Integration: 11.2 hours
Flat darks: ~25
Avg. Moon age: 14.18 days
Avg. Moon phase: 38.45%
Astrometry.net job: 176826
RA center: 13.240 degrees
DEC center: 57.019 degrees
Pixel scale: 4.503 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: -94.093 degrees
Field radius: 1.677 degrees
Locations: Dark Sky Site, Kirby Malzeard, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
The original version of this image was shot 22 December 2007 using an unmoddified Canon 10D with a TV85 scope (with focal reducer) on a Losmandy GM/8 mount using 2 minute exposures at ISO 800. Because the original camera poorly captured NGC 281, I reshot the background stars and nebular last winter using a Canon 450D (modified) on the same TV85 scope but on an 10Micron GM1000HPS mount using unguided 5 minute exposures at ISO1600 in two sessions to create a two frame mosaic to better balance the composition. (frame overlap was 60%).
Calibration and stacking was done using DSS on the two separate background groups. The background mosaic was constructed using Autopano Pro with a custom warp map to ensure the projection transformations where centred in the final frame.
The comet was isolated from the original 117 frame stack by aligning all frames on the comet and using a sigma-kappa rejection method to remove the stars (kappa 1.15, iterations 10).
Finally the stacked comet image was resized (Canon 10D to 450D scaling is 141.8%) and reorientated using a reference frame to match the background image and composed into the background image using a Gaussian masking and screen blending technique (not lighten blending as that does not handle coma transparency)
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