Friday, February 19, 2010

Sharpless 292 (SH2-292) Eye of the seagull

I am working on a image of the Eye of the Seagull - Sharpless 292 (SH2-292).

I chose this subject as it is a great narrowband target with a strong Sii channel, but plenty of Oiii to work with as well. The difficulty in images such as these is managing the Ha channel which can "blast out" the image -I'm sure you are all aware there is a lot of Hydrogen in stars, even if there is not so much in the Nebula.

My Goal here is to go deeper than any other amateur has ever gone before. Tom Davis has set the standard with an absolute masterpiece (its a much wider angle image - 18 hours of exposure), and Davide De Martin has used about 8 hours of imaging from a 1.2m UK Schmidt Telescope - here.

So I'm going to be cruel and tease you a bit here. It all starts with a single frame - a 300 sec Ha image at F3.8 on the 0.4m ASA Astrograph. Not much to see yet, as the 3nM Astrodon filters really cut through and bring out the fine detail in the "iris scan" of the Seagull's eye.

This is the first 5.3 hours of just the Sulphur channel Sii.

The equipment is the AART or as you may know it G11 on Global Rent-a-Scope.
Enjoy for now.....I'll update again soon.


Update #2 Color building nicely - 12 hours deep now!!!! Need to start managing that Ha channel as the star sizes are bigger than the Sii and Oiii for most stars.


Update #3
Out to 12.9 Hours now. Over 3.5G of data and 260 individual images! 24 Minutes of RGB added to the Narrowband Channels to tidy up the stars. This zoomed in crop shows the depth that comes with long duration exposures. However I can't give the game away fully yet as the full size version final version will be my entry for David Malin Awards this year.

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