IC63 is a reflection nebula located around 500 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It is sometimes known as 'The Ghost of Cassiopeia'. It is shaped by radiation from a nearby variable star, Gamma Cassiopeiae, which is slowly eroding this ghostly cloud of gas an dust.
Gamma Cassiopeiae, just outside the frame of this image, is 19 times larger than our Sun & 65,000 times brighter. It rotates at an incredible 1 million miles an hour, more than 200 times faster than our Sun.
Data captured across 11 nights between 25th September & 14th November, 2019.
167x 2 minute exposures with Blue filter (Binned 2x2).
188x 2 minute exposures with Green filter (Binned 2x2).
193x 2 minute exposures with Red filter (Binned 2x2).
193x 10 minute exposures with Hydrogen Alpha filter.
Total Exposure = 50.4 hours.
Skywatcher Quattro 200 CF
Atik 428EX Mono
This image was processed in Pixinsight & Lightroom.
Calibration and Stacking in Pixinsight using Batch PreProcessing
Automatic Background Extraction - To remove gradients. (Each channel separately)
Channel Combination - To combine RGB channels.
Photometric Colour Calibration - To calibrate colours. (RGB image only)
SCNR - To remove green cast. (RGB image only)
Deconvolution - To bring out some fine detail & tighten stars, 50 iterations. (Luminance only)
Multiscale Linear Transform - Noise Reduction (RGB & Ha separately)
Linear Fit - To equalise RGB channels.
Histogram Transformation - To stretch the LRGB image.
LRGB Combination - To blend my luminance image with my RGB image (Each Pane separately).
TVGDenoise - To denoise background, with inverted rangemask.
Histogram Transformation - To clip blacks slightly.
Local Histogram Equalisation - To sharpen with mask in place to exclude stars & background.
Curves Transformation - To boost saturation, with previous mask in place.
Curves Transformation - To boost contrast.
Dark Structure Enhance - To bring out the darker areas within the nebula.
Export as JPEG and import into Lightroom.
Increase Contrast (+15)
Decrease Shadows (-25)
Decrease Black (-20)
Increase Red Saturation (+10)
Graduated Filter, upper left corner (Saturation -50)
Export final JPEG for upload.