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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CEDIC '11 (Central European Deepsky Imaging Conference 2011)







I was invited as one of the speakers at CEDIC conference in the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria.
A wonderful experience!
It was great to meet many familiar names from different astronomical discussion groups at live.
Now those famous names will have faces too, thanks to CEDIC.

Many thanks to CEDIC "Spotlight Team" and Christopher Kaltseis for a very hard work!


I had one Workshop and one lecture about an astronomical image processing, specially my "Tone Mapping" technique. 
At the end, I had an extra lecture about my 3D-experiments. I had a set of Red/Cyan anaglyph eyeglasses with me and 3D-images, of different astronomical objects, get projected to a big screen.
I got a feel, that viewers really liked what they saw.

Here are some links to my 3D-experiments, please, have a look:
http://astroanarchy.zenfolio.com/f359296072 anaglyph, parallel & cross vision stereo 3D


TONE MAPPING v2.0

The name of the workshop was "Tone Mapping Workflow in Practice"
I have further developed this powerful processing technique and now I can call it a Tone Mapping v2.0 .

I have split this technique to a three different groups.
At the moment I have just images about the workflow, without much technical details. I will publish a step by step tutorial, as a PDF, in a very near future,  in this Blog.


I  Tone Mapping for a Narrowband colors




II  Tone Mapping for an extreme luminance stretching




III  Tone Mapping for Narrowband star colors



What's new?

  • Usage of the "Difference Map" A starless image is subtracted from an original image to form a difference map. This map will contain all the removed data by byte by byte.
  • Usage of the "Linear Dodge (Add)" mode, under a Photo Shop, when removed data is placed back guarantee a Zero data lost and an artifact free stars.
  • Usage of the Tone Map for controlling a local sharpening  and contrast
  • Tone map based noise reduction
  • A powerful star selection routine (100% accuracy)  with a "Difference Map"
  • Star colors from a Narrowband data
  • Small tweaks in overall work flow








Tuesday, March 15, 2011

PuWe1, a Planetary Nebula, project finalized





PuWe1, a Planetary Nebula in Lynx 
Ra 06h 19m 34s Dec +55° 36′ 42"



Note. The size of the full Moon is marked as a gray circle, at the lower Left corner, for a scale.
A bicolor composition from emission of ionized elements. H-alpha = Red, O-III = Green and 85%O-III+15%H-a = Blue. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum. Star colors are mixed with a same method.

PuWe1, (Purgathofer-Weinberger 1, PNG 158.9 + 17.8, PK 158+17.1) is a large circular Planetary Nebula in the constellation of Lynx. It has an apparent diameter of 20', without an outer halo seen in the image.

AN OUTER HALO!

After new sets of exposures, it really starts to look, that there is an outer halo in this Planetary Nebula!
I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere nor imaged before. 
PuWe1 seems to have a same kind of structure, than much brighter M27: http://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2011/02/m27-dumbbell-nebula-reprocessed.html

This is an extreme dim nebula but after processing the data carefully, the emission of ionized Oxygen, O-III, seems to have much large diameter, than a circular H-a area at center. There is an extended area of H-a outside of the main structure, it seems to be stronger at Right side of the Nebula. 

M27 and PuWe at the same scale.


Processing work flow:

Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.

Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack. 
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3.

Equipments:
Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 @ f2.8
Platform and guiding, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9
Guider, Lodestar
Image Scale, 3,79 arc seconds/pixel

Exposures:
Baader H-alpha 7nm 12x1200s, binned 1x1
and 16x900s, binned 2x2
Baader O-III 8,5nm 14x600s, binned 3x3

Barnard 30, B30, project finalized





Barnard 30, a dark nebula in Sh2-264, in Orion
Ra 05h 31m 42s Dec +12° 12′ 39"



Image is in HST-palette, (HST=Hubble Space Telescope) from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Star colors are mixed from the NB channels, Red=H-a, G=O-III and B= 85%O-III + 15%H-a.


Last night I shot data for S-II & O-III channels (Ionized Sulfur and Oxygen). Very dim but enough for narrowband color composition. Total exposure time is relatively short due the low elevation.
I haven't seen this one in narrowband palette before, please, let me know, if you have seen an emission line image of Barnad 30 somewhere. I'll like to see one for a reference.

