SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics

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M45 (The Pleiades)

Click to see high-res version.

Image Details:

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel (300D)
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Orion ED80 (80mm f/7.5 APO Refractor)
Configuration: Focal Reduced
Additional Optics: Celestron F/6.3 Reducer/Corrector (0.63x)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 420mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5.2
Exposure: 22 x 4min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 1hrs, 28min
Date: 1/29/2005, 8:11pm (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: Manual
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow

Processing:

  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, flat field, registration, normalized Kappa-Sigma stacking, background fit
  • Photoshop: Levels, image size, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is the famous open cluster M45 (The Pleiades) in the constellation of Taurus. M45 is very visible to the naked eye and looks spectacular in binoculars. The blue reflection nebula is NGC 1432, aka, the Maia Nebula. This is my first image with the Orion ED80 and I'm pretty pleased with it. Unlike the ST80, the ED80 is an apochromatic refractor and doesn't suffer from "ugly purple halo around bright stars" syndrome. Transparency was only average when this was shot but the seeing was quite good. North is up.