First astrophoto from my recently completed KStars/Ekos/INDI controlled obsy, in Bortle 8-9 skies (maybe Bortle 11 if I account for the street lamp 30 meters away! ). I hope I can get more subs if and when the clouds go away. Polar alignment needs to be refined.
WO GTF81 on Avalon M-Zero OBS mount
ZWO ASI1600MM Pro
Astronomik 6nm Ha filter
ZWO ASI290MM guide camera on ZWO OAG
Processed with PixInsight and Affinity Photo
I imaged NGC7380 (the Wizard Nebula) the other night capturing both RGB and Halpha. I have an ASI533 MC with an SX filterwheel, Baader filters, an SX OAG with Lodestar guiding with Phd2. It was sort of a test run as the ASI533 is new to me. I captured 20x120sec subs at RGB and then 5x300sec subs with the Halpha in place. I stacked using DSS, with Darks and Flats and then add the Halpha channel to the Red channel of the RGB using Photoshop. The night sky was dark and not much wind, but where I am by the coast, the humidity is high and I don't have a good handle on the seeing. However, the guiding was very good. I know I am using the wrong combination of optics for this target, but it was what I had set up. My 9.25" SCT f/10 has a Celestron f/6.3 reducer in front of the OAG, FW and camera, I believe my back focus is about at the right location (105mm for the reducer), but I have not tested that by changing the back focus. Also, the FOV is a bit small for this target, next time I may use a different scope. It was also my first time processing Halpha with RGB as my previous camera (SBIG 8300M) was mono. Because of the limited data I did not spend a lot of time on the processing, but still it came out decent.
Thanks Pixinsight is one luxury I have not allowed myself yet. I will look that up and see if there are other methods to implement it. I thought I had just overexposed the RGB subs, that 2 minutes was too long for mainly just the stars. But I could see the faint nebulosity in those images and thought a longer integration time would help. It wasn't until I ran the Halpha that I realized that it would bring out the nebulosity much more (well I knew that, I just did not think of that before).
Yes, I just checked my version of Photoshop and I had loaded that plug-in one time in the past. I applied it strong to the image and it did seem to help with the green aspect, but not so much the halo around stars. I still have a lot to learn about post-processing images. Anyway here is the image with HLVG applied.
It says that it is based on the same algorithm that PixiInsight uses.
On the long run, if you are serious about getting the best possible results from your frames, you will not be able to get around PixInsight. It is hands down the best, but also the hardest to learn, program for processing astrophotos. The license is good for a life-time and you can use it on Windows, Macs and Linux machines.
I have not even scratched the surface yet of what PixInsight can do, but I am already lightyears ahead of what Photoshop would allow me to do, unless I buy all sorts of extensions which cumulatively cost more than what is fully included in PixInsight.
Atlas Pro AZ-EQ, ASI1600MM-Pro, ASI120MM-S, ES102ED, WO-Z61, Nikon D3300, ASI-EFW, ZWO LRGB,Ha,O3,S2 filter set