Well, this has been an utterly crappy autumn with a total of 2 good nights worth of astrophotography……. First one was good, but the second night out, the filter wheel’s motor failed ( related to cold?) and ruined the night. So, I’m not moving super forward with my 2 big projects im working on.

The first one is a 12 panel mosaic (YUP, TWELVE) of the heart nebula in narrowband, the Ha data is almost done. I expect this project to take at least 2 years. The resolution will be crazy believe me!

The second one is a 6 pane mosaic of the Orion Nebula. It is available during this time of the year and with the Holidays coming, not much has been done. Hopefully in January I can get some good data in if Mother Nature cooperates a little more…

Testing the mosaic construction
Testing the mosaic construction

This is the canvas of those 2 projects. These are just to give you an idea of what I’m imaging. These 2 pictures are what I would call ”master image registrators” where I only took one sub of each panel and blended them together in PixInsight. Then, every other subs will be registered to those and stacked to improve signal, details, sharpness and reduce noise. For the Hearth Nebula, each panel will count 8 subs in Ha and 8 subs in OIII. All subs are 30 minutes so to give an exemple, in this image above you see a total integration time (unprocessed) of 6 hours. The final picture will have a total integration time of 96 hours!!! You can then imagine the level of signal and details ! So far, I’m at 36 hours accumulated but I’m waiting to finish completely the first channel (Ha) to start working on it. Click on the image then choose ”full size” on the right to appreciate the scale this one will have !

In contrast, the Orion Nebula will be an HDR integration of different exposures time per channel (Ha, OIII, SII)  to be able to capture all the details in this image with broad dynamic range. The total integration time planned is 90 hours or so. The image below is just one sub per panel of Ha (unprocessed) for a mere 4,5 hours. So far all the shorter subs are in the bag for each channels, I just hope to finish the Ha this year. Again, this will take more than 2 years to fully finish. In the meantime, I’ll be working on smaller images, since I’m imaging multiple targets per night depending on their visibility. ( Again, for the image below, click on it then choose ”view full size” on the right. )

6 panels of Ha
6 panels of Ha

Stay tuned!

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