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M8 and M20 Wide Field Image

Astrophotography from a Light Polluted Backyard

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Backyard Astrophotography Summer would not be complete without spending a night enjoying the dazzling beauty that is the constellation Sagittarius. The "teapot" asterism just clears my fence to the south of my backyard in central St. Catharines. From my latitude, August is my last chance to image the many star clusters and nebulae that populate this area. Last night, I set out to gather as much light on the Lagoon Nebula and the Trifid Nebula as possible before they dipped below the trees. With the nights being so short at this time of year, it is important to have your astrophotography eq…

Ontario Campgrounds Astronomy

Astronomy at Ontario Campgrounds

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One of the best ways to enjoy astronomy under a dark sky is to go camping. Campgrounds are usually well away from city light pollution, meaning that you will be able to enjoy many more stars in the sky than you are used to seeing at home. In mid-summer, the sun sets very late at the campgrounds in Ontario, and most campers are settling in for cozy sleep in their sleeping bag. But if you're anything like me, your night is just beginning.  Astronomy at Ontario Campgrounds Dark Skies at Ontario Provincial Parks During the summer months, I like to leave my light-polluted backyard in t…

Wizard Nebula DSLR

Wizard Nebula through 80mm Telescope

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The Wizard Nebula through my 80mm Telescope Clear August Nights More consecutive clear summer nights have allowed me to put in some serious time on the Wizard Nebula!  In fact, this is the most amount of exposure time I have put into any object!  Over 7 Hours! Truth be told, I would have hopped over to a new subject, but this attractive nebula is in the sweet spot of the sky right now. View an updated image of the Wizard Nebula using my current astrophotography equipment. [caption id="attachment_7268" align="aligncenter" width="650"] The Wizard Nebula using an 80mm Refractor…

Cocoon Nebula 80mm

Cocoon Nebula with an 80mm Telescope

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IC 5164 - The Cocoon Nebula Imaged with an 80mm Refractor We have had a stretch of clear nights this summer, and I have been taking full advantage! This year I decided to spend some time in the sweet spot of the sky, Cygnus the Swan. This area of the night sky rises high overhead throughout the night, free from the Earths atmosphere. My first target was IC 5164, The Cocoon Nebula. I have never attempted this object before because I heard it was quite difficult to image, and to be honest, I just didn't like the look of it! [caption id="attachment_2470" align="aligncenter" width="688"] T…

IC 2118 - Witch Head Nebula

IC 2118 – The Witch Head Nebula in Orion

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Above: IC 2118 - The Witchead Nebula - Imaged Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014  18 subs, 5 Minutes Each totaling 1 Hours 30 Minutes PHOTO DETAILS Scope: Explore Scientific ED80 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Stock) ISO: 1600 Exposure: 1 hour 30 Minutes (18 x 300s) Processing Software: Calibration and Stacking in Deep Sky Stacker, Levels/Curves/Enhancements in Photoshop CC Support Files: 9 darks Can you see the witches head? I can! I absolutely l…