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Yet another M51


trevboyd
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It's been a long time since I last posted anything - a combination of clouds, new jobs, etc have meant I've only had my scope outside for maybe 5 nights in the last year! :hello2:

However, on Friday night, the sky was just too clear to pass up, so I had to have a go :rolleyes: Took a while to get everything set up again, but I got there in the end and set to work trying to remember how to find things again - Turn Left at Orion once again proved its worth and I managed to see Cor Caroli, M94, M3 and M51 in Canes Venatici, M65, M66 and Algeiba in Leo, M53 in Coma Berenices - a very productive couple of hours that reminded me how much I love this hobby - must make a real effort to get back out when I can!

After that, I thought I'd have a go at imaging again (nothing like jumping in with both feet first time out! :mad:) and picked M3 and M51 as potential targets since they're both easy to locate. Rustiness was apparent when I realised I'd taken about 12 subs without the light pollution filter in place :D. On the plus side, the subs with and without make an interesting demonstration of the benefits!

I haven't looked at my M3 images yet, but here's two different attempts at M51, the first using PixInsight LE's dynamic background extraction and the other not (the red background gradient is quite obvious in it, but I quite like the colour of the galaxy regardless)

Both are based on the same set of subs - 39x60s @ ISO-800, Canon 350d through Celestron C8-N on EQ-5, unguided.

Thanks for looking!

Trev

With DBE

trevboyd-albums-images-picture10492-m51-8-april-2011-stack-39x60s-iso-800-processed-deepskystacker-pixinsight-le-ps-cs3.jpg

Without DBE

trevboyd-albums-images-picture10493-m51-8-april-2011-stack-39x60s-iso-800-processed-deepskystacker-ps-cs3.jpg

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Thanks, Bob :-) DBE is "Dynamic Background Extraction" in PixInsight LE - it effectively subtracts the sky glow from the background to remove gradients, etc. Having looked again, I agree - the 2nd is a nicer image even with the gradient.

Trev

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