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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

Orion and Running Man Nebula

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The Orion and Running Man Nebula - December 2, 2011It's amazing how far one can progress in the field of Astrophotography with a little time (and money)  I have went from snapshots of the moon taken with a point-and-shoot Canon Powershot A720, to detailed Nebulae photos using a Canon 450d on a sophisticated mount! The above photo was taken at the CCCA Observatory on a chilly autumn December 2nd night. Skywatcher NEQ6 Mount in the ObservatoryThe Beautiful Night Sky at the CCCA ObservatoryOn top of being the darkest sky site I have ever been to, I was generously granted permission to use t…