M16 – The Eagle Nebula

This post provides a great example of what to expect when shooting the Eagle Nebula with a stock DSLR camera. When people ask me whether it’s necessary to modify their DSLR to capture deep sky astrophotography images, I often think back to my early experiences with M16.

M16 – The Eagle Nebula

I have since updated my astrophotography image of the Eagle Nebula.

This photogenic Nebula was imaged from my light-polluted backyard in Ontario, Canada. From my latitude, the core of the Milky Way does not rise very far off of the horizon. This can make photographing the many fascinating nebulae around Sagittarius more challenging.

On top of suffering from poor transparency (due to the low elevation of the target), it can also be difficult to spot low objects because of obstructions in the backyard. Trees, houses, and street lights can all get in the way of DSO’s that sit low in the sky.

I was happy to at least pull out some of the nebula structure with my modest equipment and un-modified Canon 450D.  The Eagle Nebula is a region of active current star formation.  Most of you have probably seen the famous Hubble image “The Pillars of Creation” The details of capturing this image are below:

Explore Scientific ED80 Triplet Refractor
Celestron CG-5 Advanced Series Mount
Orion 50mm Guidescope
Meade Dsi II CCD Camera
Canon 450D (stock)

Images captured using Canon EOS Utilities on April 17/18, 2012
View my current astrophotography equipment

22 x 270 sec. exposures at ISO 1600
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker – Processed in PS CS5

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