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M101 - well just about...

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Thought I'd share this one with you. After spending the best part of 90 minutes messing around trying to image Mars (  :mad:  still no success...), and then trying somewhat optimistically to image with a cheap short tube (  :mad:  :mad:  :mad: ... don't even bother trying this), I returned to my trusty Sigma 105 lens and thought I'd at least have a go at trying to image M101 which was in a good position at approaching midnight.  Here's the result....

M101 Alkaid

Trust me when I say that about half way up the image, about a third of the way in from the left is a fuzzy patch that if blown up does have the appearance of spirals :laugh: . What I'm pleased with is acheiving 60 sec exposures (now my longest yet), and also having success getting the diffraction spikes on Alkaid (top right) using a lens hood with a bottom E-string of an acoustic guitar threaded through it.

With summer coming, I now see it's time to start saving the pennies for a short-tube, maybe a Williams Optics?

Once again, none of this would have started coming together if it were not for having a decent mount. Best advice for all newcomers - invest in this piece of kit first!

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The WO scopes are good, particularly for colour correction in the case of the gt81. The skywatcher ed80 is supposed to be really good for the money.

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You have done well M101 is a challenge at the best of times being quite faint.  

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