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I only  really managed one night out imaging over the Christmas break and that was on 27 December - a night with poor seeing just before a 64% Moon rose at 10:40pm to wash everything out.   I thought I'd use the data to practise my PI skills, or rather lack of them. 

This is the result of 55 minute total exposure made up of 11x5 minute ISO400 subs. I had to throw 7 subs away for various reasons.  Calibrated and processed in Pixinsight, followed by a slight tweak in photoshop.  

SW ED80 telescope and Canon 450D unmodded DSLR on a guided AZ-EQ6 mount. 

What I've learned from this is how easily the core of M42 is blown out.  My question is: to better capture the core is it better to gather some data at a lower ISO setting, 200 say, or reduce the exposure? I'm guessing the latter. 

 

 

image.png

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Nice job. Pretty impressive for under an hour of exposure 

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9 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Nice job. Pretty impressive for under an hour of exposure 

Thanks. I was pleasantly surprised. There's obviously a lot wrong with the image. There was quite a lot banding after calibration. Applying the Canon banding utility made it worse unless applied very subtly. As I say the core is over exposed, and there's not enough contrast in the main body of the M42 nebula.  It's probably not worth spending any more time on really.  

This is one of the first times I have experimented with photometric colour calibration.  I've done no other colour manipulation on the image. But to my eye it looks like a reasonable balance. The red is rather subdued, but then it is an unmodded camera so maybe that's to be expected.  

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