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Did you use DSS for stacking? If you did, go into the stacking settings and go to the COSMETIC tab and uncheck the HOT PIXEL DETECTION AND REMOVAL and that will get rid of the donut effect on your stars. I think the focus might be out which can also affect the stars like that, but definitely try the change in DSS if you are using it, it worked for me.

If you aren't using DSS, then you can politely nod and ignore me! :-)

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That's a nice variation on "lucky imaging".

Without knowing more about how you processed this image, it's difficult to give you advice on what may have caused the strange star profiles. Other than what Mark already wrote.

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TBH I have spent the last 8 months using a starlight xpress sxv-hs9 osc but keep getting lost on it (using maxim), so in desperation for an actual photo last night I went back to my nikon and stacked in DSS just to get something, I realise the focus is out but didnt expect 10 mins last night let alone an hour. I am obviously doing something wrong in Maxim using the OSC with calibration etc. My workflow was  take image take flats, darks bias, open image apply kernal filter>user filter>boxcar filter, Set calibration>load new > click ok,  Then calibrate image> convert to colour. Then my image would come out bluish and stars white. I have found out now that I should colour convert first then do the boxcar filter as otherwise it destroys the colour matrix, also what i need to know is when i run "set calibration" and it loads for example 10 darks do I then click "replace with masters"? . Im nearly there just the order of my workflow is all wrong. So my next thing to try is take images, flats,bias,>set calibration>replace with masters, here is where im lost do i colour convert images individually then stack and auto calibration (which I would imagine apply the boxcar filter or do i just click auto colour convert and auto calibration. I just need an order in which to do it.



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