Imaging last night March 8th

After days of wind, rain and cloud – not in any order but sometimes all at once! – we had a clear and moon free early evening. I took advantage and set up in back yard to try and capture M1, the famous Crab Nebula. After an irritation with the mount choosing align stars on the horizon, I finally got it sorted with only two star rather than 3 star alignment. I decided it would do, got M1 in the field of te 66mm Williams Optics scope and took a five minute exposure with my modified Canon EOS 400D – fitted with an EOS light pollution filter. It looked like I had some drift [alignment?] so I compromised on only 3 minute exposures. Just over an hour later I had 21. I then took the usual flats, bias and dark¬† frames [oh it takes so long to get darks… [3 minutes each of the back of a lens cap!!]. The Moon was rising, I was tired so I then packed up. Having processed this tonight, I’m quite pleased with the result – but as ever, more time needed.

M1, The Crab Nebula

M1, The Crab Nebula

It is just soo small –¬† this is a crop from the frame. North is up. This is the remnant of the supernova that the Chinese observed in 1054. The angular diameter is 6′ x 4′ – 1/5th of the Moon. Still at 6500 light years away and only 5 light across…

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