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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Unguided Beauty


Noticed we had a surprising clear sky for once, even with a partial Moon approaching its first quarter in the Southwestern sky. Orion big and bold rising in the East, simply begged to photographed. Having little opportunity this year for much astrophotography, the prospect sounded wonderful to me.

Started snapping frames around 8pm, Moon set sometime after 11pm, and continued collecting frames until about 2am. Fantastic! A personal best, 458 unguided frames collected, just shy of 2 hours of effective exposure with the self-modified Canon 450D.

Actually, the nights activities produced over 500 frames, but after examing EACH one I had to throw out 50 due to undesirable motion effects...which is a bit on the high side. Not sure why. Temperature and slight wind maybe? Clumsy astrophotographer? Hmmm.

Wonderful thing about collecting more signal with the modified camera, the process provides more information to stretch out after the data fusion (preprocessing, aligning, stacking). A simple curve stretch after DDP processing and voila!