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Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Tonight was not only surprisingly clear (the forecast did not call for clear sky until later), it was much darker then normal. I could see the Milky Way coming from Battle Ground across the sky and disappearing into Portland. On a clear dark night I can normally see a faint dusting of the Milky Way at the zenith in particular, but tonight I could see much more of it then normal. Sweet!

The problem is, there isn't much time in a June sky and because I didn't expect it to be this good I didn't even go out until about 11:30 and get set up by midnight. Of all nights to run into trouble I had some strange alignment issue with the scope (it turned out I didn't have the dovetail seated just right) and when I performed my first alignment star goto the RA didn't move. So it took til nearly 1am just to get a shot off. But I took 2 hours of the fireworks galaxy NGC 6946 and companion cluster NGC 6939.

NGC 6946 and NGC 6939 Image
I shot 2 hours of this group last night and was very pleased with how bright and detailed the galaxy turned. To my astonishment the stars have quite a bit of color in them. It must have been the darkness of the sky because I don't normally get color this good. With the exception of the dark patches under the objects (which is an artifact of Gradient XTerminator - I'm still trying to figure out how to get it not to do that) I'm very pleased with this image. This image is my second (and likely final) crack at processing.
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
ISO: 800
Exposure: 120 minutes - (24 x 300s)
Processing Software: Acquired in Nebulosity, Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels and Curves in Photoshop
See Gallery below for image



Image Gallery For This Session
NGC6946 NGC6939 2h
   

NGC6946-NGC6939-2h.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
If the picture seems too bright or too dark, try adjusting the brightness below.
Brightness:
|
  



Comments:
On 06/30/09 at 09:26pm Barry wrote:
You won't believe this, but I had no idea you shot NGC 6946. I looked at your entry the other night, but 6946 didn't stick in my mind. Last night, I went through a galaxy catalog online and thought 6946 would be a good project....having no idea that you shot it a few nights before. Anyway, yours is a very nice shot. Beginning to think I don't belong on the journal with the likes of my images. They don't measure up to the stuff being posted lately.

On 06/25/09 at 10:36pm Neil Heacock wrote:
Hello Dave. You can always email me. You can definitely send me attachments via email.

And yeah... in my initial upload I ad mentioned that my first rendition was a rough cut and that I'd be uploading a new one that I spent more time on. That happened the next day. LOL.

In the newer version I didn't soften it quite as much, and I didn't saturate the colors quite as much. Even still, you did a great job processing the 8 bit jpeg with PixInsight. $250 or so is too rich for me right now, but I may consider getting a copy in the future.

-Neil

On 06/25/09 at 09:48pm dave wrote:
Neil;
glad to hear it ...
having said that you seem to have "recrisped" your photo a bit !
My main interest in snagging other peoples photos (when I run out of mine) is to see how much of a factor sky gradient/vignetting is...at the risk of sounding like an add for Pix, I am quite struck by what it can do....and of course this allows to increase the stretching somewhat...
having said that, its OK to praise lobster,but I have never tried steak! (PS)
Is there somewhere I could Email you any images I might fiddle with? I don't think the DA/Yahoo mail allows attachments...
regards

Dave

On 06/25/09 at 08:46pm Neil Heacock wrote:
Thanks Dave. Very nice. It's a little crisp for my current taste in processing (I've been processing a bit softer and less contrasty these days) but you did a great job.

And no worries about "bugging" me. I'm easy going!

-Neil

On 06/25/09 at 07:11pm Dave wrote:
Neil;worrying that I had "bugged you" I took that reprocess off my Flickr site...
I will put it back up...
here is a link to my site;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveh56/

Miquel; there is a free "lit" version,and a 30 day trial...

On 06/24/09 at 09:10am Andy wrote:
Nice photo Dave, Im so impressed by yours and Barrys work in such average locations.. hope to meet you Friday

On 06/24/09 at 12:36am Miquel wrote:
Hi Dave,

I had never heard of this program, but I just did some research. Did you use the Pixinsight free version or a recent version?

Thanks for your help,

M.

On 06/23/09 at 04:40pm Neil Heacock wrote:
Sure Dave. Please do. I don't use that program.

On 06/23/09 at 04:05pm Dave Halliday wrote:
Neil; I just ran that through pixinsight and there is a ton more in there...
Shall I (?how can I) Email it to you...

On 06/23/09 at 03:30pm Greg Marshall wrote:
Nice shot, Neil. I was out last night (yes, it was surprisingly nice) and probably will be again tonight, but just doing testing. Maybe I'll get to take a picture tonight.

Greg




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