A Cluster and a Nebula

Last night (3 Jan) was decidedly cold, but I wrapped up warmly to brave the elements for a couple of shots using an Astronomik CLS filter that I’ve had for a while, but never really been able to do justice to.

Both images were taken through the LX200R without focal reducer using my Canon 400D with CLS filter. In both cases, dark, flat and bias frames were used to calibrate the light frames in Images Plus.

First up is M38, a large, bright open cluster in Auriga. This is a stack of 25 x 3min frames at ISO 800, and although I seem to have lost colour in the stars, the background light pollution gradient that I’ve been plagued with recently is conspicuously absent. Focus was also slightly off, which makes the stars seem slightly more bloated than they should be.

I then had just enough time before the moon rose and washed everything out to have my first ever attempt at the Crab Nebula, M1 in Taurus. This is a stack of 30 x 3min exposures at ISO 800, and would have benefitted from more exposure time, as there’s still appreciable noise visible in the image. I may try and add some more frames in the near future if I get chance.

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