The Cygnus Rift

Another clear moonless sky last night and I initially had a plan to do some galaxy imaging with my 8 inch Newtonian. For whatever reason I simply could not align the scope (suspect the issue was tiredness after a long day, plus the previous night’s observing an Brankley Pastures, causing me to do something stupid), so rather than feed my frustration any further I decided to stop and instead put the camera on the Star Adventurer mount and do some widefield imaging. The joy with this is that you polar align and then manually aim- no computer and no guiding so perfect for when you’re a bit hard of thinking!

The previous night, before the clouds rolled in, we’d had a wonderful clear naked eye view of The Milky Way showing clouds of stars and the dark river between them and I wanted to try and capture it. I’d tried at the time, but couldn’t focus and then clumsily messed up the polar alignment. Having resolved the focusing problems, I took this in my back garden with my modded Canon 600d SLR with a light pollution filter on it and using an 18-55 zoom lens that I’ve for many years now- although this is its first venture into proper AP. I took 17 2 minute subs plus darks and bias. I tried taking flats, but couldn’t defocus enough to make my flats panel blank.

I must admit I’ve really enjoyed looking at this one- the field of view covers almost all of the Summer Triangle (Altair was originally on there, but I cropped it out due to some weird effects that I suspect are a consequence of not having flats). Among the more prominent objects visible on here are the North America nebula, the Pelican, the Elephant’s trunk, the Veil, the Butterfly and the Coathanger asterism- but there are many more!


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