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IC1396 - Elephants Trunk Nebula in Ha

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Hi All

I am just starting on another NB colour image, this time it is of IC1396. This is a first for me (not the subject) as it is the first time that I have used flat field frames in the calibration of my images. I used an EF panel for these and took 16 with an average ADU count of 42,500 and dark subtracted, exposure time for the flats and these darks was 9 seconds. I took this over 2 nights as the sky was very bright on both nights and the background was a bit noisy.

This is 22x20 minutes taken with the FSQ106ED at f5, Starlight Xpress H36, 5nm Ha filter on a Paramount ME autoguided with a SX Lodestar and OAG with 2 second guiding exposures and dithering invoked.

The sub frames were calibrated, stacked and gamma stretched in Maxim DL before saving to 16 bit tiff, in photoshop one aggressive curves stretch followed by a milder curves stretch with levels adjustment in between and contrast adjustment, the image is cropped because of stacking artefacts between the two nights imaging, no more processing was used, total processing was about 30 minutes (including calibration and stacking)

I will be adding the OIII and SII as weather allows

I have tried this subject on several occasions with different scope/camera/exposure combinations and these can be seen in the image gallery of my website http://www.imagingtheheavens.co.uk

To make things easier for people who don't like clicking mouse buttons here is a direct link to the full size high resolution image



Thanks for looking

Best wishes


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