58 light frames in total
I combined the data I captured last weekend with another 3 hours worth taken on Friday, August 21st from my backyard in St. Catharines. It was a refreshingly cool summer night, and the stars seemed to be a little brighter from what must have been a better level of "transparency" due to a lack of moisture in the air. (No dew on the telescope all night!) Because Cygnus is now directly overhead for the majority of the night, I am able to set everything up on the porch, rather than the middle of the lawn. I could get used to that!
There is some very interesting and contrasty nebulosity surrounding the star, Gamma Cygni. Sadr, the stars traditional name, has 12 times the mass of our Sun and about 150 times our Sun's radius! What a monster! What a supergiant! IC 1318 is considered to be the diffuse emission nebula surrounding Sadr, or Gamma Cygni.
I think that this image turned out okay. I had some issues with framing, and I may have chewed up the stars a little too much in processing. I will often trade more detail in the nebulae for a smaller, crunchier stars. I just try to view the image as a whole, and not judge it to critically while zoomed in. I feel that with better equipment, I may be able to achieve better results.
Summer Imaging Comes to a Close
When I think of astrophotography in the summer, I think of the all of the gorgeous nebulae and stars in Sagittarius and Scorpius. The Southern treats that only stay up long enough to image for 3 short months. Being late August, those days are already gone. I won't visit the Lagoon, Trifid and Eagle nebula again until next spring. Late August also shows us a preview of what the Fall and Winter constellations await us in the early morning hours. I watched the mighty Orion rise from my driveway at 4:00am. The shifting of the constellations in our night sky is a beautiful way to witness the seasons change.
Time for an upgrade?
My Canon 450D has been through countless outdoor all-nighters. I fear that the shutter actuation count is very high, (I'll check eventually) and that a "shutter-explosion" is imminent. Not to mention the constant manual cleaning of the sensor, and the fact that I took the entire thing apart to modify it! I plan to look into an entry level CCD camera soon, and to transition away from my aging Canon.
Imaged from my light-polluted backyard in St. Catharines, Ontario
Taken over 2 nights, Sat. Aug 15th, Fri. Aug 21st, 2015
Telescope: Explore Scientific ED80 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Modified)
Total Exposure: 3 Hours, 52 Minutes (58 x 240 seconds)
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop CC
Support Files: 30 darks
Labels: Backyard, Canon, Constellation, Constellations, Cygnus, Diffuse, DSLR, Fall, Gamma Cygni, IC 1318, Imaging, Nebula, photography, Red, Sadr, Seasons, Star, Summer, Telescope