Scorpius and the Milky Way Widefield

Hi all

On new moon weekend in April, I was invited out to the Mudgee Star Party at the Mudgee Observatory, held by the Southerland Astronomical Society Inc (SASI), to give a talk on my astrophotography.

I took Jacob with me, and we had a fantastic weekend. Beautiful clear skies at night, warm sunny days, and a great friendly bunch of people at a great location.

On the first night I did some widefield astrophotography, with my modded Canon 40D with 24-105mm L lens sitting piggyback on top of my ED80. Below is the image of the Scorpius constellation in the Milky Way. Click the image for a larger version.

Scorpius Constellation and the Milky Way

Scorpius Constellation and the Milky Way

Read on to find out more and to see a version with the constellation lines and a few other objects in Scorpius.

The image consists of 7x 10 min exposures (70min total) @ ISO1600, with the 24-105mm L lens @ 24mm f/5.0. Darks were taken using In Camera Noise Reduction (ICNR) and flats were taken with the light box at the end of the session and calibrated using Deep Sky Stacker. The image was guided by the 400mm refractor and DMK21AU04 on the EQ6.

Processing was done using Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop CS4.

I’m quite happy with how the image turned out, with the exception of the bottom left corner which has some weird horizontal banding again (different than the horizontal banding in my Orion Nebula image). I can’t see it in the raw light frames, so I can’t help but think it was a result of the calibration or stacking process in Images Plus. I’ll need to re-process without calibration and with a different tool to find out for sure.

Here’s a version of the image with the constellation lines and a few other objects noted. Click the image for a larger version.

The Scorpius Constellation

The Scorpius Constellation

Thanks for looking.

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