M81 & M82

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Jockinireland
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M81 & M82

#1

Post by Jockinireland »

Thursday was promised good so I set up nice and early planning to have a crack at the Monkey Head before it dropped too low. Got set up, polar aligned and on target (I could actually see it in a 30s test- Yay!). Decided I needed to go to a brighter star to get focus right. Five minutes later i go back to the Monkey Head and it has vanished behind cloud. I nearly cried!!

Anyway I sat it out for a couple of hours and then moved to Bodes Galaxy. Got PHD2 going and baby-sat it through a Automatic Meridian Flip (my first ever and I have to say it was a bit scary) then went to bed. I got just over 6 hours on target and was really happy everything went fine but to be quite honest I'm a bit disappointment in the result. I was hoping for more detail in both the galaxies but perhaps I need more FL for that?

I found this REALLY REALLY hard to process too. Trying the get the contrast and colour in both the galaxies at the same time was torture. But hey-ho, no one ever told me AP was easy.

Anyway I'd appreciate some Ideas on how this one could be improved.

SW 80ED, SW 0.85FR/FF
NEQ6
Modded EOS1100D
Guided with SW Evoguide 50ED ZWO ASI120mm Mini
91 X240s Iso 800
Bodes_from_APP_E-noMBB-mod-NoSt rgb 4 final j.jpg
Full res image is here https://astrob.in/yin9wk/0/

David
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
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#2

Post by MariusD69 »

Awesome! Well done, David!
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Cameras: ASI294MC Pro; Atik 314L+mono; Canon 1100D; QHY5III-178m; QHY5L-II-m ; ASI224; Altair GPCAM 290M, GPCAM290C
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#3

Post by Makuser »

Hello David. Wow, this is a great image of M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (Cigar Galaxy) on the Astrobin site. Nice spiral arms and dark dust lanes on M81, and you got the dark central fracture of M82 in your capture. You did an excellent job of processing here David, and thanks for sharing this most enjoyable view with us.
- Marshall
Orion Astroview 120ST f/5 Refractor on EQ3 mount
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Orion 180mm f/15 Maksutov-Cassegrain on CG5-GT Goto mount.
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#4

Post by Larry 1969 »

Nice shot! From what I've heard, processing both galaxies is tough because of M81's bright core. It involves masking and techniques I'm not familiar with. Great job!

Larry
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#5

Post by Juno16 »

Really nice image David! These two a great pair! Great work here!

If you don’t mind me asking, what software do you use for processing?
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO, Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT.
Mounts: Celestron AVX with Orion MM Autoguider, SLT;
Binoculars: Bushnell 10X50
Camera / Software: Nikon D5300 (Ha mod), IDAS LPS D-1 Filter, Astrophotography Tool, PHD2, SharpCap v3.2, StarTools 1.6 alpha, PE14
Dog: Jack
Sky: Bortle 7
Astro Photos https://flickr.com/photos/157183480@N07 ... 7681236785
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Jockinireland
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#6

Post by Jockinireland »

Larry 1969 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:56 pm
Nice shot! From what I've heard, processing both galaxies is tough because of M81's bright core. It involves masking and techniques I'm not familiar with. Great job!

Larry
Thanks Larry, yes that was the problem, both the difference in brightness and contrast levels between the two - adjust for one and the other blew out and also the difference in colours. So I ended up doing several layers of masks to do them separately. But I am not sure that I was using the right masking method. I need to read up a bit about the right solution to this type of image.

But it will be a while before I try one like that again - isnt this supposed to be fun! :lol:
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
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#7

Post by helicon »

Just beautiful David - thanks for the share!
-Michael
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#8

Post by Jockinireland »

Juno16 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:19 pm
Really nice image David! These two a great pair! Great work here!

If you don’t mind me asking, what software do you use for processing?
Hi Jim,

I routinely process in Astro Pixel Processor up to 90% or so then finish off in Photoshop. But for this I was finding APP was not doing its usual good job - it was not handling the different galaxies well and I was getting almost nothing in the cigar.

