NGC 6992 – The Eastern Veil Nebula – Mosaic in Hydrogen Alpha – 01/09/2019

NGC 6992 – The Eastern Veil Nebula – In Hydrogen Alpha

A bit of unexpected clarity last night, so here’s my first attempt at something new.  Have to keep mixing things up a little – it keeps it interesting!  

This is a Hydrogen Alpha capture of the Eastern Veil Nebula (NGC 6992), and is a bit of a test run of a new technique for me.  This is my first attempt at a mosaic image.  This is two panes (hence the width), but it means I can get the majority of this large object in, and the resultant resolution allows me to show a better level of detail that a single image. 

This was done via SGP’s ‘Framing and Mosaic’ wizard, which allows automated capture of an object in several chunks.  In this case the left-hand side of the nonage was captured first, with the right-hand side captured second, with the scope moving in-between, and performing an automated meridian flip at the right time into the bargain.  Guiding was a little ropey so out of 60 5-minute sub frames (30 on each side) I lost about 7 or so so this is about 4hrs 25min of integration in total, split reasonably equally between the panes – so about 2.25hrs approximately per pane of Ha exposures.  

I did the initial processing within MaximDL, spending some time to get both sides looking very similar, and then used Photoshop Photomerge (usually used for panoramas etc) to merge the two images into one seamlessly.  I then post-processed the complete image as one.  Very happy with the way it turned out!  I’ll be capturing some OIII to go with this when I get the opportunity. 

This has shown me the potential of the mosaic automation in SGP.  IT’s opened up the idea of doing more extensive mosaic work.  I’m really interested in grabbing some of the larger objects now… It takes time, but the automation of the process makes it considerably less tiresome…!

Total of 4hrs 25min of Ha, imaged with an Atik 314L through an Altair Starwave 102ED f/7 refractor.  All mounted on an HEQ5, captured with SGP and guided via OAG with PHD2 and an SX Lodestar.  Initial processing via DDP in MaximDL, followed by further work in Photoshop CC 2019 and Lightroom.

Capture and Processing Information

  • Object  – The Eastern Veil Nebula (NGC 6992)
  • Constellation – Cygnus
  • Camera – Atik 314L Mono
  • Exposure Ha – 4 Hours 25 min of 5 min subs (split between 2 panes).
  • Filters – Astronomik 12nm Ha
  • Telescope – Altair 102ED f/7 Refractor
  • Mount  – Skywatcher HEQ5 with Rowan Belt Mod
  • Guidescope – Off-axis
  • Guidecam – SX Lodestar
  • Guide Software – PHD2
  • Auto-Focuser – Home-Made MyFocuserPro2 Autofocuser
  • Capture Software  – Sequence Generator Pro
  • Stacking, Colour Combination, and Initial Processing – MaximDL
  • Post-Processing – Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC.


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