RIAN BERGEN

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The Orion Constellation - 20200201 Dataset

August 29, 2020

Full Resolution Image

The Orion Constellation is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and is visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky. It is named after Orion, the hunter in Greek Mythology. Its brightest stars are Rigel (Beta Orionis) and Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis). My goal for this one was more wide-field than the one taken on 2020-01-27.

The Orion Constellation has a ton of interesting objects located within it, of which the following is visible in my image:

  1. NGC 1977 - A group of clusters and nebulae that are commonly referred to as the Running Man Nebula.
  2. Messier 42 - A diffuse nebula that is commonly referred to as the Orion Nebula.
  3. IC 2118 - An extremely faint reflection nebula that is commonly referred to as the Witch Head Nebula.
  4. IC 434 - A bright emission nebula, commonly referred to by the dark nebula (Bernard 33/Horsehead Nebula) in front (relative to us) of it.
  5. Bernard 33 - A dark nebula that is commonly referred to as the Horsehead Nebula.
  6. NGC 2024 - An emission nebula that is commonly referred to as the Flame Nebula.
  7. Messier 78 - A really faint reflection nebula.
  8. Bernard's Loop - Bernard's Loop is a lot more visible in this image as opposed to my first image.
  9. Betelgeuse - A very cool star. Look it up...
  10. Angelfish Nebula - The red bubble around the star λ Orionis (Lambda Orionis). Top Left Corner.
  11. Rosette Nebula - Also called all of the following: NGC 2237, NGC 2238, NGC 2239, NGC 2244, NGC 2246.

This is my second attempt at the Orion Constellation. It happens to be a lot better than my fist attempt.

Full Resolution Annotated Image

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I am currently facing some seriously unfortunate weather, so, I have decided to reprocess ALL (only exception is for what I consider completely unusable data) of my old data. The goal of this is to see how much I have improved, actually finish some old projects, and continue practicing my processing techniques. All of my equipment, used software, and processing techniques will be listed below. This image in particular is my fifth ever successful image.

Equipment:

  • Nikon D7500
  • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
  • NyxTech Barn Door Tracker
  • Software:
    • DeepSkyStacker
    • Adobe Photoshop 2020
    • RC Astro GradientXTerminator Plugin for Adobe Photoshop
    • Noel Carboni's Astro Tools Plugin for Photoshop
    • AstroBin for Annotated SVG File (PixInsight)

Data was acquired on the night of 2020-02-01.

  • RGGB
    • 34 Total Exposures
    • 30 Second Individual Exposure Length
    • f/2.8
    • ISO 800
    • Dark Frames
      • 22 Total
    • Flat Frames
      • 14 Total
    • Bias Frames
      • 40 Total
  • Total Integration Time
    • 17 Minutes (1020 Total Seconds)
  • Location
    • Backyard: Comer, Georgia
    • 34°03'49"N 83°07'31"W (Closest Town)
    • Bortle Class 4
  • Weather
    • Average Moon Age at 6.87 Days
    • Average Moon Phase at 44.53%
    • Clear Skies

Image was Stacked and Calibrated in DeepSkyStacker. These were the settings:

  • Result
    • Standard Mode
    • No Drizzle
    • No Align RGB Channels
  • Light
    • Kappa-Sigma clipping
    • Kappa: 2.00
    • Number of iterations: 5
  • Dark
    • Median Kapp-Sigma clipping
    • Kappa: 2.00
    • Number of iterations: 5
    • Hot Pixels detection and removal
  • Flat
    • Median Kapp-Sigma clipping
    • Kappa: 2.00
    • Number of iterations: 5
  • Bias
    • Median Kapp-Sigma clipping
    • Kappa: 2.00
    • Number of iterations: 5
  • Alignment
    • Automatic

Image was then opened in Photoshop for the following:

  • Convert to 16 Bit's/Channel using Exposure and Gamma
  • Selected a spot below Bernard 33 with the Color Sampler Tool
  • Curves
    • Input 62, Output 143
    • Input 114, Output 195
  • Levels Adjustment to balance Black Point
    • Goal: 25, 25, 25
    • Black Point Adjustments: 88, 86, 88
  • Used Lasso Tool to select all of the nebulous regions. Then inverted the Selection.
  • GradientXTerminate
    • Detail: Medium
    • Aggressiveness: Medium
    • Balance background color: Checked
    • This helped remove a very subtle gradient that had formed from the right side of the image.
  • Curves
    • Input 90, Output 135
  • Levels Adjustment to balance Black Point
    • Goal: 17, 17, 17
    • Black Point Adjustment for RGB: 35
  • Curves
    • Input 85, Output 131
  • Astro Tool's Enhance DSO and Reduce Stars
  • Astro Tool's Lighten Only DSO and Dimmer Stars
  • 2x Astro Tool's Deep Space Noise Reduction
  • Astro Tool's Space Noise Reduction
  • Used Lasso Tool to select all of the nebulous regions. Then inverted the Selection.
  • GradientXTerminate
    • Detail: Medium
    • Aggressiveness: Medium
    • Balance background color: Checked
  • GradientXTerminate
    • Detail: Fine
    • Aggressiveness: High
    • Balance background color: Checked
  • Star Reduction
    • Select Color Range: 125
      • Clicked on a bright star
    • Modify/Expand: 2
    • Modify/Feather: 2
    • Filter/Minimum: 1.5 & Preserve Roundness
    • A mask was used to keep some of the brightest stars as well as make sure the bright nebulas didn't get reduced. Masking was done manually by me.
  • Levels Adjustment to balance Black Point
    • Goal: 45, 45, 45
    • Black Point Adjustment: 33, 36, 36
  • Levels Adjustment to balance Black Point
    • Goal: 35, 35, 35
    • Black Point Adjustment for RGB: 11
  • Astro Tool's Reduce Large Blue/Violet Halos
    • This removes some of the Blue/Violet Halos that had come up with the stretching.
  • Astro Tool's Reduce Large Blue/Violet Halos
    • This removes some of the Blue/Violet Halos that had come up with the stretching.
  • Vibrance Adjustement
    • Vibrance: +100
    • A mask was used to only select the nebulae/areas that needed it.
  • Saved and Done!!

For those that read this far, THANK YOU! Please let me know how if you have any questions, or if there is something I can improve upon.