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I've been imaging from my new spot at UC Berkeley. The astronomy department gave me keys to the roof for astro imaging purposes, and even though it's a heavily light-polluted spot, I'm very happy with the results! Over the past week, I've been able to get some decent (by my newbie standards) shots of the Horsehead & flame nebula, as well as the Leo Triplet. The Horsehead nebula is made with 4 minute subframes at ISO 800, for about 3 hours and 8 minutes of total exposure time. The Leo Triplet is also made of 4 minute subframes at ISO 800, for a total of 2 hours and 46 minutes. I've included some closeups of the individual galaxies from the triplet as well. I did some serious layer masks on these guys, but I'm not sure if that counts as cheating!! :'D 

Please let me know what ways you think of for me to improve, and what you think I should keep doing! I took these with a Nikon D3200, an 8" Orion Newtonian Astrograph on Orion Atlas mount. I use an Orion SSAG on a 50mm guide scope. I'm using a 2" Astronomik CLS filter as well.

Thanks, and enjoy!!!

Horsehead and Flame Nebula:closer.thumb.jpg.c9e8180b2878fa4fbf9fe51b2b431f26.jpg


Leo Triplet:58bb718764cd9_leotripletv(1).thumb.jpg.abdb6f9103caa7aea477cb6f7c026e51.jpg

M 66:58bb71abbc872_M66(1).jpg.f9350a219089ae5a9cfdc78093fababc.jpg

NGC 3628:


M 65:


My imaging setup atop my favorite Astronomy department :)


Edited by Costas Soler
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Well done! Very, very good captures you've made. I can't tender any criticism or tips as I have yet to venture into this field - yet - but am making plans to this coming Spring. But I know what's good - and those are very nicely bagged indeed!

Thank you for sharing these with us.

Starry Skies,


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Yeah. Well taken, processed and done. Aren't those fast reflectors just wonderful?

Edited by alacant

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Nice capture of the Flame and HH - great targets. If you aren't taking flats, they are straightforward to do and will really improve final images - below is a flattened version of your jpeg to give an idea - hope you don't mind me using it.


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In processing, don't black clip your data. This is not the way to fight light pollution because it fights the image as well. The sky in your Leo image is far too dark and, in making it so dark, you have thrown away a great deal of galaxy data. The first image below is black clipped. Note the histogram. The second is not and has a lot more galaxy data. (The original data is mine.)



All good fun and keep at it!



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