Messier M63 unprocessed

Messier M63 unprocessed image

Galaxy Imaging Processing & Astro Artistry

Messier M63 processed

Messier M63 processed image

Imaging processing calibrates the image with respect to the CCD camera that took the image. Also, imaging processing extracts a better signal to noise by combining multiple images. Astro artistry emphasizes a personal preference of presenting the image.

The above two Messier M68 spiral galaxy images show a single uncalibrated image and the result of calibrating, combining and processing 64 images into one image. These images are a small 150 x 92 sub frame of the complete 640 x 480 image. The small white dots in the uncalibrated image are hot pixels camera defects that can be removed with a calibration procedure and are not stars.

This is a typical imaging processing procedure I have been using on Fastar images as of March 2001. AIP4WIN, MaxIm DL and Paint Shop Pro are used for imaging processing. Some of the below steps are detailed menu setups in MaxIm DL.

Setup directories and files


Check quality of files

Create master dark frame and use a previous camera flat.

MaxIm DL 2.09

Calibrate raw image files in MaxIm DL (All the below steps to Paint Shop Pro are in MaxIm DL)

Combine calibrated images into one image for better signal to noise level

Remove the gradient and correct image view.

Use MaxEnt to bring out detail.

MaxEnt Set Noise

MaxEnt Run maxEnt

Select the best MaxEnt iteration

Use Digital Development to improve the display dynamic range and to provide sharping.

Paint Shop Pro 7.04

Save as a TIFF so that it can be used in Paint Shop Pro

Use Paint Shop Pro to remove edge gradient from the median combine process and other gradients it they exist. Save as a new TIF file for future use and save as a JPG for web usage.