Wednesday night, 11pm PDT 9/1/10:
Not a bad night in general. I was able to get most of this data before the moon rose. Guiding was only partially successful. I shot 36 exposures of NGC 7331 but I only stacked 31 of them due to tracking errors. I had only one large multi-pixel jump in the Dec axis, but it deviated by more than a pixel (a pixel +) 4 or 5 times. Later, on another on another sequence, it settled down.
This is a tough one to process.....balancing the main galaxy, star quality, background, and the smaller galaxies. This is my first go at it. The tiny galaxies are visible but tend to get lost in the stars. Not sure if I can correct that without messing up the rest of the image. I do like the dust lane detail in 7331.
93 minutes ( 31 x 180 seconds) @ ISO 800 5 Darks, no Flats, No Bias Transparency: Average Seeing: above average
6" f/5 imaging Newtonian, Orion ST80 guide scope, CG5 GT mount (guided), Canon 350D, StarShoot II guide camera.
Captured in Nebulosity, aligned and stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, processed in Photo Shop CS1 with Carboni tools and Gradient Exterminator
The Deer Lick Group, NGC 7331 & Friends (NGC's 7336,7333,7335,7338,7340) and Stephan's Quintet (NGC's 7320, 7319, 7318A & B, 7317)
7331 is approx 46 million light years from Earth. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1784. NGC 7320 in Stephan's Quintet (Hickson Compact Group 92) is about the same distance away.....the others, 7319, 7318A & 7318B, 7317 are much further at about 290 million light years. The group was discovered by Edouard Stephan in 1877.
* Why I like DSLR's.....you can take the camera off the scope and shoot a picture of the scope.