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M57 - High Dynamic Range Image


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About this observation
Dean Ashton
Time of observation
17/06/2017 - 23:00
Observing location
St Austell, Cornwall UK
235mm Celestron EdgeHD SCT at /f10
Celestron CGEM
Celestron Nightscape – TEC 0oC
LoadstarX2 guide camera with off-axis guiding
Electronic starlight feather touch focuser using BOSS II control system
53x300s f/10
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An old familiar favourite, the Ring Nebula in Lyra.  In this image I attempted to capture some of the structure in the ring by: capturing in excess of 4-hours of light frames; and combining the use of PixInsight and PhotoShop to create a high dynamic range image.

Recent research has confirmed that M57 is, most probably, actually a ring (torus) of bright light-emitting material surrounding its central star, and not a spherical (or ellipsoidal) shell. Viewed from its equatorial plane, it would thus more resemble the Dumbbell Nebula M27 than its appearance we know from here. We happen to view it from near one pole.

M57 image capture took place on 16th June 2017 from St. Austell, Cornwall.  Weather: 17.2oC. 72% Humidity, pressure 1004mb

M57 image capture also took place on 17th June 2017.  Weather: 16.8oC. 81% Humidity, pressure 1002mb

A total of 53x300second (4 hours and 20 minutes) light frames were calibrated, stacked and initially processed in PixInsight.  In order to create the high dynamic range in this image, five separate images were created in PixInsight with different levels of non-linear stretching.  The five images were then layered and blended in Photoshop to create the single high dynamic rang image.

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