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Messier 8 – a Hubble Telescope mosaic

I was searching through the Hubble Telescope press releases again today and found this release from April 19, 2018.  The press release image looked very interesting.  Most of the Hubble data on M8 that I have been able to find has been very narrow field images focused on the “Hourglass Nebula”  and were imaged with the WFPC2 camera.  The image in this press release was a wide field view of the area so I started looking around at the various Hubble data sites to see if I could find out whether the data set is available to download.  It took some looking but I finally found the data.  Apparently it is a 4 panel mosaic taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 and was assembled from recent observations between February 12 and 18, 2018.   Narrowband and IR filtered data is available for download.  The image on this page was assembled from the N II, H-alpha and O III filters and mapped to red, green and blue respectively.   You can follow this link to see the available data downloads.

More information on this area of Messier 8 can be found at this link.

The color channels were combined with PixInsight.  Basic histogram stretching and color channel balancing was also done in PixInsight with the HistogramTransformation tool.  The RGB image was saved as a 16 bit TIFF for export to Photoshop.  Color balancing was done in Photoshop.  Also, I used small scale (30 pixels) and large scale (200 pixels) high pass filter layers to bring out the large scale contrast and small scale detail.

The image directly below is the full frame image.  The second image below (and the image featured above) is crop of the “Hourglass Nebula” area at a higher resolution.  Click on the images below to see larger versions.  You can also see a larger version on my Astrobin page.


Posted in Bright Nebula, Hubble Telescope Image

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