M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy

Subject: M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy
Telescope: Celestron CPC 800
Camera: Canon Rebel T1i
Technique: 3 lights (25 seconds at 6400 ISO), 10 darks, 15 flats, 50 biases.
Prime focus. Stacked with DeepSkyStacker and post-processed with Photoshop.

Here is my first successful attempt at stacking. I took 10 exposures, but DSS was only able to stack 3 of them. I believe this is due to the amount of noise in the image and the fact that I’m using an altazimuth mount to track. I had to do a lot of post-processing to bring out the detail in the arms and get rid of the noise. Unfortunately, this cost me any color I had captured. Still, considering it is over 23 million light years away, I think this a great first attempt at my favorite galaxy!

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