IC342 in LRGB, single night session

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Galaxy IC342 in LRGB, single session, 2 subframes for channel, 600sec, Officina Stellare ProRC 700 with Proline FLI PL16803 at BIN2, IC Astronomy Observatory of Spain, from Telescopelive network.

A very hard postproduction because of few signal and not so good quality of data, but I really stocked into this processing.


NGC7023 LBN487 Iris Nebula in LRGB Takahashi FSQ-106EDX4

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LBN487 and NGC7023 in LRGB, Takahashi FSQ-106EDX4 and Proline CCD FLI PL16083, subframes of 300sec at -25C from IC Astronomical Observatory of Spain, Telescopelive network.

I developed 3 different postproduction: an LRGB one directly developed after LRGB master integration in PixInSight.

I thus proceed to an RGB version and a final LRGB version where L channel, devided in stars and starless masters, I integrated into RGB star and starless layers group in Photoshop with different values, with stars contributing at 10% and starless Luminance at 100%.

RGB integration

Luminance starless master

Photoshop RGB and separated Luminance master available here: https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=XZ9CSDZm9yOwDzwaiH2lkIx0n2x90KYsRzV

Astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/s6a8tk/D/

M16 (NGC 6611) and the Pillars of Creation: a James Webb Space Telescope records study

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According to Greg T. Bacon of the Space Telescope Science Institute of Baltimora [ https://webbtelescope.org/contents/media/videos/1097-Video 20/07/2023 ] stars cluster belonging to M16 consist in a group of around 8.000 formed roughly 5.5 milion years ago, immersing within a cloud of gas and dust illuminated by the central cluster of bright youngest new formed stars.

The Pillars of Creation sit inside this wide region of gas and dust being pushed from the inside out by powerful stellar winds. 

The winds blow back the edges of the cloud, creating dense regions that then collapse under their own gravity to form stars. 

The characteristic fingers of the Pillars are some of the densest gas in this region, hanging on against the strong winds. 

In the visible-light view they are entirely in shadow: such visible-light gazing shows the illumination of the inside of the gas and dust. 

James Webb scope focused about the iconic Pillars of Creation, immense towers carved out of the cold dust by high-energy electromagnetic radiation emitted by the hot stars. 

Webb NIRCAM eye investigating the pillars of gas and dust which block visible light, reveals what is under nebulosity  concealing, with stars forming within them shining of  infrared light through the dust-block, revealing stars forming within the pillars as well as stars far beyond; X-ray light also shines through the pillars, revealing extremely hot stars, most of which lie beyond the nebula.

NIRCAM Near-Infrared shows cooler towers and field of dust with many young stars. 

MIRI records pointing at the bottom left shows the thickest regions of gas and dust, which appear light blue and dark gray-blue: there are many layers of semi-opaque gas and dust overlaying one another. 

The first pillar points to the top right of the image. 

There is one prominent red star, with tiny spikes at its tip. 

Lower on this pillar, which forms a diagonal from bottom left to top right, there are several darker areas of dust that jut out, many with bright red stars, which appear as small red dots. 

Below the top pillar are two slightly smaller, both ending in dark gray-blue regions: the second pillar has a dark arch that looks like an upside-down L halfway down, while the third pillar is set off in dark blue and gray shades. 

At the bottom left is another overlapping area of gas and dust that forms a peak, but is also colored in various shades of gray and light blue. 

Background of this scene is washed in shades of deep red and light red. Toward the top center, a V shape appears above the top-most pillar. At its lowest point, it is brilliant red. There are only several dozen tiny bright white and blue stars. Larger stars appear redder and are embedded in the pillars.

According to Claire Blome and Christine Pulliam – Space Telescope Science Institue of Baltimore – Mid-infrared light set such a somber, chilling mood in Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) because interstellar dust cloaks the scene, and while mid-infrared light specializes in detailing where dust is, the stars aren’t bright enough at these wavelengths to appear. Instead, these looming, leaden-hued pillars of gas and dust gleam at their edges, hinting at the activity within.

*** Processing method ***

.fits level 3 calibration raw data I downloaded from mast.stsci.edu portal.

NIRCAM set is made of 6 .fit image recording pillars by filter f090w, f187n, f200w, f335m, f444w and f444w+f470n.

After linear fit to f200w band, according to NIRCAM filters guideline, I considered f444w and f470n as the highest signal available, to be processed as red in colour mapping.

Blue mapping I assigned to the lowest band records available, thus melting f090w and f187n in PixelMath; the same for f200w and f335m melting for the middle signal green color in rgb layout.

RGB channel combination produced a greenish dominated master, processed in PixInSight by very soft bg removal, denoising workflow, starXterminator work for starless and stars separate file. 

