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By The Admiral
I'm just starting to get to grips with my new iOptron GEM45 EQ mount, having spent some time cutting my teeth in astro-imaging using an Nexstar Alt-Az mount. Very much an EQ virgin!
I decided to image M81 & M82 as these were inaccessible with my old Nexstar, so it was new territory for me. I used my Altair Wave 104 f/7 ED triplet scope, Photoline 0.79x reducer and Fuji X-T1 (effective FL 560mm). ISO400. 60 x 90s lights and flats. I did take 20 darks but I found that using some old bias frames from an earlier session gave a better result. Stacked in AstroArt 6, processed in StarTools v1.6.393 RC2, and polished in Lightroom. I've yet to get to grips with this latest version of ST, so for this image I haven't used the full gamut of controls. I like to get as much detail as I can from my images, I don't do subtle! Fans of a naturalistic look may not approve .
At about the 9 o'clock position there is a small blue 'smudge', enlarged here. It does unfortunately reveal some trouble with my stars!
I had originally thought that this was NGC 2976, but Astronet shows that galaxy to be too far away. Anyone any idea?
Thanks for looking.
I've been processing this image for quite a long now.
I started acquiring data the last season when I only managed to shoot 3 panels with the Canon 6D through the Esprit 80 for a total of ~7h.
This season I restarted and I added more data and covered a wider area. So a mix of portrait and landscape panels were planned and shot with the same scope and camera. Now every pixel represents at least 3-4h of integration, some have more.
All the above were shot from Bortle 2-3 sites where I traveled sometimes even for an hour of exposure.
To the RGB data I added 17.5h of Ha, same story with the panels. Some were oriented N-S, others E-W. These were shot with the SW 72ED and the ASI1600 from home and Bortle ~7.
Then I figured out I still had time and I planned and shot 9 more panels of luminance with the 72ED and ASI1600, each consisting of 1h of exposure.
I combined all of these into an image, processed it and for the Orion nebula and Running Man nebula I also blended some data I shot last season with the 130PDS and ASI1600 from home.
Below it's my first final version of all data combined. You can watch it in full resolution on astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/full/jni0w8/ or Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/2iBGUXq