of the Milkyway
This wide-field image of the Milkyway Cygnus area was
taken with a Canon D60 digital SLR mounted piggy-back
atop an 8" Mak-Newt. This is from a single 300 second,
ISO100 shot taken through a 20mm Sigma lens
operating at f/1.8.
Despite the excellent tracking of the Astro-Physics
AP900GTO mount, my failure to ensure orthogonality
(squaring) of the camera to the mount produced less
than "stellar" results (Ooops!), but pleasing
non-the-less... every session is a learning experience
(and usually a real hoot!)
If you are rubbing your eyes and puzzling over the
placement of the stars that appear contained within the
trees, don't be... there is a simple explanation for their
presence: the camera was locked on their paths,
tracking them continuously through open parts of the
trees. Their light was already fixed in place on the image
as the trees "moved" into the frame during the exposure,
partially reducing the intensity of the background sky in
Processing was done in Images Plus, and primarily
consisted of background/contrast "stretching", a mild
amount of multi-resolution "smoothing", and restoration
using a tad of Richardson-Lucy deconvolution.
The "uncut" section referenced by the inset below
shows the level of detail that was present in the original
3072x2048 pixel shot (the JPEG compression diminishes
the clarity, but you get the idea).
The panel on the right is a cropping from the original full sized image, cut from the area shown by the inset. Though the
JPEG compression used here for the web-version reduces the resolution, you can get a feel for the detail that exists in
it. If you look closely, you may find one of two strobing red lamps that made parallel crossings that were readily visible
in the larger original (from the 6 o'clock to 1 o'clock positions).