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Leo Triplet

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The Leo Triplet of GalaxiesThis Saturday January 21st was or members observing night at my local astronomy club.  Only myself and one other member attended because of cold weather and a lot of cloud cover.  After setting up my gear at sundown, it wasn't until 3:30am that the clouds finally parted!  I started out by capturing light on M80 and M81, but because of its difficult position in the sky, and some technical difficulties, my fellow club member recommended that I try imaging the Leo Triplet.  I was able to capturing over about 1.5 hours on this subject, and I am very h…

Backyard Pleiades

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M45 - The PleiadesAlthough M45 is an extremely popular open star cluster in the night sky, it is very difficult to image properly.  The toughest challenge is to get the entire formation framed nicely in one shot.  My 80mm Refractor has quite a large field of view, and I was just able to get the object centered without losing to much of the surrounding stars.As usual, there are a number of things I could do to improve this image:Use a field flattener/reducer for a wider field of view and flat edges Use a Bahtinov Mask to make sure I am in perfect focusCapture longer light frames at a…

Show me the Crab

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I spent my second night at the CCCA Observatory in Chippewa Creek on Dec 26th.  Believe it or not, this was 1 of only 3 clear nights the entire month of December!  I used my trusty old CG-5 mount this time, as I was unable to use the mount at the observatory.  I was able to capture a good hour on M1 - The Crab Nebula.  I fiddled with the focus quite a bit, but I never really got it right.  I plan to add a lot more time to this image...M1 - The Crab Nebula