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M81 - Bode's Galaxy | by Joshua Bury
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M81 - Bode's Galaxy

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FINALLY had a clear night last night and there was no way I was going to let it pass without taking advantage of it (it's been about 5 months since we've had a clear night in Grants Pass without the fog rolling in by 10pm, if I had slept through last night I would have some serious astro-guilt to deal with). Amazingly, I didn't run into any issues with equipment or software and everything just worked. I didn't even have any problems with focus drift on the C9.25! I hauled all my stuff to a dark sky and managed to get 4 hours worth of light frames (would have had 4 more but I didn't put enough gas in the generator and it died at 2am). Fortunately, because of the dark skies, 4 hours was enough to get the S/N up to an acceptable level.

 

Technical info about the image:

Object: Messier 81, Bode's Galaxy

Mount: CGEM

Imaging scope: C9.25 at f/6.3

Imaging FL: 1480mm

Imaging camera: unmodified Nikon D200

Lights: 41x360s (4h 6m) at ISO 1250

Calibration: 35 darks

Guide scope: Orion 80mm ED at f/7.5 (piggyback)

Guide FL: 600mm

Guide camera: Philips SPC900NC (LX modified, 2s intervals)

Other details: Images acquired with ImagesPlus Camera Control, guided with PHD (using GPUSB), calibrated and stacked using Deep Sky Stacker, post-processed in Photoshop CS4.

 

Photo of the imaging setup here.

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Taken on March 19, 2010