Jump to content

My Processing Journey

Recommended Posts

So here's the old family favourite M42 (yawn, yawn, I know)

However it is my first real go a DSO and Im chuffed to bits.

Its nothing like some of the wonderful stuff you guys show all the time, but it proves I am clearing hurdles in my learning curve.

Anyway the tech stuff

Skywatcher Equinox ED80Pro



OAG with ASi 120mm (not the mini) and guided in PHD2

100 x 30 sec lights

100 x  30 sec darks

no flats

no bias

no calibration

no flat darks

Stacked best 68 frames in DSS

Pre stretched in SIRIL

Finalised in GIMP with new plug in for removing purple haze around stars (which I thought was a brilliant tool)

I know the trapezium is blown out but even at 30 seconds I couldnt save the stars . (I neded to get better)

When it comes around again I may have to look at different sub lengths down as low as 10 second to capture them.

Hope its acceptable enough to go on this forum area.

Thanks for looking


m42 09-03-23.jpg

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • nickarp2000 changed the title to My Processing Journey

If I new nothing about astronomy and saw this picture I'd want to know more. It's very good. Some lovely detail, dark nebulosity and nice round stars. You should be chuffed with yourself.     Gary

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is a great job you have done on this popular target Nick. As Gary says nice round stars and good detail. Did you use any form of filter? You say you have done no calibration on this. But if you used darks in DSS you have indeed done some calibration. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to both for your kind words.

Well I blended my darks and lights in DSS so if thats calibration then great. But I didnt take any independent frames for Flats (as theres zero amp glow in the 585) and no other types of frames. Like a kid in a sweet shop I just wanted to dive in and see what happened.

Still learning the right processes in DSS from the stacking options and I know my set up isnt great for Nebula imaging.

I have a ZWO 2" UV cut filter fastened to a field flattener in the imaging train and thats it.

My skies are coming up as Bortle 5 from my village in Northamptonshire. I have a pretty good look at most of the sky from around 25 degrees upwards and possibly 240 degree around (the house getting in theway for the rest).

I was particularly happy with my sequencing in NINA.

I did a basic sequence run and only did 1 star guiding in PHD.

However I dithered every 5th image and I found that I was receiving error codes in NINA saying PHD2 timed out waiting for guider to settle, so I think I need to make some adjustments.

I suppose next I move onto targets like M51 as we are in galaxy seasn and I would imagine that my sub length will need to increase somewhat.

Im off to Kettering tommorrow the the Astro exhibition as its only 12 miles from my house and I have never attended so quite excited about that. Wallet at the ready!

Once the snow and rain clears hopefully towards spring we will get some decent weather.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's the darks that remove amp glow Nick. Although yours doesn't have amp glow darks also remove dead pixels and hot pixels within the sensor. Whereas flats can remove the dark shadows cast by dust specs within the optical chain, correct vignetting which is the light fall-off towards the edges of the field of view and also compensate for variances in pixel sensitivity across the camera's sensor.


It sounds like you have a decent sky in the village. A nebula enhancing filter will still help and allow you to take longer subs. A lot of people like the Optolong L-eNhance or L-eXtreme filters. Pop in to see Nick on the Altair stand when you are at the show as he has some new Altair OSC filters that might also suit your rig - he could recommend something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That’s an excellent image in all respects, let alone it’s your first! Most astrophotographers I know have far worse than that after some years, so very well done. As has been said, the stars are very round, the trapezium is a bit over exposed, but considering all things, it’s really well controlled. Finally your processing has brought out some great detail. You should be delighted with that. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...