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HAL heaton

Location of Photo:

Chilescope-Very Small Telescope (Telescope 4)

Date/Time of photo:

27 January 2020 (moonless)


Telescope: Nikkor 200:2 telephoto lens (100mm aperture, f/2), unguided; Camera: Unbinned FLI Microline 16200; Filters: H-alpha, OIII, R, G, B; Exposure Times: 5-min (narrowband), 3-min (broadband).


Although one of the nearest galaxies to the Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud lies in excess of a billion billion kilometers away in the southern constellation Dorado. The light captured in this widefield image left that galaxy more than 163,000 years ago. Spanning 7.8 x 6.2 degrees, it shows numerous bright nebula and supernova remnants superposed on the bluish stellar bar and faint single arm of this atypical spiral. The most conspicuous of these is the bright Tarantula Nebula, located just above the left (i.e., NE) end of the central disk. (North is up, and East is to the left.) After calibrating the raw data in CCDStack2, this image was produced by integrating the component frames in each band for 30 mins. The initial RGB color rendition made from these results was used to prepare synthetic luminance and normalized broadband channel images, which were blended with appropriate narrowband means in PhotoshopCC 2019 to enhance their detail. A new RGB image was constructed from these enhanced broadband products, and it was used to color the synthetic luminance. The color was adjusted nominally in Photoshop’s LAB-mode using Curves and by slightly increasing its saturation, after which the image was high-pass filtered, noise reduced, subjected to a mild unsharp mask, and marginally cropped.


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