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Sunday, February 21st, 2010
 Tonight was experimentation.   I shot the Double Cluster for just 45 minutes......30 subs at 30 seconds, and 30 subs at 60 seconds.  Not sure if it was too little time, the seeing, or my small scope.  I wasn't able to cleanly resolve all the stars.  The sky looked very light and hazy to me at my location, but others reported good views at nearby areas.  
 
I also shot M51, but that was even less successful.   My camera and my small 80mm refractor (400mm focal length), just isn't the right combination for objects this small.   Even processing with a 2x drizzle didn't help much.   In view of the sky glow, I might have been better off shooting 2 hours of 30 second exposures.   As it was I did and hour of 60 seconds subs.
 
I did an hour and 15 minutes of NGC 891, but that was not worth keeping.  The galaxy is barely visible, even in the stacked image.
 
Scope:    Oreion 80mm ST refractor
Mount:    Celestron CG5 GT (unguided)
Camera: Canon 350D (unmodified)
 
Note:
Reprocessed and reposted the two images.  Neil came over last night and gave me some hands on instruction is using Deep Sky Stacker more correctly.   Thank you, Neil.   Both images are improved.....cleaner, more natural and not stretched beyond the data.
 


Image Gallery For This Session
Dbl Cluster full frame 2 21 10  ISO 400  45 min sm Double Cluster  2 21 10 45 min DSS small
M51 3 15 10 pse 2a M51 Wide field  12 09 ISO 800  B2
M51 Wide field  12 09 ISO 800  B2 label
   

Dbl_Cluster_full_frame_2_21_10__ISO_400__45_min_sm.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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Comments:
On 02/24/10 at 12:26am Barry wrote:
I agree. The M51 image reprocessing didn't do too much with the galaxy....the centers are less burned out....but the background cleaned up very nicely, and without half the effort. Didn't even run gradient exterminator. Slight use of levels and curves....plus Carboni star color.

On 02/23/10 at 11:30pm Neil Heacock wrote:
You're most certainly welcome Barr. Both images are definitely improved. I think the Double Cluster shot in particular has really shaped up into a fine image. One of your best in my opinion.

-Neil



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