I thus focused on starless master for color manipulation by color mask and curves transformation, dark area enhancing, denoising and final blurxTerminating for details revelation.

I finally reconstructed starry image in Photoshop by screen blending mode of stars layer group over starless one, with each group adjustement and pixel-fixing independetly made.

MIRI image followed a similiar processing work, with peculiar feature of very very intense pixel fixing intervent, both in stars and starless level.

Starless image after pixel fixing and color calibration I find simply astonishing.

Starry final image reconstruction with few adjustements intervent

C/2022 E3 ZTF – 26 & 27/01/2023

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Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, night between 26 and 27/01/2023. 60 sec. LRGB subframes

Astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/a2bvdn/

Astrometry: https://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/7304982#annotated

Telescopi O Obiettivi Di Acquisizione William Optics Redcat 51

Camere Di Acquisizione ZWO ASI1600MM Pro

Montature Sky-Watcher EQM-35  ×

Filtri: Astronomik L-1 Luminance UV/IR Block 1.25″ · Astronomik Type 2c Blue 1.25″ · Astronomik Type 2c Green 1.25″ · Astronomik Type 2c Red 1.25″

Accessori DeepSkyDad Flap Panel (FP1) · ZWO ASIAIR Plus · ZWO EAF · ZWO EFW 8 x 1.25″ / 31mm

Software Adobe Photoshop · Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight

Telescopi O Obiettivi Di Guida QHYCCD Mini Guide Scope

Camere Di Guida ZWO ASI120MM Mini

Dettagli d’acquisizione

Date: 26 Gennaio 2023 ·  27 Gennaio 2023


Astronomik L-1 Luminance UV/IR Block 1.25″: 60×60″(1h) (gain: 173.00) -20°C bin 1×1
Astronomik Type 2c Blue 1.25″: 60×60″(1h) (gain: 173.00) -20°C bin 1×1
Astronomik Type 2c Green 1.25″: 60×60″(1h) (gain: 173.00) -20°C bin 1×1
Astronomik Type 2c Red 1.25″: 60×60″(1h) (gain: 173.00) -20°C bin 1×1

Integrazione: 4h Dark:33 Flat:33 Dark dei flat:33

Giorno lunare medio: 5.72 giorni

Fase lunare media: 32.82%

Scala del Cielo Scuro Bortle: 6.00

Dettagli astrometrici di base

Astrometry.net job: 7133573

Risoluzione: 3180×2270

Dimenzione file: 30,7 MB

Luoghi: Home (balcony), Livorno, Livorno, Italia; Livorno, Toscana, Italia

Origine dei dati: Giardino

Comet subframes integration, starless master (PixInSight, Starnet 2)
Spectophotometric Color Calibration, White balance parameters, by PixInSight

M92 / NGC6341

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Astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/sgo4uc/

Astrometry: http://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/4848320#annotated

NGC7822: a preliminary work in UHC by AZ-GTi

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Telescopi o obiettivi di acquisizione: Williams Optics Zenithstar 61 APO
Camere di acquisizione: ZWO ASI183MC Pro
Montature: SkyWatcher AZ-GTI
Telescopi o obiettivi di guida: QHYCCD QHY Mini Guide Scope
Camere di guida: QHYCCD QHY5L-II-C
Software: Adobe Lightroom  ·  Stark Labs Phd2  ·  Photoshop  ·  Astroberry  ·  Pleiades Astrophoto PinInsight  ·  KStars Ekos/INDI, Astroberry OS
Filtri: Optolong UHC 2″
Accessorio: SVBONY Filter Wheel 2″

Date:03 Giugno 2021
Pose:Optolong UHC 2″: 115×60″ (1h 55′) (gain: 315.00) -1C bin 1×1
Integrazione: 1h 55′
Dark: ~17
Flat: ~99
Dark dei flat: ~99
Bias: ~99
Giorno lunare medio: 23.27 giorni
Fase lunare media: 38.22%
Scala del Cielo Scuro Bortle: 6.00
Temperatura: 14.00

Astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/r53j63/

Astrometry: https://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/4724228#annotated

PixInSight drizzle data integration of 115 frames taken with William Optics Redcat 51 and ASI183MC-Pro with 2″ UHC Optolong filter from home balcony, testing AZ-GTi for a light-weight portable setup: Gain 315, 60sec, Kstars > Astroberry (Raspi4b) in the night of 2021 June, the 3rd.

Framing time set-up to 60″ as no satisfactory autoguide available in PHD2, nor Kstars internal; looking forward to upgrade all system setup to get.

