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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Messier 8, the Lagoon Nebula remix

Okay, once again trying my hand at this beautiful deep sky object. Of all my shoots, this has seemed to be the most troublesome; my recent attempts thwarted by cloud pirates and processing gremlins. This time the odds are better with significant improvements:
  • polar alignment using setting circles and computed transit time
  • better dynamic range and less noise than previous DSLR
  • IR-cut filter removed
  • field flattener lens adapter
  • images normalized prior to stacking
  • new DDP algorithm rather than traditional "stretching"
  • nearly doubled the number of exposures taken

You be the judge. 300 x 15-sec. unguided JPEG frames, nearly 75 minutes of overall exposure, modified-Canon XTi, field flattener, calibrated, and processed with DDP.


Andy said...

...and even with all the improvements, I missed that it was slightly out of focus. Doh.

Philip said...

nice job, Andy, even if you do say it was out of focus. Thanks for sharin'.

Andy said...

Thanks, Phil! One of the things I like best about this shot is the depth. Seeing the jets of gas near the core, almost like giant hoops, and the whole nebula set against a field of stars near and far.