurus to Cygnus
Click for a large image, it's really worth it! (7000 x 1300 pixels)

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. NOTE, the apparent size of the Moon in a lower left corner. NOTE 2, there are two 1:1 scale enlargements from the full size original at both ends of the image

NEW, A HD-video from Germany shows my photo in full glory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-Z60eZ4yqM
(Video in Germany but images are the international language)


Close ups form the parts of the Grande Mosaic
Taurus side of the mosaic, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2021/02/a-new-mosaic-image-from-taurus-to.html



A closeup from large panorama to show the overall resolution
Click for a large image

The California Nebula, NGC 1499, can be seen at bottom left of the large mosaic image.
There are about 20 million individual stars visible in the whole mosaic image.



Orientation and details
Click for a large image







Imaging info

Image spans 125 x 22 degrees of  the Milky About 20 million individual stars are visible in my photo!

It took almost twelve years to finalize this mosaic image. The reason for a long time period is naturally the size of the mosaic and the fact, that image is very deep. Another reason is that I have soht most of the mosaic frames as an individual compositions and publish them as independent artworks. That leads to a kind of complex image set witch is partly overlapping with a lots of unimaged areas between and around frames. I have shot the missing data now and then during the years and last year I was able to publish many sub mosaic images as I got them ready first.

My processing workflow is very constant so very little tweaking was needed between the mosaic frames. Total exposure time is over 1250 hours. Some of the frames has more exposure time, than others. There are some extremely dim objects clearly visible in this composition, like a extremely dim supernova remnant W63, the Cygnus Shell. It lays about six degrees up from North America nebula and it can be seen as a pale blue ring. I spent about 100 hours for this SNR alone. An other large and faint supernova remnant in Cygnus can be seen at near right edge of the image. G65.5+5.7 is as large as more famous Veil nebula. There are over 60 exposure hours for this SNR alone.  (Veil SNR is just outside of the mosaic area for compositional reasons but can be seen in "Detail" image above.) 


The Mosaic Work, technical info

I have used several optical configurations for this mosaic image during the years. Up to 2014 I was using an old Meade LX200 GPS 12" scope, QHY9 astrocam, Canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera optics and baader narrowband filter set. After 2014 I have had 10-micron 1000 equatorial mount, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera, Tokina AT-x 200mm f2.8 camera lens and the Astrodon 50mm square narrowband filter set. I have shot many details with a longer focal length, before 2014 by using Meade 12" scope with reducer and after 2014 Celestron EDGE 11" and reducer. Quider camera has been Lodestar and Lodestar II.

I took my current toolset as a base tool since it has a relatively high resolution combined to a very large field of view. Also it collects photons very quickly since it's undersampled and I can have very dim background nebulosity visible in very short time (many times 30 min frame is enough)

I do all my mosaic work under the PhotoShop, Matching the separate panels by using stars as an indicator is kind of straight forward work. My processing has become so constant, that very little tweaking is needed between separate frames, just some minor levels, curves and color balance. 

I have used lots of longer focal length sub-frames in my mosaic to boost details. (See the mosaic map at top of the page) To match them with shorter focal length shots I developed a new method.

Firstly I upscale the short focal length frames about 25% to have more room for high resolution images.Then I match the high res photo to a mosaic by using the stars as an indicator. After that I remove all the tiny stars from the high res image. Next I separate stars from low res photo and merge the starless high res data to a starless low res frame. And finally I place the removed low res stars back at top of everything with zero data lost. Usually there are some optical distortions and it's seen especially in a star field. Now all my stars are coming from a same optical setup and I don't have any problems with distortions. (I'm using the same star removal technique as in my Tone Mapping Workflow)



Closeups from large panorama to show the overall resolution
Click for a large image

Image in mapped colors from the light emitted by an ionized elements, hydrogen = green, sulfur = red and oxygen = blue. 

A 1:3 resolution close up from the photo above
Click for a large image,

A closeup from the main image shows the Sharpless 124 at up and the Cocoon nebula with a dark gas stream at bottom.

From Bubble to Cave Nebula
Image info, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/03/from-bubble-to-cave-nebula-area.html

The tulip nebula area
The Tulip Nebula, Sh2-101, can be seen at center right, there is also a black hole Cygnus X-1
The blog post with technical details can be seen here, 
https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-tulip-nebula-in-cygnus-sh2-101.html

The supernova remnant G65.3+5.7

My Observatory,


Not an igloo, this is reality of astro photographing in Finland


Thursday, September 30, 2021

Filaments of Veil Nebula SNR

 I shot most of the lights for this image back in 2016, now I have added some new material to it and reprocessed the whole image. An older mapped color version can be seen here, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2016/12/filaments-of-veil-nebula.html

Photo was shot with a Celestron Edge HD 11" telescope, Astrodon naarrow band filters and Apogee Alta U16 astro camera. New data is shot with a shorter focal length instrument, Tokina AT-x 300mm f2.8 camera lens, same camera and filters. Dim background emission is taken from a new material and added to this photo. 

