Thursday, August 10, 2017

M16 - The Eagle revisited

This is a new version of the Eagle Nebula that I captured last week.  I am happy with the outcome and it is much better than the image from last year when my processing skills were not as good. In addition I used a UHC filter and focal reducer.  Also, I was able to get a more time with it this time around.  I would have liked to get another hour on it but clouds and the moon are working against me.  If I had a narrow band Ha-filter I would have been able to get some luminosity data even during a full moon - I think I know what my next gift request is.

Also, the dark spots that have been infecting my images as of late was not present this time around.  I did three things as a precaution: 1) covered the viewfinder of my camera so no light could find its way back into the camera while taking dark exposures (I should cover it during lights as well - next time), 2) after putting the telescope cap on I put a bag over the telescope end, and 3) I took bias exposures.  I have not taken and bias exposures in almost 6 months as I read that they are not needed if you take dark exposures but there are easy so might as well do them.  I had a few dark spots, which I have always had, but the image was much cleaner than other images have been for the last couple of months. 

M16 - The Eagle Nebula is a popular summertime target for astrophotagraphers and is home to the "Pillers of Creation" in the central portion of the nebula (active star forming region). Hubble has a famous image of this region far superior to my, little scope and most other ground based scopes as well.  The nebula is about 7000 light years away and 90 light years across.  For reference, the nearest star to our sun is Proxima Centuari which is 4.3 light years away.

M16 - The Eagle Nebula
Location: Happy Frog Observatory, Monroe, CT
Date: 7-29-17
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i(a), Backyard EOS
Telescope: Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope
Barlow: None
Focal Length: 600mm
Focal Reducer: Orion 0.8x Focal Reducer for Refractor Telescopes
Mount: Orion Sirius EQ-G GoTo Telescope Mount
Filter: Astrodon UV/IR, Astronomik UHC
Autoguiding: QHY-5L-II-M attached to an Agena 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser
Exposure: 34 x 180s
ISO: 1600
Temp: 20 C
Post Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop, Lightroom, Gradient Exterminator, Astronomy Tools, StarTools.

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