I invited my friend Emily out, since it was a weekend night, and she’d expressed interest in coming even just to enjoy the stars and take some long-exposure Milky Way images on her DSLR. It was fun having her out there. I already had my gear set up, so I just had to reconnect and rearrange everything from where I’d stored them underneath of covers. I did also re-align though, because I suspected that I’d accidentally used the wrong star for polar alignment – and this did indeed turn out to be the case. After that, guiding and tracking went smoothly. I decided just to do one target, since I was going to do a half-night and leave around midnight: the Bubble Nebula again. So I took 30x5-minute exposures. They came out well, but the result was super noisy from me suppressing background and bringing out signal. I might re-process it and see if I can do any better.
Bubble Nebula, Nikon D5300 on my C11, f/6.3 focal reducer, Orion Skyglow filter
Guiding: QHY5 on my Orion ST-80
Also, for the record, saturated stars look way cooler on Newtonians with the diffraction spikes than on SCTs with the weird glowy donut.
While the pictures were going, I set up my binoculars on a tripod I bought from a guy at the star party I went to recently, finally! Man is the view fantastic through those. I also set up my D3100 (which I think I’ve decided to keep for doing wide-field images while I do telescope imaging to keep me occupied) on a tripod with the 300mm lens in a super-short exposure experiment of the Plediades Cluster. I went and adjusted it every few minutes, since it was just on the tripod, and I stacked like hundreds of them, but it came out terribly. Oh well, it was a good experiment nonetheless.
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