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Horsehead and Flame Nebulae


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About this observation
Clive Nanson
Time of observation
20/01/2020 - 23:17
Barnard 33 and NGC 2024
Observing location
North West Leicestershire
Canon EOS 200D
Canon EF 400mm F5.6 USM
Sky-Watcher EQM-35 mount
4 x 300 sec, F5.6, ISO1600

Ever since I first took up astrophotography (a very long time ago - CCDs hadn't been invented and film was the only option) I've always wanted to image the Horsehead nebula.  Despite many attempts with seriously long exposures using an off-axis guider through my late 254mm F6 Newtonian, I got absolutely nothing.  Having returned to astrophotography just a year ago using an unmodified DSLR, reading the literature, I had been convinced that the Horsehead was still out of my reach, especially with a light polluted sky and an unmodified DSLR.

At the end of the evenings session, I thought I would point the camera towards Alnitak and took just 4 exposures whilst I was packing other things away.  The following night, even though having looked at the JPEGS straight out of the camera only to see just few stars poking out above the white background, I thought I would run them through DSS and IRIS.  OK, so it's not the best image ever taken, being only 4 x 300s subs (with no matching darks available) but it has restored my hope and now I can't wait to get another clear night to get a decent quantity of subs!

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