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Monday, July 5, 2010

Messier 23

Back in Tucson under a beautiful night sky for the Fourth of July! Here is Messier 23, an open cluster in the constellation of Sagittarius; one more in my quest to capture every Messier object.

This is very close, cosmologically speaking, only a couple thousand light-years away and upwards of 20 light-years across. Taken with DSLR @ 1600 ISO, unguided, 190 x 15 sec. JPEG frames, calibrated 200/200 bias/flat, and finished processing without "stretching". Instead, out of curiosity, the Digital Development Processing (DDP) feature of Nebulosity was used.

From what I've read, DDP makes digital images more like film and was invented by Kunihiko Okano, a physicist and amateur astronomer. I compared my results with some manual stretching and found I preferred the DDP output. Threw in a some sharpening and color balance - voila.

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