|M45 – The Pleiades|
Autumn Stars – Pleiades Rising
Last Saturday I spent a very cold, but very dark and clear night at the RASC Observatory in Wellandport, Ontario. There were 4 of us that stayed the night, and I think every one of us complained about being underdressed! I began my night by shooting NGC 7293 – The Helix Nebula. I have never tried to shoot this object before, and to be honest, I didn’t think it was possible from Southern Ontario. I ended up with about 2 hours on it, but I think I will need to double that to really bring out the detail. As you can see, my unmodified Canon 450d makes this object look rather bluish-purple.
My main focus for the night was The Pleiades. This wonderful star cluster is located in the constellation Taurus the Bull. At this time of year, Taurus is just starting to rise high enough in the East to start photographing Messier Object 45, the Pleiades open star cluster. I imaged this object last year, and was relatively happy with it, but I have learned a lot since then! The details of the above photo (of Pleiades) are as follows:
M45 – The Pleiades Photo Details
Also known as “The Seven Sisters” in the Constellation Taurus
38 x 210″ ISO 1600 Totaling 2 Hours 13 Minutes
Stacked with 16 darks, 16 flats, 16 bias
Explore Scientific 80mm ED Triplet Apo
Orion 50mm Mini Guidescope
Meade DSI II CCD Camera
Canon 450d unmodded
Stacked in DSS
Processed in PS CS5
Removing Reflections in M45 image
Astrophotography processing The Pleiades
The autumn stars seem to shine extra bright as they bring in the winter constellations behind them. M45 can be surprisingly challenging to process, considering the inherent reflection issues that may arise. The healing brush in Adobe Photoshop is helpful in removing the unwanted halos and reflections in your image. You will definitely want to be careful not to remove any background stars or nebulosity in the process!
I will probably give it another shot once I have added more time. I am looking forward to re-doing Orion once it stays up for a little bit longer. Thanks for looking!