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Backyard Pleiades

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M45 – The Pleiades

Although 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:
  1. Use a field flattener/reducer for a wider field of view and flat edges
  2. Use a Bahtinov Mask to make sure I am in perfect focus
  3. Capture longer light frames at a dark sky site
  4. Properly stack the image with with dark, bias, and flat frames.

Then of course there is the processing!  This has been said to be the hardest part of astrophotography.  Hopefully the new books I have just ordered from Canadian Telescopes will help me with this!

 




Our members observing night at RASC is this Saturday.  Currently, the weather does not look like its going to cooperate, but my fingers are crossed.  Stay tuned for my next post!

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