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First attempt at 'proper' tracking with M44

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Been fiddling around with tracking mounts for a while now but have been limited by equipment (only an EQ3). Last November I managed to get hold of a second hand HEQ5 mount and last night I managed to give it a go for the first time, looking at M44. I was quite impressed by the result:

M44 18th April 2014 small

Quite please with the result in the end, given my longest frames have only ever been 15s in the past.
I used a Canon 1100D, ISO 800, with a 105 Sigma lens at f4.5. The picture is a result of 20 x 40s frames (of course with the usual flats, etc) followed by processing in Deep Sky Stacker and GIMP. I used APT (astrophotography tools) for the session which really helped. I'd previously tried using an illuminated reticule eyepiece to do drift alignment, but the function in APT was excellent. It also really helped to plan the session, since I knew what size the object would be. Setting up the session was easy as well.
Hardest part was actually processing as I couldn't seem to get colour into the picture. I'm quite pleased with the final result.
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Nice image im a bit supprised that you couldnt get the EQ3 to at least 90 seconds though.


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