October Andromeda Galaxy Processing (Cont'd)

A really difficult thing about the long hiatus of imaging during the summer is that when I am able to start again in the Fall I haven't got a clue what I'm doing when it comes to processing the data.

I seem to have re-learn everything - although I do have procedures written down that I follow.

And so it was with my 4.75 hours of data captured on the Andromeda Galaxy. 

I've been through 3 full day long processing sessions on this to get it where it is...and I'm still not completely happy that I've done my best.

Thanks to the guidance from my friend Nick and the members of Stargazer's Lounge that critiqued my work, I do think this version is not to bad now.

Here's the specs on the data capture

Object name
Andromeda Galaxy
Object ID
11, 12 and 15 October 2017
Altair 115mm
89 x 1 min = 89 min
16 x 2 min = 32 min
24 x 2 min = 48 min
28 x 2 min = 56 min
30 x 2 min = 60 min
Total time
4.75 hrs
PixInsight / Bias, Flats, Darks / no noise reduction / no masked stretch (manual)

I used Pixinsight to process this an found PixelMath invaluable in combining the Ha and luminance.

I didn't use Linear Fit as I thought (wrongly as it turned out) that it was killing colour in the images)

I did use BackgroundExtraction, DBE, MorphologicalTransformation, HDMultiscaleTransform, PixelMath for the Ha effort on red channel

Here is the LRGB version (Luminance, Red, Green and Blue channels)
Be sure to click on these and open them in a new window to see it in full resolution

and here, disappointingly, because I don't think I got the H-alpha channel processed correctly, is the HaLRGB version. This is meant to highlight the regions of H2 in the galaxy arms where star birth is taking place. It achieves that but there is the mirky smear of gunk across the rest of the galaxy. I will no doubt need to try again :-)

I've thoroughly enjoyed trying to process this data and feel that I've got back in the swing of it for the coming season. At 4.75 hours I think that's quite enough time on M31 with the 115mm scope, now to point the 65mm wide-field scope at it ....if the weather permits before Andromeda disappears into the West as winter approaches.