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PhotoGav

First Proper Galaxy - M81 - At Last!

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Here it is, my first 'successful' galaxy with the newly (though quite a while ago now...) acquired Celestron 8" EdgeHD.

M81, Bode's Nebula:

post-29321-0-30050700-1395597883_thumb.p

Taken on 22-03-14. 10 x 1200s subs at 800ISO, calibrated with darks, flats & bias. Stacked in Nebulosity 3, processed in CS3.

This has taken me an age to get. The Edge has pushed my patience to new limits. However, using the Celestron OAG, I am finally managing to guide the great big thing for long enough to gather some usable data. Having wanted to throw the scope out of a first floor window, I now cradle it like a proud Daddy. Shame that I am using the 60D and not a lovely cooled CCD, but there we go. My bank balance has almost reached zero... I have started saving for the next astro-acquisition.

All opinions, advice and comments gratefully received. Especially comments on processing please as there are all sorts of strange light and dark bits...!

Clear Skies All!

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That's a great image for your first Galaxy keep up the good work 

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Thank you folks.

Last night, while photographing M82 (had to be done, M81 was feeling lonely without its regular companion!), I discovered that I didn't have dithering activated in APT. Unfortunately that was right at the end of the session, but hopefully it will unlock another level of quality for the next project.

Clear skies!

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Very nice. Just checking you really used 20min subs! With your darks assuming you took 10 of those that's a marathon session :-)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Cheers Owmuchonomy.

A small session really, the best pics I've seen have hours and hours of data, so 3 hours 20 minutes is just the start of this image! It needs quite a few more hours to improve it. As for when I'll be able to acquire that data... With this weather it could be years!

I used 49 darks.... Not taken at the same time, but a few months ago in my fridge! Fridge darks seem to work perfectly well. I just had some pretty strange looks from my wife and children when I set up the laptop with a cable running into the meat compartment of the fridge...!

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Ace image, Gav, I really like this one...as to processing, even when I use flats, sometimes, I make "my own" flats from the image, there are 2 ways I know, they work out just abt. the same. You may want to check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTEVMH_WE80 , it's a tutorial by Doug German on gradient removal..been fighting that particular beast for a while,m and this works well. 

Andy

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Thank you Andy. I will definitely have a good look at the tutorial and give it a try. What with clear skies, but an increasingly bright moon about, gradient removal will be even more necessary for now!!!

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