K3's Astronomy - Deep Sky
"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

M57 - The Ring Nebula

A, Detailed Photos
B, Wide Angle Photos

A, Detailed Photos


Click the picture to see full resolution photo (0.96"/pixel).
M57 (The Ring Nebula) 2.10.2002 (20:00 - 21:36 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675 SC2
Telescope: 8" F6 OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 129x30s (gain 100%, Amp OFF, outdoor white balance), 16xDF
Captured and processed by K3CCDTools, then in Maxim DL Demo, IRIS and Corel PhotoPaint.
Seeing: very soft haze, lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.2, temperature 10C

This is the first light with my enhanced GEM1 mount (autoguided). I captured 175 frames AVI and selected 129 best frames (74%) without sign of periodic error. Stars up to 18mag are visible.
Better results should be achieved from not light polluted city. Furthermore I am limited by a viewport of my "balcony observatory". I could start to take photos of M57 only when it was only in 55 altitude. At the end of imaging session it was only 34 above (light polluted) horizon.
Processing details:
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 IRIS
4, Richardson-Lucy deconvolution for each R-G-B channel in IRIS
5, combining R-G-B plates into TrueColor bitmap in IRIS

Stars up to magnitude 18 were detected. Even IC1296 spiral galaxy (14.8mag) was captured.

More detailed info about imaging this photo you can find here: M57 (2.10.2002) processing details


Look here for M57 surroundings maps and star data catalogue.


Click the picture to see full resolution photo (0.96"/pixel).
The same source as above, but another (simplier) postprocessing:

1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools, then exported to FIT
2, histogram stretching in Maxim DL Demo
3, cutted red channel's low end of histogram (light pollution) in Corel PhotoPaint
4, adaptive unsharp mask (66%) in Corel PhotoPaint

More detailed info about imaging this photo you can find here: M57 (2.10.2002) processing details


Look here for M57 surroundings maps and star data catalogue.


Click the picture to see full resolution photo (0.96"/pixel).
M57 (The Ring Nebula) 25.08.2002 (24.08.2002, 22:19 - 23:28 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675 SC2
Telescope: 8" F6 OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 45x20s (gain 100%, Amp OFF), 15xDF
Captured and processed by K3CCDTools, then in Maxim DL Demo and Corel PhotoPaint.
Seeing: hazy, almost full Moon, lim.magnitude for naked eye 3.8, temperature 17C

Although conditions were not very good, I couldn't resist to capture M57. I captured 187 frames AVI and selected 45 best frames (24%) without sign of periodic error. Stars up to17 mag are visible.
Processing details:
1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools, then exported to FIT
2, gamma 1.25 in Maxim DL Demo(value 0.8), histogram stretching
3, color tone corrections + flatten background in Maxim DL
4, brightness-contrast-intensity and noise reduction in Corel PhotoPaint

Look here for M57 surroundings maps and star data catalogue.

You can see the full size (2.09"/pixel) here.
M57 (The Ring Nebula) 10.11.2001 (20:07 - 20:34 UT)
Resolution: 3.14 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC + 0.6FR
Telescope: 8" F6 OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F3.6
Exposure: 31x20s (gain 80%), 36xDF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5, temperature 1C

The focal reducer is a great thing! Better exposure and better tracking. Stars up to17 mag are visible.

Look here for M57 surroundings maps and star data catalogue.


Place mouse pointer above the photo to see the labels.
M57 (The Ring Nebula) 14.10.2001 (19:59 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC at prime focus
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Exposure: 9x20s (gain 80%), 10xDF
Seeing: very light fog, lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5

The same night as above, but another exposure time was selected. 20s exposure time seems to be maximum for Orion Europa GEM1 equatorial mount. After seeking on Internet I managed to find very good catalogue of the nearby stars around M57. I think, that magnitude values are more exact. Look here for M57 surroundings maps and star data catalogue. Central star has 15.3mag. According to this catalogue, the stars with 16.4mag are in the limit of detection. It is stunning fact, if you consider camera for 50$ and my "urban balcony observatory". Thank you very much, Steve.

See the more details about processing.


Place mouse pointer above the photo to see the labels.
M57 (The Ring Nebula) 14.10.2001 (19:05 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC at prime focus
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Exposure: 46x6s (gain 100%), 60xDF
Seeing: very light fog, lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5

The second attempt was more successful. Better weather allowed to capture stars fainter than 15mag. The magnitude values are from GSC (HST Guide Star Catalogue). The stars with "?" were not present ind GSC. Central star has (according to GSC) 14.7mag.

See the more details about processing.



Place mouse pointer above the photo to see the labels.
You can see the full size (0.96"/pixel)
here.
M57 (The Ring Nebula) 6.10.2001 (22:30 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC at prime focus
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Exposure: 5x5s (gain 75%), 4xDF
Seeing: foggy, lim.magnitude for naked eye 2.8

The first light of Philips Vesta 675SC
This is my very first deep sky photo in my life. The conditions were terrible - very foggy, telescope not polar aligned. But I was very eager to try my Vesta camera just modificated for long exposures. I didn't see any nebulae on my photos, so I decided to take a photos at least the stars around the Ring nebula. I couldn't use longer exposure because of poor polar alignment. So I did a series of 5photos of sky and 4 photos of dark frame. After processing in my K3CCDTools, I was very surprised, when I beheld the well-known ring in the left bottom part of my images. I had luck to capture the nebula into view angle of the camera. It is humble photo, but I think , that it is a good start point (the faintest star is 13 mag).

See the processing procedure.

B, Wide Angle Photos


Click the picture to see full resolution photo (1016x761 pixels, 4.74"/pixel).
M57 (The Ring Nebula) 01.10.2002 (30.09.2002, 22:04 - 22:17 UT)
Resolution: 14.2 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 995, f=18.8mm
Telescope: 80mm F5 Refractor, 25mm eyepiece afocal
Result focal length: 300.8mm (~37X Zoom)
Result focal ratio: F3.76
Exposure: 12x20s (ISO800, incadescent -3), Noise Reduction
Camera control: The Force software
Processed by K3CCDTools, then in Corel PhotoPaint.
Seeing: nice clear skies (in light poluted city), but windy,
lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5, temperature 11C

This is my first session with Nikon digital camera and afocal projection. Stars up to13.5 mag are visible (in full size photo and correctly calibrated monitor). The field of view is almost 1.5.
Color of the nebula is not very nice, because I used Incadescent white balance. The image is without flat field correction.
Processing details:
1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools
2, gamma 1.5 in K3CCDTools
3, resized to 50% in Corel PhotoPaint, 60% adaptive unsharp mask
4, brightness-contrast-intensity in Corel PhotoPaint


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Last Update: 01.10.2002