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Ceph and Cass

Dumbbell Nebula 1/6/13


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Last night I went off to the dark site to do some observing & imaging, after looking at Saturn for about 20 minutes which was looking quite good as the Cassini was easily viewable as well as 5 of its moons I put M81 in my sights. Unfortunately a breeze got up & ruined a few images which i ended up having to bin (the joys of imaging with a large newt) so I slewed the scope to M27. By this time the wind had dropped but I was noticing some cloud moving in from the West so I kept firing off some subs until the cloud covered it by 1:30. So I packed everything up & went home.

I've been trying to process M81 but I really think more data is needed even though the stacked image in DSS looks rather good so I moved onto M27 & I managed to come up with this. Might add more data tonight if the skies are clear & do a restack & process in the week, I'm still struggling with gradients too so need to get that sorted plus I couldn't quite get the star colour right but guess it doesn't look to bad.

Taken with an unmodded Canon 1000D Skywatcher 200P & Neq6, an unguided image consisting of 33 subs at 90 seconds each stacked with 20 darks & tweaked in Photoshop



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Nice. It's got the makings of a great shot that, well done. I think to get the sky black you overstretched it a bit?

Thanks for the comment & you're probably right about the over stretching part although this is the low res JPEG version I've posted so not sure if it makes much of a difference.

The processing part for me is a bit of a dark art & I'm still learning my way around it & pulling hair out.. :grin:

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That's looking good agree with Steve the sky looks a touch to black so may have clipped it a bit more data is always good.Gradient Xterminator is good for gradients and simple to use and Pixinsight has DBE(dynamic background extraction)I think is even better,I am using the trial version of PI at the moment and referring to Harry Pages tutorials for it which are great.Always seem to have more to learn with the processing definitely a dark art

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I'm looking at getting Gradient Xterminator to help me along so hopefully I should get that side of processing fairly sorted as I've other DSO data that I wouldn't mind having another go at. I'd try another processing program out but I think I'll wait until I'm more confident using PS for now.

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I've added more data to the image today as I was back out to the dark site again Saturday night until the early hours of Sunday morning so I'm up to 2 hours 43 minutes worth of data & it shows in the detail I managed to get, I know it's not the best out there but I'm pretty happy in what I've managed to achieve so far.

I think a modded DSLR is on my wish list now.


I even had the ISS ruin one of my subs not that it bothered me much.


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