Trouble processing Heart & Soul - is my data useless?

Questions and answers about processing in StarTools and how to accomplish certain tasks.
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BrewDorg
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Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 4:44 pm

Trouble processing Heart & Soul - is my data useless?

Post by BrewDorg »

As per the title. I've sunk a good 4+ hours into trying to process this data. I'm starting to think my data just isn't good enough to get anything worthwhile from it. Ive done a couple of galaxy photos with the software and they've been decent enough but this nebula has be stumped.

Could anyone take a look and see if my data is the main problem?

60 x 90s exposures + darks & flats, Bortle 4, unmodified camera. I know the unmodified camera is probably my issue with this data but I'd still appreciate some experienced eyes checking it out.

Thanks!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1z0MyYQ ... sp=sharing

My best effort so far - https://www.astrobin.com/f9bgbe/
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admin
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Re: Trouble processing Heart & Soul - is my data useless?

Post by admin »

Hi,

It is indeed a very challenging dataset...

The most obvious (and rather severe) issue, is that your flats are not working and are very likely making things worse. Lighting is very uneven and there is some sort of ring structure (dust donut remnant?) visible as well. I can also spot other dust that has not been corrected for by your flats. Without properly working flats, it is impossible for algorithms (and humans) to discern between what is faint nebulosity and what is gradient remnant or dust donut.

Second, if possible, start dithering between frames; streaky walking noise is visible. It's the second most important thing (after flats) to improve your datasets with and is - like flats - totally free.

Post-processing indeed becomes infinitely harder (to the point of being neigh impossible) if your datasets are not calibrated properly.

There is lots you can do and achieve with an unmodified camera, especially from a reasonably dark Bortle 4 location. Improve your calibration frames and a whole new world will open for you!

Hope this helps & wishing you clear skies,
Ivo Jager
StarTools creator and astronomy enthusiast
BrewDorg
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 4:44 pm

Re: Trouble processing Heart & Soul - is my data useless?

Post by BrewDorg »

Thanks a lot, the feedback is very helpful. I also posted on reddit for some advice and was told the same thing about the flats so it's good to have further confirmation. I'm going to have to rethink how I take my flats because it's obviously not good enough now.
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