Barnard 30 is a dark nebula at Orion's head, due the proximity of eye catchers of Orion Nebula and low surface brightness, this target is rarely imaged.
B30 is part of the very large Sharpless object in Orion's head, Sh2-264. This large nebula spans 8 degrees of sky, that's 16 full Moons side by side, whole upper part of this image is covered with Sh2-264. Above image is about three degrees wide.
B30 lies about 1300 light years from Earth, above the triangular group of stars marking the head of constellation Orion.
Latest data from a Spitzer Space Telescope indicates, that this area is a star-birth region with many low mass stars and brown dwarfs.


Note. The size of the full Moon is marked as a gray circle for a scale. (Moon has an angular size of the 30', that's a 0,5 degrees)
Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum. 


Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack. 
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3.

Equipments:
Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 @ f2.8
Platform and guiding, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9
Guider, Lodestar
Image Scale, 3,79 arc seconds/pixel

Exposures:
Baader H-alpha 7nm 9x1200s, binned 1x1
and 12x900s, binned 2x2
Baader O-III 8,5nm 3x900s, binned 2x2
Baader S-II 8nm 3x600s, binned 3x3


Friday, March 11, 2011

Sh2-157 reprocessed





Since my processing technique gets better and weather doesn't give any support, I have reprocessed some older images. There is now star colors added and other processing is tweaked too.


Sharpless 157 in Cassiopeia
Ra 23h 16m 04s Dec +60° 02′ 06″



Image is in HST-palette, (HST=Hubble Space Telescope) from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen & B=Oxygen.Star colors are mixed from the NB channels, Red=H-a, G=O-III & B= 85%O-III + 15%H-a.

Sharpless object 157 locates at middle of the image field, it looks like a giant termite head to me. At Ten a clock position are two objects, closer to the center lays the "Bubble Nebula" and little bit further an open cluster M52. The bright emission nebula, just left from the upper center, is NGC 7538. There are several open clusters in the image area, including NGC 7510, King 19, Mrk 50.
Distance from Earth is about 8100 light years and the central emission area, Sh2-157, has an angular dimension about 60x60 arc minutes. (Full Moon is about 30 arc minutes wide.) The shape of the nebula is coursed by a stellar wind, a radiation pressure, from several massive young stars. 


Note. The size of the full Moon is marked, as a gray circle, for a scale.
(The apparent size of the full Moon is about 30', that's 0,5 degrees)
Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. Star colors are mixed from the NB channels, Red=H-a, G=O-III and B= 85%O-III + 15%H-a.This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.

Image is shot with a QHY8, Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 lens and Baader narrowband filter set, H-a, S-II & O-III
Original versions from November 2008, with technical details:


A closeup of the "Bubble Nebula"
(A Bright pearl at Ten a clock position in the wide field image above)

More images and technical details of the "Bubble Nebula":



Thursday, March 3, 2011

The "Bubble Nebula" reprocessed




Since my processing technique gets better and weather doesn't give any support, I have reprocessed some older images. There is now star colors added and other processing is tweaked too.


Sharpless 162, NGC 7635, the "Bubble Nebula"
Ra 23h 20m 48s Dec +61° 12′ 06″




Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. Star colors are mixed from the NB channels, Red=H-a, G=O-III and B= 85%O-III + 15%H-a.This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.

A closeup



This is one of the most interesting looking structures in a sky.
NGC 7635 aka "Bubble Nebula, Sh2-162 or Caldwell11, is a Hydrogen emission nebula in constellation Cassiopeia. It locates near the open cluster M 52 at distance of about 11.000 light years from the Earth.
The bubble structure is created by a strong stellar wind, a radiation pressure, from massive hot magnitude 8,7 central star, SAO 20575, it can be seen in an image inside of the bubble, off centered at Right.
Bubble is an expanding shock front inside a giant molecular cloud and it has a diameter more than Six light years. The spherical formation is expanding at speed of 6500.000 km/h, due the huge scale and distance we can't see the movement easily. In a century, the bubble in this image will be only about one pixel wider, than now! ( ~1 arc second)
Strong UV-radiation from a central star ionized elements in a gas and makes them glow at typical wavelength to each element. (Hydrogen glows Red light as Sulfur, Oxygen emits Green/Blue light at visible wavelengths) 
If you are interested about color schemes used in my images, I wrote a small study about them, please, have a look here: http://astroanarchy.blogspot.com/2009/11/colors-in-astro-images.html


Image is in HST-palette, (HST=Hubble Space Telescope) from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen & B=Oxygen.Star colors are mixed from the NB channels, Red=H-a, G=O-III & B= 85%O-III + 15%H-a.

