More friends on the premises. Scott came over tonight with his 18" ATM Dob with the keeler Swayze optics and we enjoyed many great views. Seeing was not fantastic, but the sky was clear and dark and we had lots of fun.
I was also tinkering with my imaging system during this to get ready for Trout Lake this weekend. I ran through the various components to ensure they were all aligned and ready to rock and roll. A tweak here and there and things were in ship shape.
For a test I took 30 minutes of the Perseus Double Cluster. Due to the clusters having so many bright stars, I took 2 minute exposures instead of the 5 minute exposures I've been doing. I'm more then pleased with the image. Stars are tight, colors are decently preserved and diffraction spikes are starting to grow on me. The only thing to be desired I suppose is the fact that the sky is somewhat brown due to the light pollution around me. Try as I may to process it out I can't get a really nice smokey gray sky unless I change the color balance and I'm trying not to do that these days and just display the image with little processing and as "natural" as possible.
Double Cluster Image
I shot 30 minutes of this because I couldn't stay up any longer to take an hour. I'm not sure it needs it anyway. 30 minutes worth of 2 minute subs seems to present the subject just fine.
Scope: Vixen R200SS 200mm @ f/4 w/Vixen R200SS Coma Corrector
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G with GoTo
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: William Optics ZenithStar 66 SD
Camera: Canon EOS 20D (unmodified)
Special Settings: None
Exposure: 30 minutes - (15 x 120s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity with high dithering, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker (Kappa-Sigma Clipping for all frames), Levels, Curves, Astronomy Tools, Gradient XTerminator and Noise Ninja in Photoshop
Support Files: 24 flats, 24 bias, one dark used as a bad pixel map
See Gallery below for image