K3's Astronomy - Messier Catalog
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is Man that You are mindful of him?" -- Psalm 8:3,4

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula

Click the image to see full resolution picture (1.32"/pixel).
M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula

This is LRGB composition of the images below:
L component   87x6s
SAC8
(19.09.2003)
RGB component   36x40s + 72x40s
Vesta 675SC2
(24.10. and 29.10.2002)

As LRGB image was only a part of field of view SAC8, I combined color image with the grayscale image of SAC8.


Click the image to see full resolution picture (1.32"/pixel).
M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula 19.09.2003 (21:54 - 20:25UT)
Resolution: 1.65 arcsec/pixel
Camera: SAC8 at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 87x06s (gain 50%, HiRes, Amp Off), 30xDF
Capturing: K3CCDTools
Processing: AVIDark, K3CCDTools, K3APEX, Loreal
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.0, soft haze

This is my first light of SAC8 camera with my Europa Newtonian.
Processing:
1. Preprocessed by AVIDark (elimination of horizontal gradient)
2, Stacked by K3CCDTools and exported to FIT
3, Processed by K3APEX (Digital development)
4, Postprocessed by Loreal (to remove star ears)

Many thanks to Jon Grove for inventing JG modification!


Click the image to see full resolution picture (1.32"/pixel).
The same AVI source as above, but stronger histogram stretching to reveal fainter stars.
I processed FIT with PIXY2 software (matching stars with star catalogs). It identified about 4000 stars.

I am afraid that my limit is now light and air polluted sky :-(

Click the image to see M27 picture with higher resolution (80% of full resolution = 1.2"/pixel).
You can also look at
100% resolution (0.96"/pixel), but the image suffers from rather high noise.

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula (24.10.2002 and 29.10.2002)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 36x40s + 72x40s (gain 100%, Amp Off, Outdoors white balance), DF, Flat Field

This image is product of combining (sum) the results from 24.10.2002 and 29.10.2002 (see bellow) in MaximDL Demo. The result was a little bit de-noised in Corel PhotoPaint. Then slight brightness-contrast-intensity adjustment. Finally, very small color saturation enhancement was applied.

Click the image to see M27 picture with higher resolution (80% of full resolution = 1.2"/pixel).
You can also look at
100% resolution (0.96"/pixel), but the image suffers from rather high noise.

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula 29.10.2002 (19:23 - 20:25UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 36x40s (gain 100%, Amp Off, Outdoors white balance), 25xDF, Flat Field
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.0, temperature 4C.

Another attempt of imaging M27 - with homemade autoguiding system. Unfortunatelly I started imaging too late, so I had not enough frames for summation. I also noticed, that Flat field had to be used, when stronger histogram stretching was applied - it suppresses not homogeneous gain of the whole CCD area.
In this session I was able to focus the image much better (using my homemade electronic focuser).

Processing:
1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools
2, histogram stretching and gamma 1.20 in K3CCDTools
3, noise reduction in Neat Image
4, adjusted brightness-contrast-intensity in Corel PhotoPaint
5, resized to 50% (80%) and unsharp mask

Click the image to see M27 picture with higher resolution (80% of full resolution = 1.2"/pixel).
You can also look at
100% resolution (0.96"/pixel), but the image suffers from rather high noise.

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula 24.10.2002 (19:27 - 20:49UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 72x40s (gain 100%, Amp Off, Auto white balance), 30xDF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.2, temperature 5C.
Moon 3.5 days after full moon (phase 88.7%).

The new attempt of imaging M27 - with homemade autoguiding system. 40s (!) exposures were possible even without focal reducer. 72 frames of 105 (i.e. 69%!) were usable. The main obstacle was Moon (phase 88.7%, altitude about 30 above horizon), which disabled longer exposures and wiped off dim details of M27. It also caused lower contrast of image. I also noticed that it's better to use "Outdoors" white balance settings - in auto white balance the red color component is suppressed.

Processing:
1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools
2, histogram stretching and gamma 1.30 in K3CCDTools, saved as PNG
3, low end histogram cut for R channel in Corel PhotoPaint
4, Gaussian blur (0.65 pixel) in Corel PhotoPaint
5, resized to 50% (80%) and unsharp mask
6, adjusted brightness-contrast-intensisty
7, color balance (to supress blue component and enhance red component)


Click the image to see M27 picture with higher resolution (80% of full resolution = 1.2"/pixel).
The same source as above, but processed in Maxim DL Demo:
1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools, then exported to FIT
2, histogram stretching in Maxim DL Demo
3, low end histogram cut for R channel in Corel PhotoPaint
4, Gaussian blur (0.65 pixel) in Corel PhotoPaint
5, resized to 50% (80%) and unsharp mask
6, adjusted brightness-contrast-intensisty
7, color balance (to supress blue component and enhance red component)
M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula 10.11.2001 (19:23 - 19:57UT)
Resolution: 3.14 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC at prime focus with 0.60FR
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F3.6
Exposure: combining 40x20s (gain 80%), 36xDF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5, temperature 1C

The first test of Steven's Mogg 0.6x focal reducer. Much better results with "faster" focal ratio - better exposure and smaller tracking error.

Click the image to see more pictures of M27 with higher resolution (2.09"/pixel).

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula 24.10.2001 (20:40 - 20:51UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: combining 13x25s + 4x45s (gain 80%), 15xDF + 5xDF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5, temperature 4C (camera 8C)

Second try with better results. I couldn't decide which result was better: 25s exposure or 45s exposure? Then I get an idea to combine both images. Here is the result.

See the more details about processing M27 images.

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula 14.10.2001 (21:06 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 Orion Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 11x20s (gain 100%), 10xDF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5

The nice planetary nebula. Very hard to capture because of faint structure.


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Last Update: 23.09.2003