December: Test shots with new scopes/mounts
Dec 21: TMB 80/480 Arrives!
Dec 3: AP1200 Arrives!
Nov 30: TMB 152/1200 Arrives!
This is the Ring Nebula, aka M57, a spectacular planetary nebula in the constellation of Lyra. I'm very proud of this image, as it was taken with a long focal length (2250mm) on a very windy night with horrid seeing. Don't believe me? — then check out this, that, and the other threads on the TAC mailing list describing the conditions in and around the Bay Area on the night of Saturday, 6/4/2005. Told ya!
I'm becoming convinced that the best way to image DSOs at long focal lengths — especially with modest equipment in lousy seeing — is to take a page out of the webcam approach to imaging planets. Namely, take a bunch of short exposures, toss out the bad ones, and stack the remaining ones. That's what I did here, selecting the best half of the 60 frames, and then applying a liberal dose of Richardson-Lucy deconvolution to the luminance channel.
For this image, I used fellow Saratogan Rich S.'s modified 300D, which I think helped to capture a bit more of the red in the outer reaches of the nebula. (Thanks Rich!) Check out my previous attempt at M57 for a comparison. This is the full-resolution image, cropped for display on the web. North is up.