Springtime Astronomy


The Eagle Nebula taken with my Explore Scientific ED80 on Celestron CG-5 mount

The Pillars of Creation
Thanks to some advice from the guys over at Astrogab, I have purchased a very powerful Action Set for Adobe Photoshop. I highly recommend this to any astrophotographer because it can save you serious time when processing an image. In light of these new tools, I have been going through and re-processing a lot of my astrophotos.

In the image above, you may notice how large and bloated the stars look. This is partly due to image resolution, but also the broadband light pollution filter used as well (Hutech IDAS LPS).

A narrowband filter such as the Astronomik 12nm clip-in h-alpha filter will help record important nebulae structure, without bloated stars.

Related Video: Astrophotography Image Processing Tutorial

M17 – The Swan Nebula (Re-Processed)

The weather has been very warm for this time of year, and the skies have been relatively clear lately!  Now that I have got a taste of darker skies at the CCCA Observatory, I make the 40 minute trip out there quite often (Sometimes by myself!).

I took the image below of the Eagle Nebula from the observatory on the Friday night before the May Two-Four long weekend. (The cropped version is at the top of the post).

There really is no substitute for dark skies, and this can make the image processing stage a lot more enjoyable. Unfortunately traveling to a dark sky site is not always possible, so I must be able to process images captured under an urban light-polluted sky as well.

I used my Explore Scientific Telescope with a Meade DSi II for autoguiding

M16 – The Eagle Nebula

Photo Details:

21 x 240″ ISO 1600
Stacked with darks

Equipment Used:

Telescope: Explore Scientific ED80
Mount: Celestron CG-5
Autoguiding: Orion 50mm Mini Guidescope & Meade DSI II
Camera: Stock Canon 450D


Stacked in DeepSkyStacker
Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5

If you’re just getting started in astrophotography, the following guide will help you understand the basics of capturing an image of the night sky:

Astrophotography Camera Settings and Tips

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