Astrophotography Open Cluster Reflection Nebula

Astrophoto: Pleiades – Messier 45 – 03/21

Reprocessing is worth it. I like the new result.

Clear Skies 6, 7 and a little bit of the 5th. This photo is the result of 5 hours exposure time collected on 3 evenings. A 4th evening was senseless due to some Sahara dust in Europe.

On two of the three evenings, the Pleiades were my main object. On the first of the three evenings i had a litte spot problem, see clear sky 5.

Astrophoto of the Pleiades

For me, the pleiades are an absolute Must-Have! The used focus length of 600mm paired with the APS-C sensor is not what i call perfect, but it’s still justifiable. The aperture ratio of f=7,5 really needs an expose time of 5 hours but a little bit faster telescope would not hurt to make the pleiades show more of its beautiful reflection nebula.

After 5h of total exposure time i am really pleased with the result. Here the old picture from 2021.

Same data – advanced processing

High resolution on Flickr:

This is a new, reprocessed in september 2023, picture based on the data from 2021.

M45 Pleiades V1.4.1 Reprocessed 09/2023

Lessons Learned

The first thing I learned is: More exposure time is always better, even with already 5h collected data. In February 2021, the Pleiades were one of my very first Deep Sky Objects. At this time i was in my try and error phase.

I saw, that my guiding worked pretty well meanwhile and the my single frames with an exposure length of 100s with an ISO of 1250 lead to really bright pictures. In the following sessions i changed to ISO down to 800 and later to 400 and increased the exposure time up to 180s due to the better and better working guiding.

With a look at the result and my point of view, i had some luck, that the moon did not hurt too much.

Technical overview of Astrophoto Pleiades – Clear Skies 6+7.

TelescopeVIXEN ED80sf
Focal Length600mm
Aperture ratio7.5
Erecting Lense
MountSkywatcher HEQ-5
Goto-ControlCartes du Ciel
Mount ControlASCOM
Guiding Scope Focal Length162 mm
Guiding Camera Chip4.8mm x 3.6mm, 8bit
Guiding Camera Resolution1280×960
Guiding SoftwarePHD2, ASCOM Pulse
CameraCANON EOS M100
Methodfocal projection
Camera angle
Camera ControliOS App CC&C
Photography Date 102/28/2021
Moon 199%
Photography Date 203/01/2021
Moon 292%
Photography Date 203/02/2021
Moon 284%
Exposure-Time Lights186x100s, 5 hours
SensitivityISO 1250
CalibrationframesFlats, Bias, Darks
Post Processing Date05/22/2021
Reprocessing Date09/14/2023
2021 Stacking, IntegrationAffinity Photo
2021 Post Processing SoftwareAffinity Photo
2023 ReprocessingPixInsight
Image EditingAffinity Photo
Capture PlaceKoblenz, Germany
LightpollutionBortle 5
Scattered lightstrong

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