Lagoon Nebula – Part 2 of 3

In the previous posts I have mentioned using a type of file called FITs. This is a file type which is widely used in the astronomy community and allows astronomical images to be shared with a vast amount of information contained with each file. I have taken a look at the information in some of these files and am amazed at the detail contained in the header of each image.

(Click to Enlarge)

Anyhow this post is looking at stage 2 of processing the Lagoon Nebula image. This is going to be a new challenge for me because so far I have only looked at image processing using images filtered in red,green,blue and lumimniscence. With this image I have an additional FIT file to add in,   H-Alpha.

With H-Alpha, we are looking at the specific wavelengths given off by hydrogen clouds for example. You also use H-alpha when you are looking at the Sun so you can see the flares and prominence given off by the sun which are visible through H-alpha filters.

If you look at the picture above which was taken while I was processing the image of the Lagoon Nebula, you will see that the picture looks completely different to the one shown in part one of this series of posts. The majority of the difference to the image is due to the H-alpha light channel which I have now added to the picture. When  I show the completed image of the Lagoon Nebula tomorrow, I will show two seperate images with color. One with the H-Alpha and one excluding H-Alpha.

When processing these FIT files, it comes down to one’s artistic abilities to show the color and beauty of the object you are looking at. I was very pleased with the details I managed to bring out with NGC 1068 so I am looking forward to seeing the results of the Lagoon Nebula.

In the picture above, you can see on the right there are 5 rows which are split into red,green,blue,etc.

These in photoshop are called layers and I can go through and change the properties of each specific layer without changing the other layers or the original image. So for example I may want to try and add more blue to the shot and I can alter the image shot in the blue layer and try and bring out more detail and color just for the blue wavelength.

This is pretty amazing and is a very strong argument for using photoshop to image process your astronomy photos.

~ by sydneystargazers on December 26, 2009.

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