A full, none cropped, image area



Image is shot with a QHY9 and the Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5, pixel scale 0.65pixels/arc second.
Original versions from October 2009, with technical details:

Due the small angular scale of bubble itself, about 5,4' x 4,9', (0,09 x 0,08 degrees) this Nebula is hard to capture with details. In this image, the size of the full Moon is marked as a gray circle for a scale. (Moon has an angular size of the 30', that's a 0,5 degrees)
NOTE! The Wikipedia states, that angular size of the Bubble Nebula is 15' x 8'. There must be outer formations included, not just the bubble.

A  wider field image of the region, Bubble can be seen at ten a clock position as a bright "pearl".
Gray circle shows the size of the full Moon.



Some 3D-studies out of this 2D-image.


Parallel vision Stereo Pair 3D:

Cross vision Stereo Pair 3D:

An anaglyph Red/Cyan 3D:

Still motion animations of the Buble Nebula


Zoom in:

Zoom out:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Start of the two new projects, Barnard 30 & PuWe1 PN





Barnard 30, a dark nebula in Sh2-264, in Orion
Ra 05h 31m 42s Dec +12° 12′ 39"


A gray scale image of H-alpha emission. I'll shoot more H-a and rest of the emission lines, 
needed for a color image, later.

Barnard 30 is a dark nebula at Orion's head, due the proximity of eye catchers of Orion Nebula and low surface brightness, this target is rarely imaged.
B30 is part of the very large Sharpless object in Orion's head, Sh2-264. This large nebula spans 8 degrees of sky, that's 16 full Moons side by side, whole upper part of this image is covered with Sh2-264. Above image is about three degrees wide.
B30 lies about 1300 light years from Earth, above the triangular group of stars marking the head of constellation Orion.
Latest data from a Spitzer Space Telescope indicates, that this area is a star-birth region with many low mass stars and brown dwarfs.

This image will need much more exposures, at the moment it's too dim and noisy. It'll take some time, since nights are getting shorter and I can shoot this one only two hours, before it's too low.

Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack. 
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3.

Equipments:
Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 @ f2.8
Platform and guiding, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9
Guider, Lodestar
Image Scale, 3,79 arc seconds/pixel

Exposures:
Baader H-alpha 7nm 8x1200s, binned 1x1




PuWe1, a Planetary Nebula in Lynx 
Ra 06h 19m 34s Dec +55° 36′ 42"


A gray scale image of H-alpha emission. I'll shoot more H-a and rest of the emission lines, 
needed for a color image, later.

Note.
I don't usually publish an image so unfinished but this time I'll like to show a new finding, least it's new to me. 
I have never seen an outer halo at any image of PuWe1, there is not too many of them though.
It seems to span about 100 arc minutes, the actual circular body of nebula is about 20 arc minutes wide.
It looks like, that there is a dim brightening at right hand side of the outer halo.
I'll shoot much more lights for this later, then I can confirm, if the halo seen here is 100% real.

PuWe1, (Purgathofer-Weinberger 1, PNG 158.9 + 17.8, PK 158+17.1) is a large circular Planetary Nebula in the constellation of Lynx. It has an apparent diameter of 20' (Outer halo seems to be about 100' wide, if it's rely there) Nebula is very very faint and will need many hours more exposures for better contrast and colors.


Processing work flow:
Image acquisition, MaxiDL v5.07.
Stacked and calibrated in CCDStack. 
Levels, curves and color combine in PS CS3.

Equipments:
Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 @ f2.8
Platform and guiding, Meade LX200 GPS 12" @ f5
Camera, QHY9
Guider, Lodestar
Image Scale, 3,79 arc seconds/pixel

Exposures so far:
Baader H-alpha 7nm 9x1200s, binned 1x1

More to come...