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rob_r

M42 Orion Nebula

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Finally, a somewhat clear evening over Lancashire. Walking back from work at 6pm it was quite clear then as usual it clouded over again and I actually gave up on getting the scope out at around 8pm as it was fairly overcast. An hour later, it seemed to clear up nicely with just the odd sporadic fast moving cloud on an occasional brisk gust of wind. So this was the first time in a couple of months that I decided to take the scope out, fearing I won't get another chance soon. I only had an hour really so thought I would try out my novice photography skills out on the Orion Nebula.

Taken with a Canon 600D (unmodded) attached with a T-ring adapter to the Skywatcher 127mm Mak scope with a diagonal mirror.
The sky was Bortle 5 over Penwortham near Preston between 9.30pm and 10.00pm, the Moon was still just about under the horizon at the time. 
The mount is the AZ GTI.

I took about 15 frames at 2 second exposures at ISO 6400, manually stacked them in Photoshop with a little curve and level adjustments plus flipping the image. I don't think it is too bad of an effort with the time taken as the Trapezium hasn't quite blown out although it's close to that. It seems a decent start anyway. It also seems to take just as long manually aligning in Photoshop on my Mac than taking shots the actual nebula itself! Hoping for more clear skies over the coming weekend when I should have more time so maybe I will try and add more data/frames to this or have another go at a lower ISO and perhaps try a 0.5x reducer. Considering getting an EQ5 mount soon also. Any pointers welcome.

IMG_7748.jpg

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That's a great start, more data is always good. Your stars are pretty good though using DSS is helpful if using an altaz mount.

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12 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

That's a great start, more data is always good. Your stars are pretty good though using DSS is helpful if using an altaz mount.

Thanks. I thought the stars were a little blown out but happy enough with this as a start on the long road of astrophotography. The only issue with DSS is I am Mac based rather than Windows although I could go down the Boot Camp route. I have come across Siril which appears to be a similar program but not had chance to use it as yet but the images I got last night could be used as a decent test subject to see what that can offer.

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2 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

This is the Siril link to the user download bit on StarTools (which I use) link

That's great, thanks for the link. I'll take a look at the information.

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