Monday, October 19, 2009

Lagoon (M8) and Triffid (M20) Nebulas

I am on the fence on this once. This is my first wide-field attempt at anything in this rich region of the sky, near Sagittarius and, thus the center of the Milky Way. There are a LOT of stars and patchy regions in this part of the sky, and it was a real test as far as capturing the images and processing them was concerned. I fiddled around with different processing techniques and settled on the result below. I want to go back and try some different things later. I was able to bring out a bit of color in both nebulas, and captured the denseness of the star fields nearby. As with my Pleiades shot in my previous post, I think a much longer exposure would have been better, and with guiding too. Happy with it for my first attempt, though.

Image Details:
  • William Optics 66MM Refractor
  • Mounted on a Meade 8" LX200 Classic with Milburn Wedge
  • Nikon D40 DSLR
  • ISO800
  • 20 *120 second light frames
  • 6*120 second dark frames
  • 8* flat frames
  • Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
  • Level and curve adjustment in GIMP
  • Noise reduction in Neat Image


Polaris B said...

Very nice! I think this is my favorite of the run that you have posted. I like the color and the contrast. You get a sense for the dark dust clouds that sit in front of this area. Congrats! Great to have a clear weekend during a new moon! Val

Phil said...

Thanks, Val! This image has grown on me for the reasons you point out. Really need to get my guiding going, I feel I am *almost* there.

Clear skies,