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Monday, June 15th, 2009
 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
                                              concerned with.
 
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.
 
 


Image Gallery For This Session
Imaging 6 15 09 M3 Globular Cluster 6 15 09
M51 6 15 09 B M51 6 15 09 crop
M64 6 15 09 A1 M64 6 15 09 A2
M81 6 15 09 FSAT
   

Imaging_6_15_09.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
Brightness:
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Comments:
On 06/23/09 at 05:41am Barry wrote:
Thanks, Jeff. Funny, I am viewing this page from a desktop computer with an LCD flat screen monitor. Yuk, my images look terrible....much darker and too much contrast compared to my laptop screen. I hope this isn;t how everyone is seeing them. Oh well.......

Greetings from Mystic, Connecticut!

On 06/20/09 at 08:23pm Jeff W wrote:
Nice set of images there. I think your m51's are as good as anything ive been able to do. I like the M64 black eye one. I havent tried that one yet. The longest exposure I was able to reliably get without guiding was 20 seconds, and even then I was throwing out half my images. Guiding does add some complexity and weight, with an additional scope & camera but it made a big difference for me. I didnt like essentially wasting half my imaging time.

Processing is my biggest challenge too. I think of it almost like a black art, a little eye of newt & some dragon scales improve the image a ton.

M81 has been a tough one for me too, the one time I attempted it all I ended up with was a hint of a smudge. That was when I was still unguided so I may try it again sometime but im still licking my wounds on that one.

Anyway, keep up the work and keep up the posts.

clear skies!
Jeff.



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