Total exposure time is now 44 hours for the whole three frame mosaic and the resolution is 11.000 x 4000 pixels.

Filaments of central veil
Click for a large image (1100 x 2900 pixels)


Image is in visual palette from emission of an ionized elements, hydrogen (H-alpha), sulfur (S-II) and oxygen (O-III). Red=Hydrogen + 33% sulfur, Green=oxygen and Blue=oxygen + 33% hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission.

A closeup
Click for a large image




Orientation
Click for a large image


 

Unveiling the Veiled


Every single pixel in this 3d-animation is from the original 2D-image above. The model is based on on known scientific facts, deduction and some artistic creativity. The result is an appraised simulation of reality. Astronomical photos are showing objects as paintings on a canvas, totally flat. In reality, they are three dimensional forms floating in three dimensional space. The purpose of my 3d-experiments is to show that and Give an idea, how those distant objects might look in reality. More info about my 3D-technique at end of this blog post: https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2021/10/unveiling-veiled.html

NOTE. It looks like that the animation has less stars, than the original 2d-image. That's not true, stars is normal photo are getting projected to a same plane. In 3D-model stars are in volume and it only looks like, that there are less stars.





Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Veil nebula unveiled II

 I haven't start the imaging season yet, up here 65N. Nights are still short and I haven't got my imaging rig ready after the mandatory six months Summer break.

I have reprocessed some older shots with new data, this time the Veil nebula supernova remnant in Cygnus. Original image was shot with the Canon EF 200 mm f1.8 camera optics full open, QHY9 astro camera and Baader narrowband filters at 2013.

New data is shot with Tokina 300mm f2.8 camera optics and Celestron Edge HD 11" telescope, Apogee Alta U16 astro camera with Astrodon narrowband filters.
Total exposure time is now about 45 hours. I published yesterday a Pickering's Triangle photo taken with Celestron Edge HD 11"-. It's part of this new image among other.


Veil nebula Unveiled
Click for a large image, 1250 x 1700 pixels

Image is in visual palette from emission of an ionized elements, hydrogen (H-alpha), sulfur (S-II) and oxygen (O-III). Red=Hydrogen + 33% sulfur, Green=oxygen and Blue=oxygen + 33% hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission.


A Closeup
Click for a large image





An older image from 2013 can be found here,
https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2013/12/veil-nebula-unveiled.html







Monday, September 27, 2021

Pickering's Triangle in Visual palette

 I have reprocessed some older data and made a new composition out of it. Pickering's Triangle is part of the Veil nebula supernova remnant in constellation Cygnus. It has an amazing structure of complex gas filaments. This image is one of the most detailed presentations, showing the whole triangle shape formation, I have seen so far.

Image is in visual palette from emission of an ionized elements, hydrogen (H-alpha), sulfur (S-II) and oxygen (O-III). Red=Hydrogen + 33% sulfur, Green=oxygen and Blue=oxygen + 33% hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. (H-beta and H-alpha has a same shape but H-beta is weaker. H-alpha emits red light and H-beta emits blue light.) Exposure time ~20 hours.
here you can see ta mapped color image from same data, https://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2021/08/pickerings-triangle-reprocessed-with.html


Pickering's Triangle with some new lights
click for a large image

Image is in visual palette from emission of an ionized elements, hydrogen (H-alpha), sulfur (S-II) and oxygen (O-III). Red=Hydrogen + 33% sulfur, Green=oxygen and Blue=oxygen + 33% hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission.


A Closeup
click for a large image

The complex structure of gas filaments 


Orientation in Veil nebula SNR
click for a large image




Technical details

Processing work flow

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack2.
Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 33 iterations, added at 33% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
Celestron Edge HD 1100 @ f7 with 0,7 focal reducer for Edge HD 1100 telescope

Mount
10-micron 1000

Cameras and filters
Imaging camera Apogee Alta U16 and Apogee seven slot filter wheel
Guider camera, Lodestar x2 and SXV-AOL

Astrodon filter, 5nm H-alpha
Astrodon filter, 3nm O-III
Astrodon filter, 3nm S-II

Exposure times
H-alpha, 15 x 1200s = 5h
O-III, 36 x 1200s binned = 12h (Autumn 2014)
S-II,  from my older wide field photo of the Veil Nebula = 3h 
Total 20h