How To Make a LRGB Image Using GIMP Quickly and Easily

How To Make a LRGB Image Using GIMP Quickly and Easily

Messier 82 Supernova.jpg

One of the best things about amateur astronomy as a hobby is that every now and then a very rare, once in a lifetime celestial event occurs. Recently, we have been very lucky with comets, close encountering asteroids and now a supernova in a nearby galaxy. Not just any galaxy but the cigar galaxy, messier 82. This galaxy is visible in small telescopes under urban skies and is easily found, being located close to the the Plough. These make it a favourite target for amateur astronomers, but now there is even more reason to look at it as, at the time of writing, a supernova explosion has occurred. 

When these once in a lifetime events happen we are now luckly that we can try to capture them for prosperity using amateur equipment. Unfortunately, the rain hasn’t stopped here so I rented some time on a lovely 17 inch telescope high in the Alpen mountains to collect the image data. Using this data I have made a video that you can watch below showing you a very fast and easy step by step guide to processing an image using the data you receive from these robotic telescopes that you can rent. The image above shows the final result. Not bad (it definitely looks like a cigar) and it clearly shows the amazing supernova.

You can try to get your own image even if you don’t own any astronomy equipment. There are many robotic telescopes to rent on the internet. I use Lightbuckets. It’s a bit expensive but I feel worth it for these once in a lifetime events. Lightbuckets is easy to use. You can simply select ‘easy imaging’ then select the object you wish to image, whether you want it monochrome or colour and how much detail you want. These determine the price. The image above used the lowest detail setting in colour.

If you want to try this, you can download the FITS liberator and GIMP by following the links. Please share any images you create. Have fun.

Now try… Easy Deep Sky Astrophotography - Without a Telescope

Related Posts:  Astrophotography

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