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Open source Bubble Nebula data from NASA

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So I found a free program developed by the ESA (European Space Agency) called FITS Liberator. It basically reads and stretches FITS data and saves it as .tiff files. I've also found some open source images from NASA's Hubble Telescope where they allow you to download their .fits files on some targets for education and experimentation purposes. I've been wanting to know how Affinity Photo would handle an edit like this because one day, I'd like to purchase my own astroimaging camera that can capture narrow band emissions, and so far I am liking the results. I do not however come close to the skill that went into the finished NASA image though so I have a lot of work to get to that point.
The Images here for reference were taken in Hydrogen alpha (Ha), NII and OIII
What was done: Bubble Nebula 3 sets of .fits data brought into FITS Liberator, stretched and saved as .tiff 2x (one minimal stretch to preserve highlights, one stronger stretch to bring out more nebulousness). I then brought these 6 into AP. I brought the 3 minimal stretches into their own window and the 3 stronger stretches into another window. I performed the following edits on each set individually: Selected all three layers, straightened them,and cropped the excess off. As they were all grayscale, I converted them to 16 bit RGB so I could manipulate the layers and create a Hubble false colour image.
I then selected each layer individually and mapped it to a specific colour. This is done in the channels tab at the bottom underneath layers. You select the layer you want, scroll down to the bottom where it says: Pixel Red, Pixel Green, Pixel Blue, Pixel Alpha. To isolate a specific colour, you right click on which ones you don't want and press "clear". For example, for Hydrogen alpha I cleared pixel red and pixel blue, turning the layer green. For NII I cleared pixels green and blue, turning this layer red and for OIII I cleared pixels green and red, turning this layer blue.
I then selected all three, went to the blend options and selected negation.
Once this was done for both sets of the 3 images, I flattened them and copied the stronger stretched version and pasted it into the minimal stretched version. I then made sure they were aligned and used the Blend ranges tool to blend and restore the highlights. This kept the surrounding nebulosity visible but made sure the centre wasn't too white.
I then flattened the image again and did some contrast/shadow adjustments, curves adjustment, clarity adjustment, and a tiny white balance adjustment. Flattened it again and exported out as a tiff and into LR for some more minor adjustments and storage.
All this work, and I fell spectacularly short of the NASA edit, so I have a lot of learning yet to do. I've combined the source images, my finished edit and NASA's finished edit into one image for reference. Same data, so I should be able to get it close to NASA's version with more practice.

I do have a feature request for AP to incorporate .fits files into their fold.

38165322801_72c5ee97a3_b.jpgBubbleNebulaHubbleData by Greg Murray, on Flickr

37455059134_050521e6c9_b.jpgBubbleLessonPoster by Greg Murray, on Flickr


FInd me at:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GM-Photography-142947659079869/

 

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmphotography32/

 

or my personal website, not kept frequently up to date: www.gmphotography.ca

 

I use Affinity Photo, Lightroom, Panorama Maker 5, and Photomatix for my photography.

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May I just say: WOW!

This looks amazing. What a great use of this data.

 

I love the style of your photograph (is that the right term), it has a very different feel to the NASA one. I wouldn't say that one is better than the other. Yours is more dreamy and mysterious: if the bright star was not there (or visualised differently), it would make a great album-cover :)

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So cool! Thank you for posting your process too. I might just have to try that sometime.


2018 iPad Pro 12.9” | Apple Pencil 2 | Affinity Designer for iPad 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher for iPad?

2019 MacBook Pro 16” | Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.1

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I did run out of likes, as if not, this post would deserve 10 or 100 likes........ :D (not for the request, but for the depth you went through for the making of this...)

 

Having had to illustrate from zero (invented, not from serious data like you did) often nebulae stuff, galaxies, planets... I deeply appreciate this stuff... Even while I am an absolute ignorant about astronomy... (but love all the images ...). "It's full of stars !"

 

 


AD, AP and APub.  Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1650 4GB, 500GB m.2 SSD, 1TB HDD 7200rpm. Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Thanks folks!
I really can't take credit for the photo, just the edit. BTW, I did get it looking a lot more like the NASA/Hubble Heritage folks did. Done by adding a layer of Hydrogen Alpha coloured blue. My brother and I think that they did this because the Ha is glowing at different temperatures inside the cloud. I have to say, Affinity Photo handles these edits wonderfully.

26479304509_6bac05722c_b.jpgBubbleFinal by Greg Murray, on Flickr


FInd me at:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GM-Photography-142947659079869/

 

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmphotography32/

 

or my personal website, not kept frequently up to date: www.gmphotography.ca

 

I use Affinity Photo, Lightroom, Panorama Maker 5, and Photomatix for my photography.

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