M97 is upper center right — you can make out the 2 “eyes”; M108 is upper right; NGC 3656 is barely visible in the lower left corner, and NGC 3549 is barely visible in the lower right. About the limit of the conditions, the equipment, and the image processing skill.
Here I try to bring out the noise that I worked so hard to eliminate in the first photo. As a photo, I think this one is better…
I have a new GEM — German Equatorial Mount — and I have to learn about it. It replaces a Sky Watcher camera mount that was overwhelmed by the additional weight of a small refractor telescope, and couldn’t track properly. This new mount is much steadier; the small background stars above are very crisp, though I’m not happy with the image processing — if you pixel-peep, you will see what I mean.
This is a stack of over 70-some 30 second exposures of the Whirlpool galaxy. While there is significant detail, the dynamic range is pathetic. I think this is because 1) the individual exposures are short, and 2) there was a nearly full moon.
However, I’ve seen beautiful photos from stacks of hundreds of 3 second exposures, and the cumulative time from my frames is larger. So undoubtedly my processing technique is faulty. OTOH, I’m not sure of the magnitude of the effect from the moon. Further investigation is required…
A chestnut. Taken with a small (61mm) low-power telescope from my light-polluted back yard. Heavily cropped, otherwise it would be too small to identify. I’m running into the limits of my equipment — this is about 200 individual one minute exposures stacked together, taken over two nights.
Actually there’s another nebula, making three all together. The Orion Nebula proper, also known as M42, is the large spread wings brightness in the lower center. Separated from M42 by a narrow dark lane is the tear drop shape in the slightly left upper dead center, M43, apparently also known as “Mairan’s Nebula”. And finally in the upper third is the dimmer”Running Man” Nebula, in the top.
I’m getting better at this, but it is an incremental process.