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NGC 7009 "Saturn" Nebula


Scope: C8 f/10;  Location: Del Mar, CA,  9 Aug. 2004 (Luminance exposures) and 16 Aug. 2004 (Color exposures);  Camera: ToUcam SC3

Exposure: 16 x 32 sec, 20 x 10 esc, and 20 x 5 sec Luminance with IR/UV blocking  filter, 16 x 30 sec each RGB  filter and 24 x 10 sec Blue.

Processing: Images were captured in K3CCDTools. Aligned/stacked in Registax and saved as FITS. Luminance and Color channels were scaled and rough color balanced in Astroart. Channels were co-registered in Astroart. Long Luminance exposure was used for the star field and the shorter Luminance exposures were used for the nebula itself (to avoid saturation of features). Luminance and Color FITS were combined in Photoshop with Luminance Layering. Color balancing and final touches in Photoshop. The 30 sec blue exposure was saturated - it was used for the star field only. The 10 sec Blue was used for the nebula itself. As a result, Red and Green in the nebula are brighter than they should be. SGBNR was used to smooth background noise on the final result. Resized to approximately 800x600.

This image was taken with steady skies at a light polluted site. This is a guided image. The nebula is called the Saturn Nebula. It features are reminiscent of the planet Saturn with its rings. This image has to be considered a composite since an image of the nebula with its star field would be a saturated white blob. Here, the star field histogram was stretched and brightened aggressively while the nebula itself de-saturated with shorter exposures.  Horizontal FOV is 8'


All images and content remain the property of Jim Thommes - copyright 2003 - 2012

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