M57 Ring Nebula, Andrew Vanden Heuvel
One aside: the image is cropped with the Ring Nebula offset. This reveals the fuzzy object in the upper right corner, the barred spiral galaxy IC 1296. Look for the faint spiral arms protruding from the top and bottom of the core and winding counterclockwise. Although near to the Ring nebula in direction, at 71 million light years distant, it is at least 36,000 further.
Calibration: All images were individually dark subtracted and flat-fielded using MaxIm 4’s group calibration feature. All relevant biases, darks, and flats were averaged using the ‘sigma clip’ algorithm in order to create a master bias, dark, and flat. These were then applied to each raw image.
Averaging: All of the reduced images of a given filter were then aligned with each other and averaged together again using the ‘sigma clip’ averaging algorithm. At this point in the processing, we had three reduced averaged images--one for blue, visual, and red.
On each of the three images, I ran digital development using the following
Next, I used the Combine Color feature to put all three images together
into a single color image. I found that by using an LRGB conversion type
and using the red image for both the luminance and red, I was able to
get a highly detailed image while maintaining what seems like a natural
coloration of the object. I set the color ratios to be Red: 1, Green:
1, Blue: 1.2.
I then cropped and converted my image to a JPEG.
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