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Eagle Nebula with clouds...


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Sometimes a night out under the stars becomes a battle of wills as every vaguery of our hobby conspires against us. Last night started well...clear sky, lovely temperature...so out comes all the kit and gets set up. My plan was to try for my first ever image of M16, The Eagle Nebula. And then the astronomy gods decided to intervene...

 

...So, no sooner had I set up than banks of very fast-moving, low clouds decided to make a show. They wafted in and out pretty much for the next four hours.

 

I knew M16 only appears quite low, so I then had to wait over an hour for it pop up behind my garage roof. This meant I had to wait to frame it, check focus, etc which already started to eat into my imaging time and the sky only gets properly dark by about 11pm.

 

Once the Eagle had finally appeared above the roof I then had to calibrate the guiding...which wasn't easy as the stars continually disappeared behind the scudding clouds. So about two calibration cycles later we're ready to image.

 

Did I mention the moon (80%+ illumination!)? Oh, that was there too for the first hour until it dropped behind the house.

 

By about 3am there was already light in the eastern sky, so about the last 4 or 5 subs went straight in the bin.

 

From about four hours of images I saved about an hour's worth. I know some people would have just called it a night and gone to bed, but I'm kind of glad I persevered and got what I did. I'm not really taking these images to win any prizes, but for the personal satisfaction of having seen something that most people never see and having achieved the process capturing photons that have been travelling seemingly forever.

 

Anyway, here's an hour of the Eagle Nebula taken inbetween the clouds, low in the smudgy southern sky, with moon gradient, noisy data...but I'm still amazed I can see the Pillars of Creation....just!

 

eagle4.thumb.jpg.14d90b967e611f6590da22a547b0266c.jpg

 

pillars.thumb.jpg.03cc85d0d71d67c0ccbeca1c60c76b79.jpg

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We have all had nights like that so can sympathise with you. It makes it all the more satisfying when you prevail and pull out a good image. So well done!

Edited by Dmack1
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  • 2 weeks later...

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