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M64 in the RCOS 14.5"

Here's my attempt at processing the new M64 data from the RC. There's about 32 hours of exposure time here. It ended up looking better without the H data, so I dropped it entirely. Curious to see if anyone else got something good with it. I'm a new PixInsight user, so suggestions appreciated.

Uploaded files:
  • M64_2.jpg

I don't mean to be disrespectful of your effort, but if you are looking for suggestions, my first reaction is that it needs more color.  I've never used data from that system, but in general, keeping your color and luminance values below .8 (based on an old thumb rule I picked up in an Adam Block class) during stretching helps to preserve color.  Above .8, color starts to wash out and I only allow that during final sharpening and contrast enhancements (on a very limited scale). And saturation boost using the Curves Transformation process usually helps color after the initial stretch. Also, I prefer the dust lanes in the core to be more brown/gold than red/blue.

Have you found good efforts by other astrophotographers online that you like?  Most systems at DSW produce data on par with the best amateur systems out there and it's left to us "chef's" to produce a comparable result.


a short order cook 🙂



No worries! I bounce between PI and PS a lot while processing. I tried using PI for the histogram stretching and color channel combining and got a much better image, I think.


Uploaded files:
  • M64_3.jpg