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Another gift of a night for us here on the Central West Coast so I didn't waste it. Against the forecast of bad seeing and cloud cover I was treated to pretty steady skies so I jumped at another chance. I had learned quite a bit from shooting the Trifid nebula the night before as to what the rig needed so I shortened the spacing on the corrector lens ( bye bye rotator) and re-shot my flats into the sky at dusk with a white t-shirt wrapped over the end of the scope. As soon as Mars was into view and the sky dark enough I slewed to it, slightly de-focused and re-collimated the C8. Gotta love Bob's Knobs! Ok with that done I refocused and waited for the real Dark to set in..

Around 11p.m. I calibrated and tested the tracking accuracy of PHD2 and focus using tiny M9. 5 minutes was working but to play it safe I decided to go with 3 minute subs and after a bit of tweeking was ready for my real objective for the night...

The Pillars of Creation have always fascinated me ever since the stunning Hubble images brought it so close to us and scientists finally had an understanding of what exactly was going on in this beautiful and amazing area of our sky. After that and since getting into AP it's been a goal of mine for quite a few years now. After imaging for over 3 hours total here are the results using my un-modded Canon and humble late 90's USA made Celestron C8.

35-180 second lights @ ISO 800 20 darks and 45 flats stacked and initially tweeked in DSS then into PS for WB and levels and curves and finally into LR for some slight tweeking and final sharpening. Please give me your thoughts on the processing and final image. Hope you get to capture your dreams as well every night...Look up!

Pillars of Creation 2-4.jpg

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1 minute ago, laudropb said:

Very nice image. You are certainly getting the most out of your DSLR.

Very much appreciate the kind words Sir. Thank you!

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1 hour ago, kendg said:

Excellent work. 

Proves the old adage of making the best of what you have.

Thanks for posting.

I really try my best and put a lot into the process with the humble gear I use. Thank you for the kind words Ken.

Edited by Leveye
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cracking job on this one buddy! Plenty of detail, a nice colour balance and a great star field. You certainly are making the most of your humble old C8 and umodded camera. Well done indeed!  

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