Saturday, October 20, 2012

M42 with Ekos & PixInsight

A few days ago, I used Ekos to take a 100-seconds exposure for M42, the Orion's Nebula, using Orion EON 120mm scope and QSI 583wsg CCD.

Initially, I processed the image using KStars FITSViewer histogram tool to bring out the contrast, then I used GIMP to crop and fine tune the image using the curves tool. Only the light frame was captured, no Dark, Bias, or Flat frames were taken, and hence no pre-processing was performed. The outcome was the following:

M42 with minimal processing

You can immediately notice that the M42 core is over exposed, as it can get quite tricky to balance long exposures to bring out the nebula details without saturating the core. Therefore, I decided to process the image under PixInsight, a multi-platform advanced image processing tool tailored for astrophotography. Using Dynamic Background Extraction (DBE), HDR transforms, and ACDNR noise reduction tool, the results were quite impressive:

M42 after PixInsight processing
With Ekos & PixInsight, I finally have everything I need for astrophotography under Linux!

4 comments:

Martin Sandsmark said...

This is really cool

connor.findlay said...

Awesome photography man!

Alban Kuster said...

Hello! This is really interesting and I'd love to try it. I guess compiling from scratch would rather be painful with all the KDE dependencies, do you have any precompiled binaries/packages available? The kstars site states that ekos is gonna be 'ready whenever it is ready'. Thanks!

Jasem Mutlaq said...

Sorry for late reply, Ekos is ready and was released along with KDE 4.10. I use it for for my astrophotography tasks all the time!