It’s taken me years to see, let alone photograph, noctilucent clouds.
Luna the Lab decided two trips into the garden weren’t enough last night, despite being let out at 11:50 and 1:15. I wasn’t annoyed though as the first two let me test my SQM which gave readings of 19.22 and 19.40 which suggests it’s in the right ball park.
But a couple of hours later she woke me up again, she’s obviously being fed too much.
I took thr meter out and the sky was already starting to lighten and read 18.8sih, but I noticed a few tufts of promising cloud right in the north between the trees.
I got Luna back in, dressed enough not to be arrested and legged it up to the Waterpark.
Thanks to the miracle of image stabilisation, some of my images came out OK co0nsidering they were >1s exposures!
I’m sure these are the ‘real deal’ because the stars were still out and it was just after 3:00am, the clouds were due north across about 45 degrees of the sky.
I’m particularly pleased with this image. I’ve been wandering around the southern sky picking up ‘missing Messiers’ for my collection, but a few nights ago I though I would try and get some better data for M13.
The initial red subs were a bit poor due to the lack of real darkness, so I took about an hour of subs and chose the best. For green and blue I took about half an hour’s worth of 2 ½ minute subs.
My first process was a bit meh, so I re-did it focusing on bringing out faint detail and being incredibly careful with curves not to bleach the core. Even then on my final curve stretch I had to mask out the core but was rewarded by an extraordinary number of very tiny stars in the outer parts of the cluster. View the image full size and zoom right in, or just check out the inset at the bottom of this post!
I’m sure everyone at Rosliston last night will agree it was a really good evening. It was pretty cold, despite the sky being ‘full of flame’ 🙂
I imaged two targets with my 450D and ED 66. I used the L-Enhance filter again which does a great job of controlling stars while letting emission nebulas shine. Unfortunately it does mute reflection nebula, so it isn’t a one-size-fits all filter.
Here we go – the Flaming Star and Tadpole nebulas, unfortunately the tadpoles are almost invisible: