Tag Archives: featured

The Horse Head and Flame Nebula

The Horse Head and Flame Nebula

The Horsehead Nebula (also known as Barnard 33) is a dark nebula in the constellation of Orion. The nebula is located just to the south of the start Alnitak, which is the farthest east on Orion’s Belt and is part of the larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex.


ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
ZWO 8 position 1.25″ EFW
Orion Narrowband filters (Ha, O3, S2) 7nm bandpass
Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
Orion ED80T-CF
Orion SSAG (Guide Cam)
Orion 80mm Short Tube (Guide Scope)
EQ Focuser
EQ Switch

Sequence Generator Pro
Photoshop CC2018

Processing the Rosette Nebula


The image below was corrected using PixInsight’s Deconvolution to fix/correct the raw data that was later added as Luminance frame for the SHO combination.  Also the combined imaged was later exported to Photoshop CC2018 with a little bit of Smart Sharpen filter.  Overall the image looked clearer and have more detail than the previous two.

Another rendition of the Rosette Nebula from the same data. With a more aggressive port processing


Favorite Image

So far the image below is my favorite that I actually ordered a 24×30 canvas print.  The result was very easy to the eyes and really loved the combination of blue and gold.

Rosette Nebula

Golden Center

This image depicts a very fire’y core of the nebula, while the bluish clouds are perfect for blending in the background.  Didn’t do much on this as it is very well seen in the star halos (magenta) and the background gradient fix actually made the image worst, but this image was invited to the Flickr’s Explore Gallery where it got a lot of Fave’s

The Rosette Nebula (Gold in the Center)


  • ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
  • ZWO 8 position 1.25″ EFW
  • Orion Narrowband filters (Ha, O3, S2) 7nm bandpass
  • Orion Atlas EQ-G Mount
  • Orion ED80T-CF
  • Orion SSAG (Guide Cam)
  • Orion 80mm Short Tube (Guide Scope)
  • EQ Focuser
  • EQ Switch


  • Sequence Generator Pro
  • PixInsight
  • Photoshop CC2018


  • 12 x 5 minutes Ha
  • 12 x 5 minutes S2
  • 12 x 5 minutes
  • 40 dark frames
  • 100 bias frames
  • no flats

Capturing Pelican Nebula

UPDATE (Dec 4, 2017)

Did a little bit of re processing to my old data and I was actually surprised of the result.  Compared to the images I got previously, this one is really good specially the colors.  This means that day by day my processing skills are getting better.

Pelican Nebula

My first try was about a week ago and capturing only 3 hours of data, 1 hour for Ha, 1 for S2 and 1 for O3.  Everything when fine but I was struggling with processing as I cannot get the gold come out.  I have done a series of good processing with the same data and the result was okay.  The the Elephant Trunk Nebula was a good example.  Another will be the Cygnus Wall and the Veil Nebula.

So last night I went to get more data and increasing it to 18 frames for the 3 narrowband channel with 300 seconds each.  The image above has a total of 30 frames per channel.  It turned out okay and learned a couple of things again in post processing in PixInsight and Photoshop.

Here are some of the detail including the telescope and camera I used.

  • Orion ED80T-CF
  • ZWO ASI 1600MM-Cool
  • Orion Narrowband Filters
  • Celestron AVX Mount
  • Orion 80 ShortTube (Guiding)
  • Orion SSAG Camera (Guiding)
  • EQFocuser
  • Sequence Generator Pro
  • PHD2
  • Stellarium Scope + Stellarium
  • PixInsight 1.8
  • Photoshop CC2017

Also below are some of the initial version of the photo

Initial version of the Pelican Nebula

Reprocessed Andromeda Galaxy Data

Did some reprocessing of an old data that I took last year, around September when Andromeda was coming into view.

The photo below was overly processed as there are some color that doesn’t seem to be natural.  This time I was playing around with new techniques in PixInsight and Photoshop CC2017.  I have used a couple of layers in Photoshop and stack them with High Pass and Overlay on top of the image that I processed in PixInsight.  Then a little bit of curves, levels and color balance.


Most of the post processing here were done in PixInsight and very little in Photoshop CC2017.

Andromeda Galaxy Fullsize


Below is the last year result for the same data.  The full size image will show a big difference in the quality of the photo.

Andromeda Galaxy Fullsize


Saturn Opposition

A photograph of Saturn during the opposition.  I tried to photograph Saturn for a couple of times but had some problems whether on the setup or on the processing.  I see the result from others and they got clear and very good images.

Some of the images I’ve taken are clear enough to see the Cassini division in the rings, the cloud bands but not able to resolve the Hexagon shaped vortex clouds on it’s poles.

Saturn 06-04-16
Saturn 06-04-16









The Great Nebula in Orion

Orion Atlas EQ-G

Went to the Orion Telescope store in Cupertino just to buy a 182mm tube rings for my other telescope, the Celestron C6N, an old telescope that I wasn’t really able to use that much. This time wanting to fix it and learn a couple of skills such as collimating and aligning.

For some reason, already went out of the store and started the car but just can’t take my eyes on it, went back and couldn’t control my compulsive buying. Left with it unfortunately got home and the weather forecast wasn’t that good as it’s cloudy and rained for the next 4 days.

Got home and unboxed it and figured out that I don’t have the AC adapter. Good thing that I have the Celestron PowerTank that I can use the car batter adapter. Assembled to make sure everything is working, but ooopppss, the hand controller have a very old firmware, the motor controller have a very old firmware, and the motor when slewing sounds very noisy and something is not right.

Finally, clear skies, went outside my backyard and tried it. Spent a whole lot of time aligning it comparing to the Celestron AVX. Mounted, placed the telescope, waited for the Polaris to show up and did a 1, 2, 3 star aligment. Again something is odd, it doesn’t point to the right direction by a complete hemisphere. Pointed to the star in the western hemisphere but pointed on the eastern hemisphere. It was a complete disaster. Only one conclusion, return or replace.

Went back to the store talked about the problem but they couldn’t believe what was wrong with it. The guy in the store tried it and obviously the motor doesn’t sound good so the head was replaced.

Again went home and opened it and see the major difference. The hand controller is newer with the latest firmware. The motors are so quiet and smooth. Probably I got a bad old copy of the mount.

It’s time to test it, alignment was so easy, choosing the stars for alignment was a breeze, a complete turn on my first experience on setting it up.

First target, Andromeda Galaxy, to test the Celestron f/6.x focal reducer/corrector. Made some error on tracking and using a very long exposure, the result was not very good.

Second target, the Pleaides, not so sure what happened as the result are not very good. Alignment was good but the images did not turn out so good. My post processing capability seems to be lacking.

I was about to give up as it’s already very late when I saw the Orion Nebula and I gave it a shot, pointed the telescope and looked at it and I was very surprised with what I got, a very beautiful nebula so I reset the tracking and the imaging cameras and added all the exposure information. Fired all my automation and slept.

Next morning, I got this very beautiful image, with a very minimal post processing that I did before going to the office.

Single Image

Before and After comparison
single exposure before and after

The final image

Stacked Image

Before and After comparison
multiple exposure before and after

The final image

Software for stacking : DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2
Final image processing : Lightroom
Total number of light images : 13
Total number of flat images : 14
Total number of dark images : 11
Exposure length : 2 hrs and 14 minutes


Orion 80 ED Carbon Fiber Triplet APO

Recently added the Orion 80ED Carbon Fiber Triplet APO to my arsenal. Used the Orion Nebula to test it and the following are the images. A more wide field sense of the Orion’s Belt with the Running Man on the left.

orion 80edcf-sl1 1hr 6mn 40s 8frames 800iso.jpg

Celestron C6N

Taken with an old Celestron Newtonian, the stars seems to glow with star pointers very visible. This is a very old telescope, one of my first and still the image is very good.

orion c6nsl1.jpg


orion 17 frames 2 hrs 25min copy