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Imaging telescope or lens:Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8
Imaging camera:Canon EOS 80D
Mount:Sky-Watcher HEQ5 PRO
Guiding telescope or lens:Starguider 50mm Guide Scope
Guiding camera:ZWO Optical ASI120MM
Accessory:Really Right Stuff BH-40
Dates:July 7, 2018
Frames: 60x120" ISO800
Integration: 2.0 hours
Avg. Moon age: 23.31 days
Avg. Moon phase: 37.78%
Mean SQM: 21.60
Mean FWHM: 2.80
Astrometry.net job: 2165162
RA center: 15h 41' 3"
DEC center: -34° 20' 38"
Pixel scale: 6.055 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 351.534 degrees
Field radius: 3.987 degrees
Data source: Traveller
Barnard 228 (B228) is an interesting object in the Southern constellation Lupus (the Wolf), part of the Lupus Molecular Cloud. The field is populated with a large number of Milky Way stars, and also by very faint dust all around the main darker nebula.
Thanks Roberto Colombari for suggesting this target - it definitely was worth it! Capturing and processing this image was a challenge – the nebula is barely visible in the subexposures, and framing relied only on the stars. The image was captured simultaneously with a yet-to-be-processed Samyang 135mm integration. As the main 135mm was the Go-To-able rig, the 70-200+80D used to capture this image was riding atop a simple ballhead, side-by-side with the primary lens. Framing the object with the ballhead was a challenge, without Go-To nor plate solve – requiring sheer starhopping and test-exposures; all in the dark and 6.7ºC cold. It was fun!
Dark skies helped a lot in capturing the faint dust and nebulosity with relatively short 2-hour integration. The result was then processed using AstroPixelProcessor (pre-processing and background calibration), and Photoshop (non-linear stretch, and further post-processing) with Nix Plugins (Dfine/ColorEfex). Just controlling the stars while stretching for the faint nebulosity is a real challenge. The result, to me, was really pleasing - making it, to my eyes, one of my best images to date.
Constructive criticism, comments and suggestions are more than welcome in the comments section. Thank you for taking your time to look at this image.
Taken from Rural Skies (Bortle 3-4; SQM ~21.5-21.7*calculated), from MG, Brazil.
Date and Time: July 07, 2018, at ~20h00 (local UTC-3 time)
Camera: Canon EOS 80D (unmodded), at ISO 800
Lens: Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, operated at 200mm f/3.5
Mount: Sky-Watcher HEQ5, tracking, guided
Guiding: Starguider 50mm Guidescope + ASI120mm + PHD2; ~1.2" RMS
Exposure Detail: 60x120s, total 120 minutes
** This image became my first APOD on July 26th 2018 **
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