Friday, August 12, 2011

Comet, nebula and full moon imaging.

Comet Garradd is in the eastern sky these days.  Last week it floated past the M15 globular cluster for some nice pretty views of the comet.  Kind of a near and far object in the same small chunk of sky.
At the time, this comet was about magnitude 8 when I took this.  It may go up to about 6th from what I read.  Dark sky visual target for sure.
This is just a single 4 minute image, I took about 12 of them, but still trying to figure out how to stack the comet and stars so neither of them are streaked.

The next object is the Iris nebula.  Nicely located almost straight up these days.  I took a bunch of 7 minute exposures of this one.  I always make the mistake of doing some quick processing at 2am when I come back in, I have to see what I captured! The next morning, I look at my processing and it looks terrible and work on it more - after a night's sleep.  This time they both have their good qualities I think.  I like the color in the fast process, but the "next day" processing is less noisy.  Comments?
Finally, last night was the dreaded nearly full moon (Aug. 13 is full) but the Clear Sky chart showed very nice skies.  I put on the H-Alpha filter and gave that another try.  I haven't used it a whole lot and still need practice on making things look right, but it sure is nice how it cuts through natural and man-made light pollution and pulls out small details.
This is the Eastern half of the Veil nebula.  Six frames, ISO 800, at 7 minutes each.  Dark subtracted to reduce hot pixels, but always seems to be more background crud in these.  Maybe I need to change some color balance on the camera to the red side rather than centered?
Kind of nice details in it that don't show up in visible light though.
(click on the images to see a larger view)

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