IC 1396 image details

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This composite image of the very faint emission nebula IC 1396 was formed in 1999 by combining 3 exposures that were taken using 2 different telescopes. Rajiv Gupta used a 5-inch f/6 refractor for 165- and 210-minute exposures on medium-format gas-hypersensitized Kodak Technical film using a red filter. Peter Ceravolo used a 7-inch f/2.4 Maksutov astrograph for a 40-minute exposure on Ektachrome E100 color film. The images were registered using RegiStar and then combined into a single color image using Adobe Photoshop. The image was featured in Sky & Telescope in its December 2000 issue.

Even though very different telescopes were used, RegiStar automatically deformed the images to match each other.

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Full image

Color Image Black-and-white Image
Black-and-white Image

The 3 original images, after they were registered by RegiStar, are given here. The 2 black-and-white exposures were digitally stacked by RegiStar. This stacking eliminated the flaw in the upper left of the image on the left and also improved the overall image quality. Then, the color information in the original color image at the upper left was added using the Lab color model in Photoshop. The resulting final image combines the fine detail of the black-and-white exposures with the color information of the original color image.


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