Getting caught up with old data. This is a reprocess of M33 from last year’s Oregon Star Party.

This took me quite a while to get processed correctly because I messed up the capture due to incorrectly noting the position of the filters in my filter wheel. I had positions 1 – 4 of the filter wheel occupied by filters in the order R-G-B-L, but incorrectly thought they were in order L-R-G-B. As a result, I initially captured almost two hours of data through the red filter, binned 1×1, and captured only half an hour of luminance binned 2×2. I realized my mistake when I came to take flats after three hours and the exposure times on flats were clearly wrong. Having worked out what was happening, I went back and captured an hour of actual luminance data at 1×1 binning.

At that point, though, my color balance was completely messed up; I had almost 2 hours of 1×1 binned red data, and half an hour each of 2×2 binned data for green and blue. I tried several times to get a sensibly color balanced image using Maxim DL, and failed miserably.

This experience finally prompted me to install PixInsight, and the result is seen here. This is my first image data set entirely processed in PixInsight (there is no final retouch in Photoshop). There’s still much that could be done here; for sure some background noise reduction would not go amiss. As I learn more about the capabilities of PixInsight, I’m sure I’ll be returning to this. For now, though, I at least have a respectable image salvaged from my very lopsided data set.

Camera QSI583wsg
Optics Takahashi FSQ-106ED
Mount Astro-Physics Mach1 GTO
Luminance 12 x 300s @ 1×1
Red 19 x 300s @ 1×1
Green 6 x 300s @ 2×2
Blue 6 x 300s @ 2×2