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I was getting 30-40 second unguided subs tonight/this morning with no really noticeable star trailing, but all the longer subs did was burn out the Trapesium. The "outer" nebula just isn't on the chip, so not much point in longer LX's. I decided to limit the exposures to 15 seconds, in a bid to show the multiple system, the Trapesium, and as much of the nebula as possible.

Anyone know of a focal reducer for an F5 Newt?


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I wouldn't say that the 'Trapezium' was that 'overcooked' Tony, as the 'star group' is still clearly visible in there.

As I said the other day, M42 looks an easy target, but looks are deceiving, and it isn't that easy at all.

For an unguided image, I'd say that's a pretty fair result, with some very distinct detail in there.

BTW, are the 'dark halos' around the stars visible in the original image, or are they the result of applying some 'sharpening' (unsharp mask) ?

If its the latter, then they can be eliminated in Photoshop, by creating a 'star layer', before sharpening the nebula.

MartinB's 'primer' explains this process very well.

All in all, a good result!!


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That is a good image Tony. I am no expert at all,

But it is a question of manipulating layers I think. It has to be an art I think.

Just something else to learn I suppose.

I bought a .5 reducer 2" diameter one from here.

Scroll almost to the bottom of the page. Read the bit about Newtonian telescopes.

Ron. :D


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