So I stacked in APP (I tried DSS too but no better) then pulled a linear image into Photoshop and took it from first principles. But it has honestly taken me most of the day to get it where it is now. Its just as well we are in virtual Covid-10 lockdown here. And it was raining!!

I think you use Startools? I was struggling so much with this yesterday I tried putting it into startools - (I bought that a while ago but have never really got on with it). But since I really dont know how to use starTools the result was ...... not fantastic!

If you'd like to give this one a go in StartTools I'll give you the linear stack in either TIFF or FITS (its about 140meg for some reason) because I really feel like StarTools should have been able to do a better job than I was getting and I'd like to see that.
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
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#9

Post by Juno16 »

Jockinireland wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:59 pm
Juno16 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:19 pm
Really nice image David! These two a great pair! Great work here!

If you don’t mind me asking, what software do you use for processing?
Hi Jim,

I routinely process in Astro Pixel Processor up to 90% or so then finish off in Photoshop. But for this I was finding APP was not doing its usual good job - it was not handling the different galaxies well and I was getting almost nothing in the cigar.

So I stacked in APP (I tried DSS too but no better) then pulled a linear image into Photoshop and took it from first principles. But it has honestly taken me most of the day to get it where it is now. Its just as well we are in virtual Covid-10 lockdown here. And it was raining!!

I think you use Startools? I was struggling so much with this yesterday I tried putting it into startools - (I bought that a while ago but have never really got on with it). But since I really dont know how to use starTools the result was ...... not fantastic!

If you'd like to give this one a go in StartTools I'll give you the linear stack in either TIFF or FITS (its about 140meg for some reason) because I really feel like StarTools should have been able to do a better job than I was getting and I'd like to see that.
Sure David. I’m no pro, but if you can link me to the fits, I will give it a go in Startools. Or, someone else here might too!
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO, Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT.
Mounts: Celestron AVX with Orion MM Autoguider, SLT;
Binoculars: Bushnell 10X50
Camera / Software: Nikon D5300 (Ha mod), IDAS LPS D-1 Filter, Astrophotography Tool, PHD2, SharpCap v3.2, StarTools 1.6 alpha, PE14
Dog: Jack
Sky: Bortle 7
Astro Photos https://flickr.com/photos/157183480@N07 ... 7681236785
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#10

Post by Jockinireland »

Hi Jim,

Google drive link below (I dont do this very often so if it doesn't work let me know)

Looking forward to seeing what you, and anyone else can do. Please keep a note of your process to share so i can learn from what you do.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

David.
Juno16 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:03 pm
Jockinireland wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:59 pm
Juno16 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:19 pm
Really nice image David! These two a great pair! Great work here!

If you don’t mind me asking, what software do you use for processing?
Hi Jim,

I routinely process in Astro Pixel Processor up to 90% or so then finish off in Photoshop. But for this I was finding APP was not doing its usual good job - it was not handling the different galaxies well and I was getting almost nothing in the cigar.

So I stacked in APP (I tried DSS too but no better) then pulled a linear image into Photoshop and took it from first principles. But it has honestly taken me most of the day to get it where it is now. Its just as well we are in virtual Covid-10 lockdown here. And it was raining!!

I think you use Startools? I was struggling so much with this yesterday I tried putting it into startools - (I bought that a while ago but have never really got on with it). But since I really dont know how to use starTools the result was ...... not fantastic!

If you'd like to give this one a go in StartTools I'll give you the linear stack in either TIFF or FITS (its about 140meg for some reason) because I really feel like StarTools should have been able to do a better job than I was getting and I'd like to see that.
Sure David. I’m no pro, but if you can link me to the fits, I will give it a go in Startools. Or, someone else here might too!
Hi Jim,

Google drive link below (I dont do this very often so if it doesn't work let me know)

Looking forward to seeing what you, and anyone else can do. Please keep a note of your process to share so i can learn from what you do.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

David.
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
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#11

Post by Juno16 »

Hi David,

Sorry, I did this really quick. Eating dinner and wife wants to go for a walk!

