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Seven Heavenly Sisters

Hello Subaru! (That's what the Japanese call this lovely star cluster. Think about that the next time you see the automotive car logo.)

Before I started taking urban astrophotography seriously I would look up at the "pea-soup" of light pollution in Guelph and think... am I fooling myself? Is this work going to result in something decent? Now I can unequivocally say... it can work! Even though your eyes see very little in a city, you can use a digital camera to get things that will surprise you. Would I prefer to see the heavens spread out above me with my own eyes- absolutely. But teasing these details out with Pixinsight was also an adventure. This image was collected with the widefield scope, a Vixen VSD100F at f3. I also tried it with the mid-field scope however the ASI1600MM Pro camera I use on that scope had an issue with the contrast of the subject due to it's microlenses reflecting the very bright stars back into the light pollution filter which then bounced back into the camera and created a very ugly and distracting pattern. The widefield often does surprise me with what it can do! Here is the uncropped version:

For those of you wondering... I used a Vixen SXP mount with Starbook TEN controller and ASIAIR Pro astro-computer. The camera is a Canon 5D Mark IV that was modified by Central DS. For light pollution reduction I used a 2 inch Optolong L-Pro filter. I used 60 images, each one it's own 5 minute exposure for a grand total of 300 minutes, or 5 hours of integration time.


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