Raspberry Pi 4b 4Gb Astroberry on Eaglecore

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Some months ago I bought a second hand Eaglecore by Primalucelab https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomia/eagle-core-unita-di-controllo-per-astrofotografia-con-reflex.html on Astrosell https://www.astrosell.it//mercato.php?Id=1

I was interested in it as I’m focus in setting up some good core of stuff for quick working astrophotography gear to be used from my balcony and/or while traveling.

Eaglecore tempted me because it supplies both for autoguiding reflex shooting managing and as power control unit for power source of motorized mount, and eventually other 2 devices.

Eaglecore power-out side

I tried it on my gear: WO61 Zenithstar with EOS550d as primary optics, sVbony SV106 (60/240mm guidescope) with ZWOASI5II-L C as guidingboth on a Skywathcer EQ35M-Pro mount.After some weeks, even by strictly following user manual suggestion first attempt of firmware update miserably failed, with system in crash/loop.

I thus contacted Primaluce for understand which procedure I may have to get in for an hard-reset and recovery of the Eaglecore, and I sadly discovered that there was no self (client) possible solution, but the stuff had to be sent to their lab. Sadness proceeded as I got it back for more than 70 euro, and from my pov it’s very very expensive, especially as I bought it by second hand fore less then double, and I just met an OS crashing while updating.

Anyhow, the stuff was back and I can use it again. After few weeks a new updated firmware was released by Primaluce, I thus carefully downloaded it, red again manual instructions, set up my pc, files and Eaglecore for update and launched it.

Like a clockwork it crashed again, exactly as it did some months ago, with frozen update and system in loop.

I didn’t wont to repeat the just lived story, thus I started thinking about other solution and destiny for this Eaglecore, moreover because aside from crashing upgrading OS problems, I wish my gear has to have less boundaries as:

  1. EaglecoreOS is closed, cannot modify it, cannot get the source and there is no Primalucelab specification about it,
  2. Acquisition supported camera is just related to DSLR gears. No CMOS or CCD working for it.
  3. Guide system just available with some cameras and gears

Looking the Eaglecore USB ports setup I found it very close to my Raspberry Pi4 astroberry configured, so Sunday rainy Halloween bat my daughter and I decided to carefully ungear the Eaglecore to better understand what’s inside! We easily removed the 6 top-cover gears to open it up and – ta daaaaa- we discovered inside an Orange Pc plus and a red board plugged.

Orange PI PC Plus inside the Eaglecore
Side view: OPI PC plus with red top board pinned

We moved to get the upper stuffy card applied on motherboard out removing the adhesive red tape cover, ungearing the couple of screws, and carefully unplugging the two-grouped pins thus to get access to the OPI board. No SD card was inserted, thus was clear that Primalucelab OS was resident on EMMC and we bet we can bypassing it by OPI compatible OS on SD card loaded at startup. According to OPI PC Plus specification and resources http://www.orangepi.org/downloadresources/

Orange PI PC Plus details from manufacturer website
Choosing the right OS release for pertinent device

we downloaded OrangePi_pc-plus_ubuntu_xenial_desktop_linux5.3.5_v1.0.tar.gz and following http://www.orangepi.org/Docs/SDcardinstallation.html#Windows we burnt a 32Gb sd card, connect our gear, and power the Eaglecore on getting a perfect Lubuntu logging-in screen.


After a routine sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade we crashed several several time bouncing in some hardware problems. We decided to back on it with different and more stable OS, looking for kStars and PHD2 compatible system. After some days and unsuccessful attempts we decided to give to Eaglecore a second life by changing its nucleus with a Raspberry Pi4 4gb working as astroberry.

After some quick alteration of red case USB port side (have to work better on it) we plugged the red Primaluce power card to Pi4 pins and gave it a start: it worked perfectly.

Case alteration for better hosting of Raspberry Pi 4b USB port blocks.

We thus did reassemble the whole Case, eliminating the central inner structure for top cover, we plugged our vixen bar and clamp, and set it up on our astrophotography gear.

Removing central inner gears and block from top cover
Setting up on balcony: Synscan hand command is USB plugged to Eglecore in USB2 port.

Connecting by VNC from sitting room we started our kStars/PHD2 grounded session.

kStars and PHD2 running in VCN connection from PC to Astroberry/Eaglecore

Here following some jpg directly took from raw, all ISO400 600sec with Optolong CLS filter on EOS550d/WO61 Apo: 

M31 Andromeda galaxy
M81 and M82 Galaxies
M51 Galaxy
M101 Galaxy

Next steps I’d like to make is to spend some focus on Orange PI PcPlus, trying to understand if it is broken or not, and if it’s possible to set it up with some stable arm-linux OS, with kStars with full INDI drivers and EKOS support and PHD2 adequately compiled and installed.

Some focus on Eaglecore USB case alterations, for better fit the Astroberry USB/Ethernet and power/HDMI ports.

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