Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Cepheus (Cep)  ·  Contains:  Fireworks Galaxy  ·  NGC 6946
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NGC 6946 - New Year without fireworks, 


            Tom Gray
NGC 6946 - New Year without fireworks
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NGC 6946 - New Year without fireworks

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade 2080 SCT 8" LX5

Imaging cameras: Meade DSI 3 Pro

Mounts: Meade Fork mount w/wedge Meade

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Meade 8x50mm Finder/Guider

Guiding cameras: Orion Starshoot autoguider

Software: SiliconFields / Ivo Jager StarTools v1.6  ·  Stark Labs Nebulosity v3  ·  PHD2 Guiding V 2.6  ·  Meade Envisage V4.05

Filters: Meade RGB-IR Cut 1.25"

Accessory: Homemade ST4 autoguider

Dates:Dec. 30, 2020

Frames: 35x120" (1h 10')

Integration: 1h 10'

Avg. Moon age: 15.10 days

Avg. Moon phase: 99.87%

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 4125302

RA center: 20h 34' 50"

DEC center: +60° 9' 25"

Pixel scale: 1.386 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 178.349 degrees

Field radius: 0.153 degrees

Resolution: 649x461

Locations: Home 'observatory' (Bortle 5), Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Data source: Backyard


Messing around under a full moon, I wanted to see what sort of result I could achieve using just an IR cut filter. I chose a target opposite the bright moon and after a rough polar alignment, I captured 72 x 120s images, binned 2x2 to try and drive up SNR.

I had to pull back on the gamma when processing using a non-linear DDP stretch, to mask the excessive walking noise, but am pleasantly surprised by the level of detail that is still visible. Not exactly the 'fireworks' galaxy, which we all missed this year, but a way of welcoming in a New Year.