The Cigar Galaxy (Messier 82) is a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. With a diameter of 37,000 light-years it is much smaller than the Milky Way, yet it is about five times more luminous than the whole Milky Way and has a center one hundred times more luminous than our galaxy's center.
M82 was previously believed to be an irregular galaxy. In 2005, however, two symmetric spiral arms were discovered in near-infrared (NIR) images of M82. The arms were detected by subtracting an axisymmetric exponential disk from the NIR images. Even though the arms were detected in NIR images, they are bluer than the disk.
Data captured over 7 nights between 24th December, 2019 & 18th January, 2020.
76x 2 minute exposures with Blue filter (Binned 2x2).
76x 2 minute exposures with Green filter (Binned 2x2).
74x 2 minute exposures with Red filter (Binned 2x2).
289x 3 minute exposures with Luminance filter.
48x 10 minute exposures with Hydrogen Alpha filter.
Total Exposure = 35.0 hours.
Skywatcher Quattro 200 CF
Atik 428EX Mono
This image was processed in Pixinsight & Lightroom.
Calibration and Stacking in Pixinsight using Batch PreProcessing
Dynamic Crop - To remove black edges & integration artifacts. (Each Channel)
Dynamic Background Extraction - To remove gradients. (Each Channel)
Linear Fit - To match brightness of RGB channels (RGB Channels Separately)
Channel Combination - To combine RGB channels.
Photometric Colour Calibration - To calibrate colours.
SCNR - To remove green cast.
Deconvolution - To bring out some fine detail & tighten stars, 75 iterations. (Luminance & Ha only)
Multiscale Linear Transform - Noise reduction. (Luminace & Ha only)
Histogram Transformation - To stretch the RGB & Lum. (Using statistics process to keep background levels evenly)
LRGB Combination - To blend my luminance image with my RGB image.
PixelMath - To add Ha channel to LRGB image, with mask in place to only expose Ha plumes.
TGVDenoise - To reduce noise in background, with rangemask in place.
Local Histogram Equalisation - To sharpen with mask in place to exclude stars & background.
UnsharpMask - To sharpen with mask in place to exclude stars & background.
Curves Transformation - To darken blacks slightly.
Curves Transformation - To boost saturation of Ha plumes.
Export as JPEG and import into Lightroom.
Increase Contrast (+15)
Increase Saturation (+15)
Export final JPEG for upload.