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M45 1st serious go with SX M26c


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Got this camera quite a while ago now. The first camera had to be replaced because of a fault. I managed a mediocre image of M33 last year but mainly to compare a couple of fast newts. Anyway, M45 has been on the agenda for some time. I wanted to see if I could manage to get some background dust with an OSC cam and a moderately light polluted sky.

This image was captured over 3 nights, one with awful LP, one moderate and one good by local standards.

Camera SX M26c

Scope Tak FSQ 106 with 0.78 reducer

IDAS LP filter

Subs 31x15mins

Captured, calibrated, debayered and combined in Maxim. Finished in PS. I faffed around endlessly trying to remove what I thought was a gradient removal artefact looking like a dark band around half the cluster. It was only after looking at a few images on the internet that I realised it isn't an artefact at all!

I've attached 2 pics, one pushing as hard as is civilised to show the background dust and one with a more gentle stretch. I'm pretty pleased with the depth achieved from a light polluted site but still fancy repeating the excercise from a really dark site.



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That's a lot of dust you've captured there Martin :smiley: Pretty stunning amount of dust captured there from a light polluted site. I'm torn as to which I prefer, probably image 2, partly on aesthetic grounds but also as I can still see the duct captured in the image - just less prominent...


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Thanks guys. Yes, I'd plump for the second one. I wasn't sure whether the just visible dust would stand up to transferring the image to the forum but I can still see the dim stuff on my monitor. I try to stick to the principle that just because you can show something doesn't mean you should! The first image is getting pretty noisy and it won't take any more smoothing without starting to look ugly.

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Great work Martin, the second one is better, since its less stretch and showing less noise! A dark site would really help out a lot here. I spent some time at Mick's where he has mag. 6 sky's and it make a big difference. The sub's are noticeably smoother with a lot less noise etc...

Never mind, one day I'm going to retire to a mountain top (at least 1500m) with perfect sky's and no light pollution... :grin: I might move in with Prokyon if he'll have me!!! :Envy:

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