| categories:Astrophotography

Bode's Galaxy
Agenda

Equipment

  • Orion f/4 8” Newtonian Astrograph
  • Atlas EQ-G
  • Canon 7d (unmodified)
  • No guiding (still fighting drivers for my SSAG)

Software

  • Sequence Generator Pro
  • PixInsight
  • Lightroom
  • EQmod

Frames

  • Bortle Zone: ~3
  • Average temp: 6° - 10° F
  • Lights: 71x90” ISO1600
  • Darks: 40x90” ISO1600
  • Bias: NA (Messed up and these captured at too slow of shutter speed)
  • Flats: NA (Took these in the morning after imaging, but frost had melted and drops of dew were running down the mirror without me knowing…made flats unusable)

Processing

  1. BatchPreprocess dark calibration, debayer
  2. DrizzleIntegration (x2 with 0.9 drip)
  3. DBE
  4. ColorCalibration
  5. MultiscaleLinearTransform
  6. MaskedStretch
  7. Manual HistogramTransformation on each channel
  8. SCNR to tamp down the green a bit more
  9. Curves to enhance contrast
  10. ATrousWaveletTransform
  11. HDRMultiscaleTransform (6 layers for larger details)
  12. HDRMultiscaleTransform (2 layers for small details)
  13. ACDNR + mask on stars because oh god everything is still so noisy
  14. HistogramTransformation tweaks
  15. MultiscaleMedianTransform + inverse mask to sharpen galaxy a smidge
  16. Export, open in lightroom and bump clarity a smidge, sharpen a tad

First target with my new scope, so a lot of time spent working out kinks in the setup. Fiddling with hardware in 6° F weather is no fun. :(

It looks like focus was off (e.g. some stars are donut’s), collimation is a bit off (stars are coma shaped in some parts), and I totally botched the bias/flat images. No guiding because I’m still fighting drivers with SSAG + Win10.

I took roughly 5 hours of integration time over two nights, but clouds or poor focus pruned that down to 1.7hr. M82 was in some of the frames, but due to drift and incorrect rotation the second night I didn’t have enough good frames to keep it in the image. So I cropped it out and just focused on M81.

Still learning pixinsight. Fighting DSLR noise in the background, and accidentally amplified some noise in the core with HDR and Median transforms.

Despite the lackluster final product, I’m fairly happy. I can see the potential of my setup once I iron out the details, just need to keep fiddling. :)

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