Ah yes, another cloudy night … with more clouds and rain predicted for another week.  So, what can we do?  How about revisit and reprocess some older data?!  On the assumption I have learned something over the past year, I decided to take some old images and try reprocessing them.

M42, The Orion Nebula is one of the most gorgeous “easy to find” nebula in the sky.  It’s star forming region has the pleasant effect of illuminating the nebula itself – no dim “star blew itself up” effects here…!

The following image is from over a year ago, Feb 17, 2009.  Taken with the Celestron, CPC 1100, Canon Rebel XSI and processed originally with DeepSkyStacker.  Made from 8x 30s exposures, it’s not too bad.  While it didn’t burn out the Trapezium into one giant blob, it’s not super distinct, either.  Overall diffusion is a bit light.

M42, Messier 42, Orion Nebula

M42, Messier 42, Orion Nebula

Unfortunately I don’t have a larger high res image. I used to shrink them down to speed up processing and cover up imperfections in my imaging; it’s like poor-mans binning.

Anyway, I took the exact same original .CR2 files and reprocessed them using MaximDL and a little bit differently; different color balance, a bit of unsharpen mask, and of course, a different stretch.  I wanted to bring out a bit more diffusion without blowing out the trapezium.  Here’s the final result:

M42, Messier 42, Orion Nebula

M42, Messier 42, Orion Nebula

This goes to show that the processing of data is incredibly important. And, even if your subs look shoddy, today’s software is capable of some pretty amazing stuff!

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