2015-07-12 Astrophotography: The Veil Nebula Complex

20150711_The Veil_DBE_CC_HT_NR_SAT_STAR1A few nights ago I was able to enjoy the clearest and darkest skies we have had since mid-April.  It was clear as a bell with minimal atmospheric haze, and only a quarter moon that did not rise until almost 2am. The only detracting elements that I had to contend with was light pollution from nearby Burlington and swarms of ravenous mosquitoes.  I was planning on photographing a part of the sky surrounding the star of Sadr in the constellation of Cygnus, however the skies were (more…)

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2015-06-18 Astrophotography: The North American and Pelican Nebula (NGC 7000, IC 5070)

20150617_NGC7000(4)_DBE_CC_HT_HDR_ACDNR_HT_SAT-4I often seem to start these posts off by remarking about how we finally had clear night skies and that it has been cloudy for weeks, but this last stretch of poor visibility has really seemed to drag on and on.  In the last four weeks we have had one very clear night, and it happened to coincide with the full moon.  This makes it very challenging to image faint deep space objects.  Last night, the streak continued and while the stars were actually visible there was a constant layer of high altitude clouds passing through diffusing the light from the sky and preventing it from being truly dark.  I have felt so pent up lately that I decided that I would go out and setup, if only for the sake of exercising my skills with the gear.  As I started to image, I cursed the clouds and yearned for truly clear, dark skies.  I located my practice target, and began to review images to check for exposure settings and composition, and I noticed something about the images that was quite intriguing.  As I studied the image on the back of the camera LCD, I (more…)

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