Super-Resolution Imaging of Messier 57

This is a first trial to apply a sophisticated technique of super-resolution imaging to the famous ring nebula Messier 57. It is an amazing result to obtain a high-resolution image with subpixel precise information from only a handful of input images.

The left side shows one of the raw frames with its rough pixel scale and noise. The right side of the image shows the result of a new technique applied to obtain the high-resolution image with a four times higher resolution of the image. Note the close binary star in the lower part of the image. The gain in resolution is clearly demonstrated. While the distance of both stars is only three pixel in the original image (left), the binary appears well separated and much sharper from the resulting high-resolution image (right). The high resolved image (right) appears, as if it would have been taken with a larger telescope and camera and also much better seeing conditions.

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Figure: The technique of super-resolution applied to a set of images of Messier 57. Click to enlarge.


Telescope:Vixen VC200L, 8" Cassegrain telescope, focal reducer f/6.4, Sphinx SXD
Camera:Canon EOS 60D-a, 400 ISO, Astronomik UV/IR block filter
Exposure:15 x 30s
Calibration:Dark (100 images), sky flatfield (100 images)
Image Processing:Super-Resolution method (not yet published)
Date of exposure:1 September 2011, 21:45 - 22:05 h MESZ
Software:ArgusPro SE

Synthetic PSF resulted in seeing artifacts (uncorrected)

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