M65, M66 Leo Triplet M66 Group


Date: 3/15/2007

Location: Blair Valley in Anza Borrego SP, California

Conditions: 0% moon, seeing 6/10, transparency 7/10, temperature 55-45 F, very dry night.

Telescope: Televue 85 refractor

Mount: Losmandy G11, Gemini goto, polar scope, drift alignment also done. I used a C8 with a 9mm reticule ep at 200 magnification to drift align taking about 45 minutes to align.

Camera: Canon Rebel 300D

Focusing: Manual on Sirius using a right angle Canon 2.5 magnifying view finder along with Images plus 2.75 focusing program. The first time I used this program for focusing using the Canon Rebel with camera USB cable to take rapid small jpeg photos and then watching the star brightness numbers on the chart. It really works quite well.

Exposures: (2) 3 min RAW, (7) 4 min RAW all at 1600 ISO

Processing: IP2.75 converted to FITS, align-rotate, combine median, PS CS , rotated, auto levels, auto contrast, auto color, curves, hue-saturation, cropped,Noel Carboni's tools added star spikes, Neat image noise reduction, reduced size for web.

Comments: My polar alignment or PEC is still causing some star trailing. Shooting at ISO 1600 gets more detail but only a little more noise on this photo. I think the collecting more data is worth mild increase in noise.