M81 in Ursa Major



Scope: C8  f/5.6, Location: Blair Valley, Anza Borrego Desert, CA   29 December 2005  Camera: Artemis285

Exposure: 7 x 360 sec Luminance exposures with IR block, 6 x 120 sec (2x2 bin) RGB exposures.

Processing: Images were captured in Artemis Capture (as FITs). Aligned/stacked in Registax 3 and saved as FITS. Luminance and Color channels were scaled and rough color balanced in Astroart.  Channels were co-registered in Astroart. Curves and Levels applied in Photoshop to optimize object features. Brighter stars were more crisp in the green exposure and were blended with the luminance channel to reduce bright star size - light minimum filter with mask was also used.  Final LRGB combine was done in Photoshop using Luminance Layering (or LLRGB).  Selective sharpening with layer mask was applied to galaxy dust lanes.  Color balancing and final touches were done in Photoshop. SGBNR was used to smooth  background noise on the luminance construction as well as the final result. Final Image size is approximately 1392x1040.

North is to the right in this image. The image was guided for all exposures. M81 is also known as Bode's Nebula after it's discoverer Johann Elert Bode.  M81 is the dominant galaxy of the M81 galaxy group - M82 is another prominent member of this group. M81 is about 12 million light years distant from Earth. This image replaces an earlier image that can be seen in the Archives here.  Horizontal FOV is 25'

Image center is approximately - Equatorial 2000: RA: 09h 55m 34s Dec: +6904'02"


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