Anyway, colors are kind of personal, but this is my quick shot. Very nice image! Man, you captured lots of other dim targets!
323CAB7A-2F22-42EC-8448-BE33F35F7599.jpeg
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO, Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT.
Mounts: Celestron AVX with Orion MM Autoguider, SLT;
Binoculars: Bushnell 10X50
Camera / Software: Nikon D5300 (Ha mod), IDAS LPS D-1 Filter, Astrophotography Tool, PHD2, SharpCap v3.2, StarTools 1.6 alpha, PE14
Dog: Jack
Sky: Bortle 7
Astro Photos https://flickr.com/photos/157183480@N07 ... 7681236785
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#12

Post by Jockinireland »

Thanks Jom, that's nice. Much better than what I managed from star tools. If you get a chance note down your process so I can give it a go.

Yes I was amazed at all the "faint fuzzies" too.

Enjoy your walk

David
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
Various eyepieces
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#13

Post by Juno16 »

Jockinireland wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:03 pm
Thanks Jom, that's nice. Much better than what I managed from star tools. If you get a chance note down your process so I can give it a go.

Yes I was amazed at all the "faint fuzzies" too.

Enjoy your walk

David
Back from the walk!

Here is the log file with all of the processing steps. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SMsRVm ... sp=sharing

I just chopped a big crop because I really didn't see much in the way of stacking artifacts. I just to wanted to play it safe. Amazing such a clean stack with a meridian flip. Did you use Intersection stacking in DSS?
Definitely use less crop. You'll catch more of the faint fuzzies.

I did see some "walking noise" in the stretched image. Did you dither?

Play around with the settings. I just blasted through it really quick. Once you get more familiar with Startools, you will feel better about it.

This is my 3 hour M81/M82 image from February https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vCF6lh ... sp=sharing.

See what I mean about the color? That is my personal interpretation of what looks good to me. Play with it and see what you come up with. I think that you might be able to pull out better detail with Startools.

Thanks for letting me take a shot at your data! Day 21 of clouds here!
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 Triplet APO, Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT.
Mounts: Celestron AVX with Orion MM Autoguider, SLT;
Binoculars: Bushnell 10X50
Camera / Software: Nikon D5300 (Ha mod), IDAS LPS D-1 Filter, Astrophotography Tool, PHD2, SharpCap v3.2, StarTools 1.6 alpha, PE14
Dog: Jack
Sky: Bortle 7
Astro Photos https://flickr.com/photos/157183480@N07 ... 7681236785
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#14

Post by yobbo89 »

Very nice, even though you had problems with the colour balance it still turned out well, did you use a lp filter?
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#15

Post by Jockinireland »

yobbo89 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:47 am
Very nice, even though you had problems with the colour balance it still turned out well, did you use a lp filter?
Thanks for that. No lp filter on this one. The map says I'm bottle 4 but there is a big sodium street lamp just outside my garden so I have both CLS and UHC filters but I find them more trouble than they are worth so I tend to rely on either gradient removal in APP, or, as in this one, GradientXterminator in Photoshop.

I'll give the filters another try sometime and do a 3 way head to head comparison but clear nights have been so rare this year I've not wanted to risk a single frame!
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
Various eyepieces
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#16

Post by startoolsastro »

Jockinireland wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:59 pm
I tried putting it into startools - (I bought that a while ago but have never really got on with it). But since I really dont know how to use starTools the result was ...... not fantastic!

If you'd like to give this one a go in StarTools I'll give you the linear stack in either TIFF or FITS (its about 140meg for some reason) because I really feel like StarTools should have been able to do a better job than I was getting and I'd like to see that.
Hi,

Anything I can do to help, let me know. You are really missing out!
I was able to pull out the below with a reasonably standard workflow in ST 1.6;

Image

(see here for full size)

I have to say, your camera's Ha response is really quite good!

