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The Rose


Posted by crw816 on Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:32 am

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Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 300mm f2.8is II, f2.8, 60sec, ISO 1600, LPS filter, Sky-Watcher Equatorial Mount, Unguided, 72 Exposures at 60sec for total of 72min of Exposure, Manually Aligned With PS, Final Edits PS and LR

Please view in shadowbox.

I ventured out last night into my back yard in the light polluted area of Burlington, Vermont at -10 degrees to shoot NGC2237, known as the Rosette Nebula. This is a very large faint nebula located in between the constellations of Monoceros and Orion.  It is an estimated 5,000 light years away.  It is a very large object in the winter night sky, approximately 150 light years across, and taking up more than 1 degree of the sky.  For reference, the moon is about 0.5 degrees in diameter! 

The red illumination are emission nebula (Clouds of high temperature gas, predominantly hydrogen) and the dark fractures are dark neubula (clouds of cold dark dust in space illuminated by objects behind).   

I shot these images over the course of three and half hours.  My mount is not really designed to handle the weight of a 300f2.8, so most of the images showed elongated stars.  The keeper rate was about 33%.  Because the images were shot over such a long period of time, there is a slight amount of rotation misalignment.  I corrected this for the most part, however there is still a noticeable amount in the lower left of this image.  It's a painstaking process, so when I find the time, I may go back to re-work.  Overall, I am pleased with the results. 

Let me know what you think!

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by Gary Briney on Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:01 pm
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Love it!
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by John Labrenz on Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:46 pm
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Chris...this is insanely cool!!!!
Love it.
I think you should write up an article on how to achieve this.
 

by Chris Kayler on Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:45 pm
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Hi Chris,

Really beautiful nebula. I've been watching the series Cosmos lately ... man, space is wild :D. You already mentioned any nits that I had regarding the elongated stars. The contrast is particularly well done with a nice dark sky to offset the stars, and the highlights look bright but natural. The white balance does seem to be a bit towards the magenta/red side perhaps? I might try to cool it down just a touch so that the black wasn't picking up as much of that red and maybe it would help offset the nebular even better. Just a thought. Enjoyed looking at this one!
 

by crw816 on Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:10 pm
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Chris Kayler wrote:
Hi Chris,

Really beautiful nebula. I've been watching the series Cosmos lately ... man, space is wild :D. You already mentioned any nits that I had regarding the elongated stars. The contrast is particularly well done with a nice dark sky to offset the stars, and the highlights look bright but natural. The white balance does seem to be a bit towards the magenta/red side perhaps? I might try to cool it down just a touch so that the black wasn't picking up as much of that red and maybe it would help offset the nebular even better. Just a thought. Enjoyed looking at this one!

Thank you for your comments Chris.  Regarding the white balance, it is possible that the balance is off, however the reddish tone that you see in the black are very faint nebula that extend beyond the main and more vibrant Rosette Complex.  I believe that these fain wisps of nebula extend for quite a ways beyond, at least they more or less extend to the edges of my 300mm frame.  (In some areas they are even darker).  I've seen similar effects in other areas of the sky such as the Horsehead and Flame Nebula, where the faint reddish wisps extend far out into space.
 

by Dick Ginkowski on Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:24 pm
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You had fun and it worked well, too.
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by Missy Mandel on Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:12 am
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Painstaking it may have been, but it was well worth it! This image is absolutely beautiful. Congrats on a well deserved EP!
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by xicabala on Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:04 pm
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Wow! Incredible!
 

by crw816 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:50 pm
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Thank you everyone for the encouragement!
 

by pleverington on Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:43 pm
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I'm impressed. And no tracking? 60 seconds with a 300 is probably the limit eh? Chris if you have the time could you describe what you did in PP to produce this. I bought a star tracker and intend on putting a long lens on it but have yet to get started with all that. Pure newbie you see. Actually weight wise, I theoretically can put the 600 on the tracker--should I even try?

This would look great blown up large and hung on the wall. Well done!

Paul
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by crw816 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:12 pm
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pleverington wrote:
I'm impressed. And no tracking? 60 seconds with a 300 is probably the limit eh? Chris if you have the time could you describe what you did in PP to produce this. I bought a star tracker and intend on putting a long lens on it but have yet to get started with all that. Pure newbie you see. Actually weight wise, I theoretically can put the 600 on the tracker--should I even try?

This would look great blown up large and hung on the wall. Well done!

Paul


Paul,

Actually, this image did require tracking (just no guiding).  Without tracking you would start to see star trails with just a couple of seconds.  I'm not sure what the limit would be for your star tracker.  I know with my rig (budget model sky-watcher) that the 300 f2.8 is really the limit for weight.  I notice that the unit starts to slip a little with the 300, so that my keeper rate (images with pinpoint stars) is only about 35% with a 60 second exposure.  I imagine that a 600 would be even worse, plus would require twice the exposure time with the slower aperture.... you'll have to test it out to see what the time limits would be, and it will likely be dependent on your target as well.  The Orion Nebula is very bright and does not require long exposures, while the Rosette is very faint, so a relatively long exposure was required at f2.8. 

It's always worth a try!  I think once I have some cash to burn I will get an Orion Tracking Mount.  I know this will work well with heavy long lenses.  I went with the sky-watcher as a cheap way to get into astrophotography to make sure I really got into it.

More to come on the PP...

-Chris
 

by pleverington on Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:39 am
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Thanks Chris.I guess I'm a little confused as to what the difference between tracking and guiding is. They sound the same thing. This tracker I bought is called the "Astrotrak" and will support 12 pounds. It is nice because the weight is right over the tripod center rather than way out on an arm that then needs counterbalance. Just to let you know if you already haven't heard of it.

Paul
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by Diane Miller on Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:14 pm
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I've hardly participated here -- time for that to change! Especially since I've been seeing a few astro shots that are just wonderful. I've never had a telescope but bought an Astrotrac about a year ago, hoping to find further use for long lenses.

It's been a process getting it adapted for heavy lenses, but I can now use the 300 f/2.8 + 1.4X, and even risked the 600 once. I do use the counterbalance arm for easier aiming. Now using the 7D2 and hoping the 100-400 II will give good quality. And just starting to use Helicon Remote for focusing and camera control.

I should post my most recent one, of the Orion Nebula.
 

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