Tuesday, August 03, 2010
M17 Swan Nebula - First Attempt
Oh wow! What are these little lights in the sky above us?????
The heavens have opened up! No clouds anywhere last night, and a very still, clear sky hung overhead. I packed the car with my astrophotography gear and headed out to a quiet little observing spot towards the east. I don't go there too often, but it's a lot darker than the place I usually go to where I meet other astrobuddies.
Anyway, I imaged two objects last night, and M17 was one of them. I have never imaged this before, and took the opportunity to do a test run of it. The image above is just five two-minute exposures at ISO800 through my 80mm ED. Not too bad. You can see the primary shape of the nebula and some detail within. I need to go for longer exposures to bring out more of the extensive nebulosity found within this object. Be sure to click on it for the full size image.
* Imaging Scope: Astrotelescopes 80mm ED Refractor
* Imaging Camera: Nikon D40
* Guiding Scope: William Optics 66mm Petzval Refractor
* Guiding Camera: Meade DSI-C
* Exposures: 5 * 2 minute lights, 4 * 2 minute darks
* ISO 800
* Aligned and Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
* Post-Processing in GIMP (contrast, saturation and unsharp mask)
* Noise reduction in Neat Image