Short workflow as follows;
Type of Data: Linear and was Bayered, but not whitebalanced
(will process luminance and color separately)
--- Auto Develop
To see what we got.
This is nice, deep data. We can see some banding, a skyglow bias. Stars are not perfectly round.
I'm going to stay at native resolution and will not bin, as I think the dataset can take it.
--- Crop
Framing the pair.
Parameter [X1] set to [1647 pixels]
Parameter [Y1] set to [732 pixels]
Parameter [X2] set to [3736 pixels (-524)]
Parameter [Y2] set to [2124 pixels (-690)]
Image size is 2089 x 1392
--- Wipe
Parameter [Dark Anomaly Filter] set to [7 pixels] to better deal with the noisy background and banding.
--- Auto Develop
Region of Interest over M81
Parameter [Ignore Fine Detail <] set to [4.8 pixels]
Parameter [RoI X1] set to [219 pixels]
Parameter [RoI Y1] set to [476 pixels]
Parameter [RoI X2] set to [759 pixels (-1330)]
Parameter [RoI Y2] set to [909 pixels (-483)]
--- Contrast
Default.
--- HDR
RevealCore preset
--- Wavelet Sharpen
Parameter [Structure Size] set to [Large]
Created a mask (Auto, Stars, Do, Shrink x 3, Grow a few times, Invert). Mask should mask as many stars as possible and leave as much other stuff as posible.
Parameter [Amount] set to [500 %]
--- Deconvolution
May be able to tweak more (e.g. custom star/PSF, more iterations), but keeping it simple.
Parameter [Primary PSF] set to [Moffat Beta=4.765 (Trujillo)]
Parameter [Tracking Propagation] set to [During Regularization (Quality)]
Parameter [Primary Radius] set to [2.3 pixels]
--- Color
Legacy preset, selected Color response matrix for your 1100D.
Stars seem to have a nasty green halo to them. Not sure what is causing this.
Lovely pink/purple HII areas dotted around M81, yellowish core, bluer spiral arms, familiar whiter shade of M82 with its lovely red Ha serpentines just becoming visible.
Parameter [Matrix] set to [Canon EOS 1100D]
Parameter [Green Bias Reduce] set to [1.52]
Parameter [Red Bias Reduce] set to [1.21]
Parameter [Cap Green] set to [100 %]
Parameter [Highlight Repair] set to [10 pixels] (to fix some of the green halo effects).
--- Psycho-Visual Grain Equalization De-Noise (choose grain equalization)
Parameter [Mode] set to [Psychovisual]
Parameter [Grain Removal] set to [60 %]
Parameter [Grain Limit Detail] set to [11.0 pixels]
Parameter [Grain Limit Color] set to [11.0 pixels]

And that's it. If you wish to give ST another try, you will notice that the above is a pretty standard workflow, as seen in many tutorials and videos. Again, any trouble I can help with, let me know!

Wishing you clear skies & good health,

Ivo
Ivo Jager - creator of StarTools
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Jockinireland
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#17

Post by Jockinireland »

startoolsastro wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:37 am
Jockinireland wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:59 pm
I tried putting it into startools - (I bought that a while ago but have never really got on with it). But since I really dont know how to use starTools the result was ...... not fantastic!

If you'd like to give this one a go in StarTools I'll give you the linear stack in either TIFF or FITS (its about 140meg for some reason) because I really feel like StarTools should have been able to do a better job than I was getting and I'd like to see that.
Hi,

Anything I can do to help, let me know. You are really missing out!
I was able to pull out the below with a reasonably standard workflow in ST 1.6;

Image

(see here for full size)

I have to say, your camera's Ha response is really quite good!



Wishing you clear skies & good health,

Ivo
Hi Ivo,

I cant thank you enough for taking the time to do that. And WOW!! is that really MY data! I didnt think it would stand such a heavy crop. the Camera is Ha modded.

This is so encouraging because this is only my second image with this set up (previously I was Star Adventurer and 200mm Takumar lens) and this tells me that I'm heading in the right direction in terms of data acquisition. Though a way to go on processing!

You say the stars are not perfectly round i I had seen that already. But, new as I am, I'm not sure whats causing it. My guiding was reasonably good that night with RMS around 0.70" most of the night and the bad shape does not seem regular across the field. I'm thinking maybe spacing of my 0.85 FR/FF. Do you have any thoughts.

The are also some stars which seem to have what is best described as a pair of small diffraction spikes. I'm guessing thats just a lens flaw and nothing much I can do.

