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11/30/-1
    
Thursday, July 26th, 2007
Though the moon is nearly full, it's very low on the horizon tonight. And for me, since it's behind the trees and the evening is mild and clear, I thought I'd try some experimental imaging. The two experiments I wanted to try are:
1) Shooting with the moon this full
2) A wide field piggybacked shot
 
The tracking was working decently and the focus is about as good as my optics can get. Even though there is quite a bit of sky glow from the bright moon I was imaging in the darkest part of the sky for the most part.  

Also, because the images are a bit better then previous shots, I am able to post both small and large images. Here are the results of the experiments:
 
Draco
The "Draco Trio" - NGC 5981, NGC 5982, NGC 5985 - Galaxy Group
This was an experiment to see, not if I can pick up the galaxies as they are not too terribly dim,  but more to see if I could distinguish the three types of galaxies. I'm very pleased with the relatively quick results after only 8 minutes of exposure. The fact that the spirals on the face on NGC 5985 are starting to show makes me want to gather more data on this grouping.
Scope: Hardin 12" (300mm) Deep Space Hunter @ f/5
Camera: Canon EOS 350 Digital Rebel XT (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 8 minutes 10 seconds - 49 @ 10 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
Resolution: 50%
 
 
Cepheus
NGC 7235 - Open Cluster 
This was actually my selection for acquiring focus. It's actually a pretty interesting small open cluster. The bright star in the image is Epsilon Cephei.
Scope: Hardin 12" (300mm) Deep Space Hunter @ f/5
Camera: Canon EOS 350 Digital Rebel XT (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 3 minute 20 seconds- 20 @ 10 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
Resolution: 50%
 
 
Cygnus
IC 5146 - Cocoon Nebula 
This target was particularly interesting to me as it was my primary object of study tonight. I wanted to spend the bulk of my time trying to gather enough data to actually see the large diffused nebula. The images I've seen of it are pretty red, and my camera is stock and unmodified so I was not sure if with my 10 second subs if I'd be able to really get any data at all. The image is more then I hoped for and gives me encouragement that even on a near-full moon night, I can get a decent shot of cool DSOs.
Scope: Hardin 12" (300mm) Deep Space Hunter @ f/5
Camera: Canon EOS 350 Digital Rebel XT (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 19 minutes - 114 @ 10 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
Resolution: 50%
 
 
Cassiopeia
M103 - Open Cluster
While in this region of the sky I thought I'd try for another shot of M103. I took a shot last year on 7/23/06 when I was shooting through an eyepiece and only knew how to take single frame shots. This new shot with prime focus and stacking proves that I've come a long way in the last year!
Scope: Hardin 12" (300mm) Deep Space Hunter @ f/5
Camera: Canon EOS 350 Digital Rebel XT (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 1 minute 50 seconds - 11 @ 10 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
Resolution: 50%
 
 
Andromeda
M31 Wide Field
This shot is a bit of a disappointment though it helps in the overall point of the wide field experiment. This is 30 minutes worth of exposure and the galaxy is not as detailed as I would have expected. I will try this again at a dark sky site and try 3 minute or so exposures to see what that looks like.
Scope: None
Camera: Canon EOS 350 Digital Rebel XT (unmodified) piggybacked with Quantaray 70-300 lens at 70mm and f/4
Special Settings: None
ISO: 1600
Exposure: 30 minutes - 60 @ 30 seconds
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
Resolution: 50%
 

 


Image Gallery For This Session
Draco Trio 8min 10sec LG Draco Trio 8min 10sec
IC1546 19min 10sec LG IC1546 19min 10sec
M103 1min 50sec LG M103 1min 50sec
M31 WideField 30min LG M31 WideField 30min
NGC7235 3min 20sec LG NGC7235 3min 20sec
   

Draco-Trio-8min-10sec-LG.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
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