This was image was part of the Great Leap Forward. Not a major economic disaster however, but a huge success. The homemade off axis guider system has been completed and this was the second night out. The first night was spent troubleshooting the system and making modifications in the workshop, further testing etc etc. Finally I was able to test the system on a real target. The Bubble was not shown for any particular reason - it was simply the first thing I saw when I cast my eyes over the map.
The luxury of 20 minute exposures was a whole new world. The exposure run here started at about 10pm and ran through to about 1.30am. I was able to add in 1 hour of data from the end of the previous nights experiments. The long 20 minute subs were possible because there is no material flexure between guide camera and imaging camera. These subs give huge depth. Because my subs had previsouly been limited by flexure, I was loosing some resolution. With no flexure we have been able to increase the detail in the images because there isn't a gradual drift of the stars any more.
Some meaty deconvolution has been aggressively applied to the image. The details are quite impressive for me! The Bubble Nebula is always tricky to process because of the vast dynamic range between the bubble itself and the dimmer outer regions.
Two versions are presented here for you to choose from. Once version simply shows the deconvolution on the brighter regions. The other version attempts to blend the first version with stretching to show the interest in the dimmer regions.
The Bubble Nebula is a delightful target for any imaging setup. Either challanging high resolution images showing the delicate detail in the bubble itself, or with widefield images showing nearby large scale structures and clusters. This is a rare class of object, and the only other thing like it which I have imaged is NGC 2359 Thor's Helmet in the southern spring skies. I have fond memories of pointing my earlier cameras at this region and getting terribly excited when I was able to make the bubble go "all the way round"... now the challange is to prevent the bubble getting saturated. Time change, and we move forward one little step at a time. :-)
To be honest this is one of those images where I think the raw data should come out looking a lot better, but I can't get it to come out the way I want to!
Data from 3rd and 4th. Captured in ArtemisCapture, calibrated in ImagetoolsCa, combined in maxim, thuggery in photoshop. Total integration time 4 hours.
This image was autoguided using my homemade off axis guider with Lodestar.
Exposure Details :
Astrodon 6nm Ha Coma Corrector 12x1200s on 200 @ F5 f.l. 1000 with Artemis 285 camera
Curdridge Observatory, Southampton,UK