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Leo_triplet (M65, M66, NGC 3628)
 
© D Elijah
Credit D Elijah
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Leo_triplet (M65, M66, NGC 3628)

Date: 23/03/2017.

My first deep sky imaging session for over 4 months! I really had to take my time setting up since I was quite rusty with everything. I have had my eye on the Leo triplet for some time now and I took this as my chance. Unfortunately, it was much lower in the sky than I imagined when looking at Stellarium so I only had about 1 hour of imaging time before it was out of view. Another factor that night was the wind, I lost many frames because of movement, the guider did a reasonable job but I may have set it with too low aggressiveness - it took some time to get the camera back on target after the wind had disturbed the scope.

Optics and camera: Skywatcher Evostar 120 F/D=8.33 (Achromat) with a Baader UHCs filter (for removing light pollution). The camera was a IR-filter removed Canon 600D.

Settings: 18 x 3 minute lights, 50 darks from library, 50 flats taken recently and 50 bias frames. ISO 800.

Mount: Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 with extension pillar.

Processing: The Lights and calibrations frames were processed using Deep Sky Stacker. I set the star detation thresholds to values that caught about 30-40 stars. The final images were stretched in RGB and I then balanced the histograms to retain white balance. Luminance was tweaked to show faint detail. The halo around the Hamberger galaxy (NGC 3628) is within the image but too close the noise to show without ruining the image. I should also say that there is a slight gradient in sky background towards the bottom (-dec) part of the image that I have attributed to glare from neighbours houses. Overall, I'm very happy to be imaging the Deep black stuff again!

Credit

D Elijah

Copyright

© D Elijah
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