M8 & M20, The Lagoon & Trifid Nebulae

M8 and m20

Click image for full size version

September, 2009

I am already looking forward to the summer Milky Way because it contains lots of showpiece objects, like the two in this photo!  These are the Lagoon Nebula (M8) at right and the Trifid Nebula (M20) to the upper left.  I acquired the light for these images last September during the Huronia Star Party.  This is a stack of  20 unguided 2-minute exposures.  All processing was done in PixInsight.  Compared to the original version sent out last year (some of you have it), the colours are more natural and pop more, and the image is less noisy.  More detail can also be seen in the dark areas of both nebulae.

20×2 minute light frames.  Acquired using Nebulosity 2 software, QHY8 camera (Gain=0; Offset=125) with UV/IR filter and a 4″ f/6 refractor on a Vixen GP-DX mount.  No guiding.   Light frames were calibrated with 16 darks (bad pixel mapping only), 50 flats and 50 bias frames.  The calibration, grading, normalization, alignment and stacking were done in Images Plus 3.0.  The stacked image was processed in PixInsight – Final tweaks were made in Photoshop and saved as a .jpg at full scale.   Shot from the Huronia Star Party 2009, near Duntroon, ON.  FOUR AMAZING NIGHTS OF CLEAR SKIES!