Processing the M17 Nebula

As mentioned in the last few posts, I will be demonstrating next Tuesday the technique of creating stunning pictures from exposures taken from telescopes such as the Hubble. In the next couple of days, I will be looking for a nebula to demonstrate the technique on and show how anyone with the right software and an internet connection can create similar pictures using images freely available on the Internet..

I am thinking at this stage that a picture similar to today’s M17 would be a perfect example.

M17 after 3 exposures added together (Click to Enlarge)

If you look at the picture on the left, you will see the M17 nebula I have started processing after adding the exposures together for red, green and blue filters. Now unlike yesterday’s picture of the Eagle Nebula which had great color and detail when I merged the 3 exposures together, the result for M17 above looks particularly bland.

It looks very green ,washed out and pretty much faded.

But by using the process I have being talking about, this can be remedied reasonably quickly by making some changes to each of the 3 exposures.

I also am adjusting the luminescence settings for the M17 nebula which is something I could have used with yesterdays topic on the Eagle Nebula.

Anyway,  I was able to work with the picture above and come up with the results as shown below.

Even though I will use photoshop next tuesday in my demonstration, I understand that there are alternative and much cheaper software which can be used to do much the same thing. If I get time in the next week I will see if I can test some of these applications to see how good they are.

M17 Final Processed Image

~ by sydneystargazers on February 16, 2010.

One Response to “Processing the M17 Nebula”

  1. Yeah, it would be interesting to see if The Gimp (free) can be used successfully – I expect that it would be able to since it’s the closest to a Photoshop like tool that you’ll probably find…

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