Stellar magnitude and color ranges seem "flattened".

General discussion about Celestia that doesn't fit into other forums.
Topic author
Yarlan Zey
Posts: 1
Joined: 27.05.2018
With us: 4 months 20 days

Stellar magnitude and color ranges seem "flattened".

Post #1by Yarlan Zey » 27.05.2018, 08:28

It's possible that I'm mis-remembering how Celestia has looked in the past, and it's been a while since I last looked at it. But when I look at it now, the range of magnitudes seems to be "flattened", so that bright stars don't stand out as much as they do IRL. For instance, in the following Celestia screengrab of the region between the Hyades and the Pleiades, those two asterisms barely seem to stand out against the background of dimmer stars. Aldebaran does seem a bit brighter, but again to a much lesser extent than I expect. I notice, too, that nearly all the stars seem to be plain white. The faintest visible magnitude in the Celestia screenshot, if memory serves, is around 10, and it is true that the magnitude variations seem to show up better if I lower the magnitude sensitivity to about 8, which is about as faint as my camera was able to pick up, and even more so if I lower it further still to 6. However, the problem then becomes that all the star images seem too faint and difficult to see. That might be a problem with my computer, but I really don't know.

Celestia Screenshot

By contrast, in the following image which I took myself, the Hyades and Pleiades really stand out against the background. (Note: I used Photoshop and the third-party action kit Astronomy Tools to reduce ISO noise, compensate for light pollution, and add the diffraction points. This tool also made it possible to turn up the color saturation, so the star colors are highly exaggerated but I believe they are mostly correct regarding the qualitative aspect of the colors.) The focal length, exposure, aperture, and ISO are 18, 4s, 3.5, and 500.

My own photo of roughly the same region.

With regard to the colors in the Celestia image, is there some setting I have inadvertently changed to remove nearly all the saturation in the display?

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