Anyway, I'm off to download 1.6 and See what I can do following your workflow. I'll report back later

thanks again and regards

David.
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
Various eyepieces
Vixen 7x42 binocs
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#18

Post by Jockinireland »

startoolsastro wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:37 am



And that's it. If you wish to give ST another try, you will notice that the above is a pretty standard workflow, as seen in many tutorials and videos. Again, any trouble I can help with, let me know!

Wishing you clear skies & good health,

Ivo
OK, I am now very impressed! Following your workflow and "recipe" I got pretty much exactly the same output. Which is brilliant. Now I need to try to understand whats going on there so I know what parameters/settings to put in for different image types.

Here's my version - like I say, pretty identical to yours.

But thanks again, that really has been an eye-opener for me.
M81-M82 StartTools DLM after IS-j.jpg
Best regards

David
Scope: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED (SW 0.85 FR/FF) on a SW NEQ6Pro
Guiding; SW Evoguide 50ED, ASI 120mm mini
Meade 8" LX200 GPS on wedge
Meade series 4000 f0.63 FF/FR
Camera: Canon EOS 1100D (1 x Unmodded 1 X Ha modded)
Secondary mount: Skywatcher StarAdventurer
Various eyepieces
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#19

Post by startoolsastro »

Jockinireland wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:42 pm
Now I need to try to understand whats going on there so I know what parameters/settings to put in for different image types.
That's great David!

I can fully appreciate StarTools is very different if you are used to other software.
Without boring/confusing you too much at this stage, it has to do with the signal processing engine underlying the application. Its engine was written specifically for astrophotographical signal treatment and signal flow. E.g. as opposed to other software ST is more than the sum of its parts. It is not just a collection of modules, filters or algorithms you can/must chain yourself.

StarTools' engine needs to make mathematical sense of your entire signal flow - start-to-finish - in that context. It means some "freedom" (detrimental to your signal or mathematical rigour) is taken away, while you are given powerful new abilities in return.

Or in laymen's terms, applying filter upon filter, tweak-upon-tweak, a stretch here and there; none of this applies. In ST, workflows are short and targeted. Endless tweaking or "overcooking" an image is not a thing. Meanwhile the entire evolution of your signal as you process your image is recorded, analysed and fed back to every module as an input. This holistic approach allows you to tease out more signal and suppress noise better than any other software can with simple standalone filters, modules or algorithms.

I hope this result inspires you to give ST another chance - it really loves good, deep datasets like these!

Ivo
Ivo Jager - creator of StarTools
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Jockinireland
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Post by Jockinireland »

startoolsastro wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:15 am
Jockinireland wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:42 pm
Now I need to try to understand whats going on there so I know what parameters/settings to put in for different image types.
That's great David!

I can fully appreciate StarTools is very different if you are used to other software.
Without boring/confusing you too much at this stage, it has to do with the signal processing engine underlying the application. Its engine was written specifically for astrophotographical signal treatment and signal flow. E.g. as opposed to other software ST is more than the sum of its parts. It is not just a collection of modules, filters or algorithms you can/must chain yourself.

StarTools' engine needs to make mathematical sense of your entire signal flow - start-to-finish - in that context. It means some "freedom" (detrimental to your signal or mathematical rigour) is taken away, while you are given powerful new abilities in return.

Or in laymen's terms, applying filter upon filter, tweak-upon-tweak, a stretch here and there; none of this applies. In ST, workflows are short and targeted. Endless tweaking or "overcooking" an image is not a thing. Meanwhile the entire evolution of your signal as you process your image is recorded, analysed and fed back to every module as an input. This holistic approach allows you to tease out more signal and suppress noise better than any other software can with simple standalone filters, modules or algorithms.

I hope this result inspires you to give ST another chance - it really loves good, deep datasets like these!

Ivo
Hi Ivo,

Thanks for that.

This has, for sure, opened my eyes and definitely made me want to give ST another go. I went in last night and redid my Rosette Nebula in ST - the result was very satisfactory. I did it fairly quicly - about 45 mins in total and without trying out too many tweaks and it gave a final image which was better than my previous (better colour and MUCH less noise) which I hade slaved over for over 5 hours.

So, I'll be working with ST now to give it a real try-out.

Rgds

David.
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