Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Messier 65, 66 duo

M65 and M66 (Click on image to enlarge)

This brother and sister image takes advantage of some of the best data I obtained using LightBuckets observatory LB-0003 in Rodeo, NM, in March and April, 2011. The Messier 66 galaxy is lower left and Messier 65 upper right (two-thirds of the Leo Triplet).

Telescope: Manufacturer – RC Optical Systems
Design- Ritchey-Chr�tien
Model – Carbon Truss
Aperture – 368mm
Focal Length – 3357mm
f/stop – f/9.0
Application – Deep Space

Camera:
CCD Manufacturer – Apogee Instruments
Model – Alta U16M
Resolution – 4096 x 4096
Pixel Size – 9� x 9�
QE – 60% @ 550nm
Megapixels – 16.7 megapixels
Field Of View – 37.8 x 37.8 arcminutes
Image Scale – 0.55 arcseconds/pixel
Filter Set – AstroDon LRGB,Ha,SII,OIII

The Luminance data came from 8 300 second exposures and 5 600 second exposures (90 minutes total).
The Chrominance data (Red, Green, and Blue) were each 6 300 exposures, binned 2×2 (30 minutes each).

The 31 frames were calibrated in CCDStack 2 and processed using PixInsight. The work flow for the Luminance image used these PixInsight tools:

StarAlignment (registration)
DynamicCrop (to 3000×3000 from 4096×4096)
ATrousWaveletTransform (background noise reduction)
HistogramTransformation (permanent stretch)
HDRWaveletTransform (High Dynamic Range adjustment)

The workflow for Red, Green, and Blue images included in addition these tools:

ChannelCombination (to produce composite RGB image)
BackgroundNeutralization (color balance)
LRGBCombination (combine luminance and chrominance information)
SCNR (reduce Green for better color balance)

Posted by Dave Ayers on July 1, 2011