Spent the evening and early morning, imaging at Neil's house. He's only a few miles away, but what a difference a few miles makes.....no street lights.....no businesses near by. I would say the sky is about as good as it gets from a semi-urban location.
My pictures are a bit of a disappointment, but I enjoyed having company while waiting for the imaging runs to complete, and I got some good views through Neil's 16" Dob.
I still have a lot to learn about processing........I will work on these when I have time. I think they can be improved. The aligning and stacking process seems to produce a slightly different result each time. I hate to admit it, because it goes against my "keep it simple" approach, but I am probably going to have to go to autoguiding. My longest exposure is 30 minutes, while Neil is routinely going and hour and longer. I am using exposure of 30-40 seconds.....and may be able to stretch that to 60 seconds with better alignment, but Neil is doing 5 minute exposures.
My set up:
CG5 GoTo mount, 80MM short tube refractor, Orion StarShoot
II color, Maxim DL lite, Photo Shop Elements.
M51, the Whirlpool galaxy: 46 exposures @ 40 seconds each = 29 minutes. 2 images from
2 processing attempts.
M64, The Blackeye galaxy: 30 exposures @ 30 seconds each = 15 minutes Had to cut this
one short due to haze, a rising moon and a lightening sky.....
cropped and uncropped
M3 Globular Cluster: 35 exposures @ 40 seconds each = 23 minutes M3 is
probably the best data of the night. No nebulosity to be
M81 Bode's Nebula: 46 exposures @ 40 seconds each = 30 minutes This object
just refuses to be photographed by me......I guess it doesn't
like me. LOL I am still working with the data, but this object
may have to wait for a dark sky site.