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M17 and M17 Region




Scope: Sigma APO 150 mm SLR Lens at f/3.5; Location: Laguna Mountains, CA;  16 May, 2009; Camera: Canon XT 350D (Baader ACF modified)

Exposure: 15 x 6 min  (no filters) ISO 800 , 8 Darks, no Flats 

Processing: Images were captured with DSLR Focus  and saved as RAW file format. Images were decoded and dark corrected in IRIS. Images were aligned and stacked in IRIS with Sigma Median.  Dark point equalization and rough color balance  were done in IRIS. Gamma adjustments also done in Iris. Gradient removal was done in IRIS with a pseudo-flat generation. The 6 minute  exposure stacks were saved as Tiff.  Luminance was extracted, stretched and sharpened in Photoshop. The color channels were softened and saturated before being recombined with the Luminance with luminance layering. Final stretching and touch up was done in PhotoShop.     Final Image size is approximately 3464x2304 - re-sampled to 2400x1596.

North is to the left in this image.  This image is guided.  This is an image of a very congested region of our Milky Way galaxy. The two red nebula are M16 (left) and M17 (right). Further to the left of M16 is a red nebulous area called NGC6604.  There are three other Messier Catalog objects  - open clusters M24, M18, and Mm5 on the right of the image. M25 is in the very lower right corner. On the lower edge to the left is a recognizable star cluster  -  NGC 6645. There are also numerous dark nebula which are clouds of dust which block light from background stars and give the appearance of holes in the sky. M16 is 7,000 light years distant from Earth while M17 is a little closer at 5,000 light years M25 is closer yet at about 2,000 light years.   The Vertical FOV is about 8 deg, 20 min.

Image Center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 18h 19m 54s Dec: -1505'22"

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All images and content remain the property of Jim Thommes - copyright 2003 - 2012

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