NGC7293, The Helix Nebula

Helix nebula

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Sept. 6 2009

I’ve had a nice, but wet, weekend at a friend’s cottage.  We managed to do a bit of observing – Jupiter was magnificent last night.  I spent a lot of the remainder of the time re-processing shots taken in the past year.

The imaging for this shot of the Helix Nebula was done at last year’s Huronia Star Party (thanks Mike R, for suggesting it).  I have processed it previously in Photoshop; a few times, actually.  But lately, using PixInisght, I seem to be able to find detail and depth that I wasn’t able to tease out using Photoshop.  This shot reveals the faint outer shell to the upper right, and show the tips of the nebula, as well as more detail in the core.

6x10m light frames.   Acquired using Nebulosity 2 software, QHY8 camera (Gain=0; Offset=125) with UV/IR filter and a105 mm f/6 refractor on a Vixen GP-DX mount.  The mount was autoguided using PHD software, and the KWiqGuide system from KW Telescope.   Light frames were calibrated with 9 darks (bad pixel mapping only), 50 flats and 50 bias frames. The calibration was done in Images Plus 3.0.  Alignment, stacking and processing were done using PixInsight (or Images Plus and Photoshop, for “v2”).    Final PixInsight image was saved as a jpg at full scale, about 2.55 arcsec/pixel, with minimal cropping.   Shot at the 2009 Huronia Star Party, in Duntroon, ON.