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Cosmic Mosaic
Lens: TS 80/480 & TS 130/910 Camera: K3 ii Photo Location: my Balkony Shutter Speed: Above 6s 
Posted By: Pete_XL, 03-13-2018, 11:51 PM





Full size is here:

The image shows three nebulas in the constellation Auriga that are between 1500 ly and 19000 ly away from us. The nebula at the top is called the Spider Nebula (IC417, 9500 ly). The one at the right is the Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405, 1500 ly). The nebula at the left (IC 410, 19000 ly) contains the famous two "Tadpoles" that are dense aggregations of cosmic dust.

The image is an integration of 300 images shot in 2016 with a small 480 mm apochromatic refractor and my stock Pentax K3 ii in "normal light" (as the underlying mosaic) and about 100 images of the nebulas themselves shot some days ago with the same camera but a bigger 910 mm refractor. The special thing is that a filter was used in the actual images that only lets through the wavelength of red emissions that are caused by the radiations of high active stars in the cosmic gas clouds (H-Alpha filter). The H-Alpha data reveal more structure in the most cosmic nebulas. The filtered image data were then blended with the mosaic image in form of a so called Ha-RGB image.

Last edited by Pete_XL; 03-14-2018 at 05:00 AM.
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03-14-2018, 04:52 AM   #2
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Wonderful shot or shots and an excellent explanation, you must have the patience of Job to do it. The full size shot is even more wonderful.
07-23-2018, 04:21 AM   #3
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Wow! Just wow...
Is there any way you can provide a tech sheet or a "how to" about composting all those images to get the final image?
07-23-2018, 04:57 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobphoenix Quote
Wow! Just wow...
Is there any way you can provide a tech sheet or a "how to" about composting all those images to get the final image?
Hi Bob,


not easy to explain zhe whole stuff in a few sentences.....


The real color images that were taken with the small telescope (480 mm) were stacked and stiched to the final image with a software called Astro Pixel Processor.


The Ha-emission of the two nebulas was one by one photographed with my bigger 910 mm telescope with an HA-filter mounted to only get the hydrogen emissions of the nebulas onto the sensor.These images were then converted to black&white and then resized/orientated manually in Photoshop to fit the scale to the larger field of view. The black&white Ha-images were then blended in as luminance layers into the real color image which resulted in the good contrast within the nebulas.

07-23-2018, 08:03 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote
Hi Bob,


not easy to explain zhe whole stuff in a few sentences.....


The real color images that were taken with the small telescope (480 mm) were stacked and stiched to the final image with a software called Astro Pixel Processor.


The Ha-emission of the two nebulas was one by one photographed with my bigger 910 mm telescope with an HA-filter mounted to only get the hydrogen emissions of the nebulas onto the sensor.These images were then converted to black&white and then resized/orientated manually in Photoshop to fit the scale to the larger field of view. The black&white Ha-images were then blended in as luminance layers into the real color image which resulted in the good contrast within the nebulas.
Well, alrighty then...
I think I read that both your telescopes were refractor.... and as I am just getting into astrophotography (having an interest in astronomy for quite a long time...) I have a newer and reconditioned Mead computer controlled 910mm reflector. I understand about the filtering and Photoshop processes and I will checkout the Astro Pixel Processor software.


Much thanks!
07-23-2018, 08:43 AM   #6
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You did a great deal of work but the results speak for themselves Pete. Lovely image!
07-23-2018, 09:54 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobphoenix Quote
Well, alrighty then...
I think I read that both your telescopes were refractor.... and as I am just getting into astrophotography (having an interest in astronomy for quite a long time...) I have a newer and reconditioned Mead computer controlled 910mm reflector. I understand about the filtering and Photoshop processes and I will checkout the Astro Pixel Processor software.


Much thanks!

You're welcome!


If you start into astrophotography I'd recommend to forget about the HA-filter and blending things for the beginning. I would suggest to shoot as many images of an easy target as possible. The image series then has to be stacked to get out a quality that is good enough for further processing. In the beginning it might be better to use the free but very good DeepSkyStacker (DSS) software to stack the subs instead of the Astro Pixel Processor. DSS produces a TIFF file that finally can be processed in Photoshop.


There are good and easy tutorials on DSS in Youtube and also decent videos that show the principles of astroimage processing in Photoshop.
07-24-2018, 11:10 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote



Full size is here:

The image shows three nebulas in the constellation Auriga that are between 1500 ly and 19000 ly away from us. The nebula at the top is called the Spider Nebula (IC417, 9500 ly). The one at the right is the Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405, 1500 ly). The nebula at the left (IC 410, 19000 ly) contains the famous two "Tadpoles" that are dense aggregations of cosmic dust.

The image is an integration of 300 images shot in 2016 with a small 480 mm apochromatic refractor and my stock Pentax K3 ii in "normal light" (as the underlying mosaic) and about 100 images of the nebulas themselves shot some days ago with the same camera but a bigger 910 mm refractor. The special thing is that a filter was used in the actual images that only lets through the wavelength of red emissions that are caused by the radiations of high active stars in the cosmic gas clouds (H-Alpha filter). The H-Alpha data reveal more structure in the most cosmic nebulas. The filtered image data were then blended with the mosaic image in form of a so called Ha-RGB image.
very nice shot! incredible! good work

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